Burns expecting more from cornerbacks

Saturday's offensive onslaught may have been a pleasant sight for many in Sun Devil Nation, but cornerbacks coach Greg Burns was not one of those people after seeing his unit give up five of the seven total touchdowns for the Sun Devil offense in the final scrimmage of spring ball.

Brock Osweiler and the first offensive unit threw for 237 yards to go along with their five aerial scores, and at times had the defense showing just how frustrated they are, something that doesn't happen all that often.

"We've got some work to do," coach Burns pointed out. "You're catching me after a bad scrimmage. ..We're thin, so we're expecting all the incoming guys to have to step in and help out early maybe as a backup and potential step in if someone else gets hurt.

"But the bottom line is from a standpoint of effort, they've been working hard, they've improved but we're not there yet."

Saying this group is "thin" is an understatement. With Omar Bolden lost to a torn ACL, Deveron Carr sitting out the spring due to his shoulder (but expected to return for fall camp), and Devan Spann getting hurt in Saturday's scrimmage, the Sun Devil corners are looking like the football-version of Kate Moss.

"Aside from the athleticism, the person, the leader, you lose a lot in the meeting room," said coach Burns. "You lose a lot in regards to leadership, so there's more to it than just a guy who cane come out and make plays and I think we're going to miss both of them.

"Deveron will definitely step up. He knows he's the next guy in line. He has been, unfortunately he hasn't been practicing so its more verbal than showing from a standpoint in practice and out of practice but I've kept him on the sideline actually talking to the guys, getting them to recognize things when they're not in so he has a voice in the meeting room and the expectation is when he finally gets back on the field, it'll carry over."

So for the time being, the only corner on scholarship seeing time is sophomore Osahon Irabor who saw some time with the Sun Devils last season and has looked as solid as anyone this spring.

"I am please because he has improved," Burns mentioned of Irabor. "He still has some stuff to work on, but I am pleased with where he is, how he carries himself, how he prepares himself. Throughout spring he did improve, he's cleaned up some things he had to deal with.

"They all (the corners) improved in some aspect, but we all have work to do. We're no where near where we need to be and it's gonna take from here on, everything from summer workouts to getting bigger, stronger, faster, understanding the system better, working on you're movements, so it's going to take a little bit."

When healthy, Burns has plenty of talent as his disposal; the problem has just been STAYING healthy. In Bolden he had his big-play guy, while Carr and Irabor like to play close to the line of scrimmage in tight coverage. As a whole this group is very versatile, and gives Burns plenty of options.

"We would like to think that when it's all said and done we're going to be a good coverage team in general, whether it's press or off, that's not a factor," declared Burns. "In regards to the corners specifically, we have to have guys that can play press coverage, so that's going to be one big thing for us, and how we go about recruiting."

Now that spring ball is over, there are still several questions surrounding this group that have yet to be answered, but rest assured that coach Burns will busy seeking solutions.

"There are things we've got to work on, just a little bit of everything," Burns pointed out. "There isn't just one thing only. Everyone has an individual thing to work on either it being understanding the system better, working on your movements, any of those types of things."


Sun Devil Source Top Stories