Erickson's Tuesday Post-Practice Quotes

The Sun Devils fall camp is officially underway and the maroon and gold got right to work this evening at the Verde Dickey Dome with what seemed like an energetic and productive practice.

Coach Erickson and his crew took the field for the first time since the spring and some familiar faces returned to the field after being out this spring with injuries, most notably missed were wide receivers Mike Willie and Aaron Pflugrad.

"Our receivers have been catching the football," Erickson stated. "Mike pulled a little hamstring and came off the field but he'll be okay. Having Pflugrad out there makes a big difference, we have him playing outside and we've got some experience with Jamal (Miles) and George (Bell). There's a lot of guys at the skill position, Chris Coyle, Gerell (Robinson) obviously so we've just got to keep doing it everyday. "

Although it is clear that junior Brock Osweiler will be the teams signal caller this season, his backup is still undecided. With several qualified candidates, the next three weeks will be a battle between redshirt freshman Taylor Kelly, freshman Mike Bercovici and freshman Michael Eubank. The talented trio will compete for the number two spot and despite Kelly's experience Erickson will not rule the other two out.

"I don't know," Erickson began. "We have to give all three of those guys a chance. Today we gave most of the reps to Taylor (Kelly) and (Mike) Bercovici. (Mike) Eubank is just learning and the more he learns the more he'll be involved.

We've got to make a decision in the next three weeks who the backup is so we can get turns. I thought they all looked pretty good. I thought Taylor looked pretty good today so we'll see, it's going to be very competitive. The thing about it is that there are some very good players competing against each other. "

The offense will come out in full force this season looking much more optimistic than recent years. With 7 starters returning to the offense, their experience will undoubtedly work to their advantage, especially with offensive line.

"Without a question," Erickson commented. "We have a lot of guys back who know the blocking schemes and can deal with different defense," Erickson said. "Yes, without a question, going from being our weakness three or four years ago to the strength now but that's how we had to do it.

With the injury of guard senior Adam Tello, redshirt freshman Jamil Douglas was seen alternating between guard and tackle during today's practice session.

"We play him at guard and we play him a tackle," Erickson said. "Just depending on what happens because (Adam) Tello is out for about three weeks so we'll play Knapp a little bit at guard so we're trying to develop some depth there."

Another player seen alternating positions today, sophomore safety Alden Darby.

"Yeah, and that's what we did today," Erickson stated. "He played both (safety and corner). We just have to see where we're at because we have a lot of time do it. We'll see who steps up at corner and see how our safeties play when we have somebody up there.

So far the Sun Devils have had high expectations set for their 2011 season, not only the others but themselves and although only time will tell how the season progresses, the team ends practice with the word "champion".

"We just said champions, champions everyday of our lives, that's what we want to be everyday or our lives," Erickson said.

"That's their own expectations and all of our expectations. That's what we want to do. Whether we can or not remains to be seen but its what they've been working on and that's what we've been working for and if we keep working hard we have a chance to let that happen."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories