Brady Hoke, Michigan players back Denard Robinson as their starting quarterback
ANN ARBOR -- Immediately following the worst performance of his career Saturday, Denard Robinson offered an apology to everyone involved with Michigan football.
But, according to Michigan coach Brady Hoke and the rest of Robinson's Wolverine teammates, Robinson's remorse wasn't necessary.
Hoke reaffirmed Tuesday that Michigan wins as a team, loses as a team and takes blame as a team -- and he still refused to place all the blame of Michigan's 13-6 loss at Notre Dame squarely on the shoulders of his quarterback.
"You make sure he understands that we took 69 guys to the game, and we've got 115 on this football team," Hoke said. "We're all responsible. Coaches, players, everybody.
"We don't want to turn the ball over, that's pretty obvious. But I think, you know, he's smart enough and competitive enough that he'll take a lot out of this game."
Robinson threw a career-worst four interceptions Saturday and also lost a fumble in the red zone during a horrendous offensive stretch that saw the Wolverines turn the ball over on six straight possessions.
He's now Michigan's all-time interceptions leader, and alone in first this season on the national interception list.
Hoke quickly shot down a question about whether or not he considered replacing Robinson after the game Saturday, and his teammates seem to be in line with that thinking.
Robinson's their quarterback, he's bailed them out before and they have no problem standing behind him.
"As a defense, we all went up to Denard and told him this is a team thing," Michigan senior defensive lineman Will Campbell said. "(The offense) kicked the ball (through the uprights) one time, that's all we (should have) needed as a defense.
"We all texted him, talking over our cell phones and whatnot ... and we told him it wasn't all on him. This is a team. This is Michigan. We have to stand behind each other and protect one another."
All players seem to remain behind their quarterback, and they also say they're aware of how much criticism he's taken in the few days since the loss in South Bend, Ind.
But they're also aware of how much pressure Robinson has placed on himself to improve, and that's all they can ask for.
"I just told him to keep his head up," Michigan senior offensive lineman Patrick Omameh said. "We understand that this is a team concept, the game isn't on him."
As for what his coaching staff will do moving forward, Hoke again said there's no point in walking through every interception thrown on Saturday just to beat the point home that turnovers can't happen.
He says he and the offensive staff will continue to stress better decision-making to Robinson moving forward, and support him completely along the way.
"Believe me, he's had a conversation with his coach," Hoke said. "We tried not to pound any kid, to be honest with you. Seriously, they're 18 to 23 and they're competing and if they didn't practice well or come to practice well and they didn't have energy and enthusiasm I'd feel differently.
"But I like the growth we're making."