Injuries put a damper on practice

Much has been said and written about the increased depth the Sun Devils have at offensive line and wide receiver this year. Following today's knee injuries to wide receiver T.J. Simpson and offensive lineman Dan Knapp this theory will be put to the test in the next few weeks and in Simpson's case perhaps in the fall as well.

"Knapp is OK, just sprained his MCL," said head coach Dennis Erickson after Thursday's practice. "I don't know about T.J. They (the trainers) don't know if it's an ACL or not. We won't know until Saturday, but it doesn't look very good right now. They will get an MRI on Saturday."


Today's session marked the first time this spring where the defense started to put in some of its blitz packages, mainly a handful of zone blitz plays.

"We'll continue to work on it Saturday," Erickson stated. "90 percent of it will be similar to last year but we'll add a thing or two."


It goes without saying that Brock Osweiler's status this spring is much different than last year's. In 2010 he was engaged in a heated battle with Steven Threet but these days he is the undisputed starter. Therefore, the junior needed not only to step up his play this season but also his leadership level.

"I don't think there is any question about his leadership abilities," Erickson claimed. "He has that. He has to continue to improve like all (the players). His accuracy has to continue to improve. He played just two games (in 2010). He's not a seasoned veteran by any means. But as far as him grabbing control of it, he really has grabbed control of it."


Defensive tackle Will Sutton had to miss all of the 2010 season due to academic ineligibility, yet whatever supposed rust the sophomore was expected to consquentley exhibit in the spring has been largely unnoticeable as he consistently is one of the standouts on this side of the ball.

"He's looked good," Erickson commented. "It took him a little bit to get back to the feel of things but actually today he probably had his best practice. But he will get better and better all the time."


After a trying first week of spring practice kicker Alex Garoutte has bounced back in a major way on Thursday and was a perfect 5 of 5 on his attempts including a 52 yarder.

"He's kicking it well," Erickson said. "He has as strong of a leg as I ever seen. So to me it's just about accuracy…you can talk to all those kickers and it is all about confidence. Once you get comfortable you start knocking the ball through. I think (former Arizona State kicker) Thomas (Weber) is a tremendous example of that with how he has kind of gone.

"He (Garoutte) will be our kicker and he will get better and better. We knew he had a strong leg – we saw that last year. He can kick it off and knock it in the end zone a lot."

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