Question: Thoughts on being elected captain?
Mike Martin: “It is a huge honor. Our whole senior class does a great job of leading. Defensively, Ryan Van Bergen does a great job, Jordan Kovacs, a lot of guys, Troy Woolfolk but it is an honor to be selected by my peers to represent those guys and the guys who come before me, a huge honor.”
Question: Being the only captain on defense do you feel like you have a special responsibility?
Mike Martin: “No because we have a ton of leaders on the defense and I mentioned those guys and we do a great job collectively getting the defense ready to play and I know I have a lot of support from the rest of the seniors.”
Question: Are you being used in the versatile role that we saw in the spring or is it just been pretty much the nose?
Mike Martin: “Coach has me playing nose and some other positions on the defensive line, but he has me focusing on that pretty much because we’ve had guys stepped up at those other positions that coach has a lot of confidence in.”
Question: What differences do you think fans will see from a Brady Hoke coached team than from what they have seen?
Mike Martin: “Coach has us ready to play and coach has us focused on what we need to be focused on, which is what we can control and to get better every single day. This week is game week and is huge for us and we’re looking forward to September 3rd and that’s all we have on our minds and we’re ready to go.”
Question: What makes Kevin Koger a good pick for captain?
Mike Martin: “Kevin does a great job. He is great with reaching out to guys. He’s a really good speaker and he’s a guy that everyone looks up to. He comes to work every day. He is accountable and guys can count on him to get the job done and I think that’s what you need in a captain and a guy that is going to lead a team.”
Question: What is game week like for you, what does it feel like to be here right now and what will it feel like on Saturday for you?
Mike Martin: “It’s special. Every day, tomorrow’s practice is going to be critical for our team to get better and Wednesday and Thursday and every single day going on to Saturday. Coach has game week posted up everywhere in Schembechler, so when you’re in that building, everywhere you go, you’re thinking about game week. Whether it is when you go home and getting your playbook and going over your plays, taking mental reps. When you’re at Schembechler getting better on the field you have to think about game day every day and what you can do to make sure that this team is successful.”
Question: You mentioned Kovacs, what does he do to get surprising people and holding on to that spot?
Mike Martin: “The guy pays attention to details. He takes care of his job on the field and he is a guy that you can always count on to be there. He is a guy that is very smart. He is always in the film room and he is like I said, a guy that is always doing what he needs to do get the upper hand, whether it is in the film room or working on his skills. He is also a great leader just for the guys back there as a vocal leader as well.”
Question: What did Will Heininger and Nathan Brink to get themselves in position with Will getting the start Saturday and Nathan is his potential backup?
Mike Martin: “Those guys did a great job with competing throughout all of camp. They knew that every day everyone was getting evaluated across the board and Will Henininger ad Brink they worked their butts off the whole camp and I’m proud of those guys and coach is going to put the best 11 guys on the field to win games. Whatever decision he makes is going to be right one and I know those guys fully support that.”
Question: Knowing the evaluation process takes place every day and game day and practice and everything, how does that keep the intensity up throughout the week just practicing?
Mike Martin: “Coach always says when you come to Schembechler Hall you have to come with energy and get ready to compete and competing every day keeps the energy and keeps the excitement at practice. Guys are going after it every single day. That’s what it takes to get your team better. You have to give guys looks, you have to push them every single day. That’s what guys are doing and that’s why I think we’ve become such a better team throughout camp because guys are giving those lifts to each other.”
Question: As a senior last chance, can you describe the motivation to try and fix what has gone on the last few years defensively?
Mike Martin: “Coach talks about accountability in the details and all the things that it takes to be successful defensively that’s what we have been focusing on this whole camp. Since Coach Hoke and his staff have gotten here and sure that our defense has done a great job with really doing that and making sure that we have no regrets going into September 3rd and the rest of the games this coming season because we’ve done what we can do to make sure that we’re in the best position. Coach Mattison and the whole staff have done a great job in working with us and we’ve come to work every single day to get better.”
Question: Can you expand on that a little bit?
Mike Martin: “Because I’ve seen it, I’ve been there every single day. We’ve gotten better. It is something that you can’t hide and every single day we’re getting better, but we still have a lot more improvement to go and like I said tomorrow is going to be critical with getting our scouts, getting our looks for Western Michigan coming up this Saturday and that’ll be critical for us.”
Question: How tough is for Van Bergen to play outside and then move into a tackle position?
Mike Martin: “Ryan does a great job as well as a few other guys; coach puts the guys in position to make sure that the team is successful. There is total selflessness and Ryan is a guy who is very intelligent and is very versatile. You can put him anywhere on the defensive line across the board and he’ll do well. Technique wise he has done a great job at five technique, three technique, wherever coach puts him, he’s done a great job. I’m very confident that he’s going to do well where coach puts him and he has the whole camp.”
Question: How much coaching is this senior doing? How much are you guys reinforcing that with the team?
Mike Martin: “Coach has always said that if he has to lead every single day than this team will not be good. He needs guys like the seniors and upper classman that have played a lot of football to step up to lead and to coach. Coach can’t be looking at everyone at the same time, so to coach guys up in between drills, take them aside, tell them what they need to do to get better. That goes miles and miles and it really helps guys. It gives them a different perspective on how to get better and really that’s what you need. You need guys pushing each other and that comes with the competitive part of it. Guys pushing each other because they know they’re getting evaluated every single day.”
Question: Is there a leader in your time period that you model yourself after, a player?
Mike Martin: “Brandon Graham, I’ve talked about him before. He’s a guy that leads by example and came to work every single day and a guy that everyone looked up to. He produced on the field and he was a great leader off the field and that’s something that’ll always look up to.”
Question: Can you talk about the youtube.com videos and where did that idea generated and who is producing on it and editing on it, it is pretty good. Can you talk about that?
Mike Martin: “It is something that was just a fun thing going into my senior year. I really just wanted to document it all I guess you could say and to do it in a creative and fun way I thought was the best way to do it. I have a MacBook and there is an editing program on there and with a friend of mine. I capture film on my Iphone and he has a camera and we just throw it all into the MacBook and make it look cool. Put some music to it and add some flashy lights and it looks pretty cool. It’s cool because it has the whole team in it, guys. It is stuff that people usually do not see. It is us at certain events or us just hanging out together. It is something that I’ll be able to keep and have for the rest of my life, which will mean a lot.”
Question: Is it going to continue into the year?
Mike Martin: “Yes. I have more episodes, webisodes coming up there soon. Actually, I’m releasing, there is a video coming today to the Popevil song. The Michigan hype song. Those guys are from Whitehall Michigan where Van Bergen is from actually, so he has a connection there. It is pretty cool.”
Question: Is that how you got this video?
Mike Martin: “Yeah through Ryan and I got to know those guys. I shot them an email just saying hey I really liked your song and I know the university approved it and it was I pretty much shot them an email and they emailed me back. They actually just had a concert the other day and they dedicated it to team 132, this Michigan team. It is pretty cool. It is a good song. I like that song.”
Question: Can you talk about your thoughts on being a captain and the guys that you’re serving with?
David Molk: “It’s a great honor. It is something that I really didn’t understand when I got here, but once I became a Wolverine, I knew it was something that I wanted. Being recognized finally, it is a great honor, something I’ve always wanted.”
Question: What make it so special for maybe the players coming in that don’t understand what he did?
David Molk: “When you walk in and you go through the building and you see that big wall of all the old captains and it just one of those kind of thing of is that those guys are always well respected. They’ve done great things in and outside of football and it is a good group to be a part of. It is something that I knew that I wanted to be a part of.”
Question: Are there specific responsibilities or is just kind of general to do something when you see it?
David Molk: “I guess you have more responsibilities than just being a normal player, but then again I’m not a coach. I don’t really truly make decisions. It is just kind of being there for your team when you’re on the run, on the fly, in the field, in the game.”
Question: What is the excitement like this week now that you’ve got an opponent that is less than seven days away?
David Molk: “It is great. It’s been a long time since I played a game and I love every single first game. It is just an experience that is just unmatched by anything else and I can’t wait to play again.”
Question: What do you think the fans will see from Brady Hoke’s first game?
David Molk: “A new team. A new season. It is going to be a lot of fun.”
Question: Taylor Lewan said the other day that you’re a pretty quiet leader, do you ever become a little bit more outspoken?
David Molk: “He says I’m a quiet leader, really (laughter). I think that might have been sarcasm. I’m usually am a pretty outspoken leader whenever there is a point and time where someone needs to speak to the team as a whole I’m always that guy.”
Question: How would you describe Brady Hoke has a coach now that you’ve been with him up to this point and didn’t know him from Adam eight months ago?
David Molk: “He is just a great guy. Sometimes coaches are standoffish or kind of hard to approach but Coach Hoke is not like that at all. He is just a great guy that you put your arm around and say hey how’re you doing.”
Question: A lot of people worried about Denard Robinson making the transition in the offense; can you talk about how dangerous you think he can still be in this offense?
David Molk: “A player that is that good can be dangerous in any offense. He still has the ability to get out and run around. He is going to do his thing this season.”
Question: Does it make a difference to you if it is a tough opponent the first week? Would you get as excited for Western Michigan as you would for Ohio State?
David Molk: “It could be anyone. It could be some DIII school and I would still love it. It is just playing someone else. Every day you go into practice and I block Mike Martin and I go up to a linebacker that I’ve seen 100 times, 1000 times, it is just good to see someone else.”
Question: Can you talk a little bit Michael Shaw and Fitzgerald Toussaint and what they do differently or what they bring to the table?
David Molk: “They each have their attributes of who they are as a runner and they run different styles and Shaw is more of a bounce around you kind of guy. Fitz will hit you a little bit. They are both great players.”
Question: You are doing shotgun snaps and under center snaps, it can change at any moment back and forth, does that make it hard to do that because it is so interchangeable or do you prefer doing one over the other?
David Molk: “It really doesn’t make a difference. I can see a younger guy getting flustered but it is nothing new.”
Question: Is the fact that your changing schemes on offense and defense give you an advantage going into the first week of the season?
David Molk: I guess so. Me and some of the others guys were kind of talking about it. The kind of thing of who are they going to look at for film. They can’t look at last year because we’re totally different. Different offense, different defense, but I guess it does give us an advantage but at the same time it matters in the game as to what you do on the field. That’s what counts.”
Question: How is the chemistry of this starting offensive line with Ricky Barnum in there now that it is his first career start on Saturday?
David Molk: “It’s good. I’ve played with Ricky before. There was a couple of times that Steve Schilling wasn’t in there and Ricky just kind of fit in. He listens if I try to correct him on something. He’ll just listen and go and that’s what makes him a good player.”
Question: Did you guys watch any film of the 2009 game against Western Michigan?
David Molk: “No, we haven’t watched that. That was a long time ago.”
Question: Where were you and how did you find out about being a captain and your thoughts on that?
Kevin Koger: “We were actually in the team meeting room. Everybody voted and everybody got a ballot, you voted for one offense and defensive captain and I put my vote in. Actually, I thought we were going to come back today and find out. They actually went out the room and counted them and came back in and told us. It was kind of surprising. I really didn’t expect to be a captain. There is a lot of other qualified guys to be captain of the senior class and I really thought one of those guys will get it, but I was honored to get it and it took me by surprise.”
Question: Who did you vote for?
Kevin Koger: “Not myself I can tell you that.”
Question: What is this week like for you and how excited are you today and what will you be like on Saturday?
Kevin Koger: “I try to calm myself down because I tend to get too excited before the game. I don’t want to play the game before the game actually happens so I’m not mentally drained when I get there. This is my last home opener in Michigan Stadium, I’m kind of excited for that, but I have to prepare for the game so I can make the best.”
Question: What stands out to you about the home openers that you’ve partaken in so far?
Kevin Koger: “Just the excitement. Just everybody coming back to campus. I know it is a welcome week this week, so a lot of students coming back to campus and a lot of students are excited. You can see it on Twitter, you can see it on Facebook. You can see a lot of people come to through the stadium early in the first game and the home opener. I’m excited to see during warm ups all the people in the stands of the stadium.”
Question: Obviously some of the coaching staff has never experienced that, do you have any advice for them?
Kevin Koger: “Just tell them to calm down. At practice, there is going to be 113,000 people so you got to be loud, but I’m like you don’t understand we’re the offense, so they’re not going to be loud when we have the ball. It is not going to be as loud for the offense as it will be for the defense so communication will be a little bit harder for the defense.”
Question: What is the biggest difference that you’ve noticed around Schembechler Hall and practice with the new coaching staff?
Kevin Koger: “Just probably the accountability aspect. I know you hear him say it all the time, but just everything that goes into accountability that you wouldn’t think about, from being to meetings on time to communication with your players, teammates and the coaching staff. So probably the accountability aspect that he has been preaching since he has been here.”
Question: You’ve talked about having your stool the right way in the locker room, do you think about those kinds of things and making sure that everything is just right?
Kevin Koger: “You do at first but it becomes habit after a while and we definitely pay for it for not having attention to detail and being accountable to our teammates as far as the locker room aspect. That is just one of the things that ties into it, but you definitely think about it the first couple of days but now it just becomes habit to all of us.”
Question: What would it mean for you and for the program to get Hoke his first win in the first game this year?
Kevin Koger: “It means a lot. Not just for Coach Hoke. I know it means a lot to him also, but for this senior class. Coach Hoke always talks about we’re playing for the senior class and that’s what were going out for and trying to get this win for, not just us but even Michigan as a whole, from the stands to the band to everybody. We just want to get the win for Michigan as a whole.”
Question: For fans, how do you think this team will look different on both sides of the ball?
Kevin Koger: “I think you’ll see the offense on the field a lot more. We want to control the ball, so Coach Hoke always says the best defense is when the defense is when the defense is on the sideline cheering the offense on. We want to take that burden off the defense a little bit so they are a lot more rested when they come on the field so they are not just tired.”
Question: How will Denard Robinson Look different if at all?
Kevin Koger: “I think Denard will be the same Denard. He will go out there and make plays. He’ll be a great decision maker on the field. You might see him not go for the big play as much. You might see him check down a little bit, which is perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with a four to five yard gain as opposed to a 30-40 yard try.”
Question: How will Kevin Koger will look different?
Kevin Koger: “Kevin Koger will be very excited. Kevin Koger will be very enthusiastic on the field. You can expect to see me more outspoken on the sideline. So watch out for that.”
Question: After an entire fall camp, how active or involved do you think the tight ends really will be?
Kevin Koger: “I think we’ll play a big part. We’ve been doing a big part. We’ve been doing a lot of different stuff. It has been really exciting. The tight ends as a group, we’ve been taking it very well. Coach Ferringo has done a great with us, of getting us prepared for Saturday and for the season. I’ll be excited to see what happens on Saturday.”
Question: What has Steve Watson done this fall or how has he looked since he is obviously in position to play either tight end or fullback?
Kevin Koger: “He’s is very selfless. He doesn’t think about himself. Wherever the coaches want him to play, he’ll play. Last year, he played defensive end and then he switched to tight end and during camp, we had him switch to fullback and he has done a great job there. You can see him play tight end, you can see him play fullback. It really doesn’t matter where he plays, he is going to do a great job where he is at.”
Question: You are playing a more significant role in this Mike Martin youtube.com thing. What do you think of that idea of his to document the season, show everybody behind the scenes what goes on with you guys?
Kevin Koger: “I actually before five minutes ago I had no idea that even did these webisodes or whatever he was talking about. He said that I was in a couple of them, which is surprising to me. I think it is a great idea. It shows fans that we’re more than just helmets and shoulder pads that we actually do have a personality. You can follow him on Twitter. You can see he has a lot of interesting stuff to say. I think it is a great idea. It shows the fans that we really do have personalities and we’re not just guys in helmets and shoulder pads and we actually can have a little bit of fun.”
Question: Do you think he should be paying you for your role?
Kevin Koger: “Oh yeah, I think I should get a little royalty from it. If he makes any money off of it, I’ll let you know.”