The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 10, 2014

Nussmeier ready to join another storied program

(Continued)

When Hoke took over after Rich Rodriguez was fired, it seemed to signal a return to Michigan's roots as a team that emphasized power. That transition is still a work in progress, as this change in coordinators indicates.

"Tough, physical, explosive," Nussmeier said. "We want to be able to run the football and we want to be able to put points on the board."

Borges was unable to overcome a porous offensive line last season, but Gardner did show flashes of ability while under constant pressure. Nussmeier had a hand in developing several talented quarterbacks, including Alabama's AJ McCarron, Washington's Jake Locker and Michigan State's Drew Stanton. Nussmeier was a quarterback coach at Michigan State — and he was asked Friday about the rivalry between the Wolverines and Spartans.

"I have a lot of respect for that program. We had a wonderful time there," Nussmeier said. "But I said it before: When you say 'Michigan' — it's synonymous with football. I don't care if you go to a mall in California, Texas, Florida — you're going to see somebody wearing 'Michigan.'"

Hoke did not take questions Friday, but athletic director Dave Brandon did. Brandon had a clear message for anyone suggesting a move like this indicates Hoke is on any kind of hot seat.

"Those are people that don't know what they're talking about," he said.

Brandon also indicated any additional changes to the offensive staff would be up to Hoke.

"Doug and Brady will decide about those decisions. At the end of the day, it's Brady's responsibility and his authority to choose the team that he puts around him," Brandon said. "I know both of his coordinators have a lot of voice in terms of the rest of the staff."

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