On Friday, Michigan formally introduced Nussmeier as its new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and one of the first -- and most pressing -- questions fired at the Wolverines' new play caller was obvious.
"It's Michigan football. When you say the word 'Michigan,' everybody knows about Michigan football," Nussmeier said Thursday during his introductory news conference. "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.'
"This isn't about me, this isn't about coaching, it's always about the players. And the type of people that come to Michigan, the quality of kids, what they achieve not only on the field -- but look at the achievement off the field. It's a special, special place, and there's not many of them."
As far as Nussmeier's coaching scheme is concerned, the former Fresno State, Washington and Alabama offensive coordinator played things rather close to the vest.
He did not talk specifically about the development of Gardner or Shane Morris, and did not offer any real hints at what Michigan's offense would look like outside three words.
"Tough. Physical. Explosive. That's what we want to be," Nussmeier said. "We want to be able to run the football and we want to put points on the board. We want to force the defense to defend all different elements of the game.
"We're going to put our playmakers in the best possible position we can to make plays. That's the goal. What that means? We want to control the tempo of the game on offense. Whether that means we want to go fast or go slow, whatever it may be, we want to control the tempo of the game on offense and give our guys an opportunity to make plays and schematically look at ways where we want to create competitive advantages for our players.
"What that means, is, you could see is in one formation one week with one play and a different the next week. But the identity is, we want to be physical. We're going to play fast. We want to be explosive."
"Obviously I can't say enough about coach (Nick) Saban and the opportunity we had there at Alabama, it was a great opportunity," Nussmeier added. "But Michigan football, the opportunity to be a part of the winningest program in all of college football, to integrate into a staff and take this program to where we all want to go (was too good to pass up)."
"You talk about all the great quarterbacks to play here: (Tom) Brady, (Brian) Griese, Denard Robinson, Chad Henne, it's a 'Quarterback U' I think you could say. And to be able to be here and help those quarterbacks grow, I'm excited about that opportunity."
"We took this job three years ago to make Michigan better, we took this job knowing that every decision that's going to be made by me is going to be what's best for Michigan and the kids on this program and the legacies and the 134 years of teams that have come before it," Hoke said. "We have a vision, we know that that is, that's why Doug is here today. It's a great day for Michigan football in a lot of ways.
"We're excited to have Doug here and excited about what we'll do as an offense and a football team. "
Brandon, meanwhile, shot down speculation that he made the decision to oust Borges and hire Nussmeier, calling that notion "nonsense."
"I'm a big believer that leaders get to pick their teams," Brandon said. "And Brady makes all decisions as it relates to the people he wants to surround himself with to have success.
"When Brady first called me and identified Doug, my first reaction was, 'wow, that would be great, but really?' "
Brandon also refuted reports that Nussmeier will rank among the top three nationally in assistant coach pay, and when asked if the new offensive coordinator's salary would exceed that of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison ($851,400), Brandon said "no."
He also added that a contract had yet to be finalized for Nussmeier.