Q&A with Coach Chip Long

This week's opponent University of Illinois, is no stranger to Arizona State Tight Ends Coach Chip Long, who coached the Illini last season. Facing a very familiar personnel group, including a massive defensive line, Long realizes the challenges that lie ahead this Saturday. Long talked with Devils Digest about his former team as well as the performance of the tight ends.

On how he would rate his tight end's performance Thursday night against NAU

Chip Long: "I thought they played alright, I thought they played physical. That's the number one thing I am looking for when I grade them. When they play physical like they did, you are going to start making plays and they did. Chris Coyle and Darwin Rogers both made plays and tried extremely hard."

On if he is satisfied with the progress the tight ends are making

Chip Long: "We are on schedule. They are coming at a good pace and they are practicing hard. Everything is a process, with the way they take the information and apply it to the meeting room and practice fields. They are getting better. They are starting to get in a routine which is a good thing. Most importantly they are seeing results on the field, so they are working even harder."

On the progress of Arizona State tight end Chris Coyle

Chip Long: "Chris has done a great job since the moment I got here. He has turned his whole life around. He is constantly in the weight room, [and] all summer long he busted his tail. It showed during Fall camp. He outworked about everyone during the Fall and it's nice to see him get results like he did against NAU."

On the significance of playing against Illinois

Chip Long: "It's just another game. I had two great years there and I went to two bowl games. Now I am at a great place here and it's just another game."

On the input he can provide ASU about Illinois

Chip Long: "I know the personnel, and what scheme guys are good at. I recruited a lot of them so I am familiar with the personnel, but that's it."

On the adjustments the tight ends are making for the Illinois defensive line

Chip Long: "This year Illinois will see a whole new offense. We just need to do what we do for every game. There are certain techniques that we need to apply so we can use them against Illinois. They have a great defensive front,[so] we have to be ready to play and get our minds right. We are working extremely hard to get ready for them. What you see on film is what you are going to get on game day. They are great up front with Michael Buchanan, and Akeem Spence, so we have to be ready to play."

On some of the players he coached last year that could have an impact against ASU

Chip Long: "The whole group of guys: Jon Davis, Matt LaCosse, Eddie Viliunas, and Evan Wilson are all talented players and have a chance to be special. They are all very versatile and are good players on offense and special teams. They are all very capable and are doing a good job improving as players."

On biggest difference between ASU and Illinois

Chip Long: "There hasn't been a vast change in coaching styles. Here I am still able to coach the guys like I want to. Obviously here the offense is different, so the work I do with the guys differs on a schematic standpoint. I expect the same out of my players no matter where I am coaching."

On if it would mean more personally to beat Illinois this week

Chip Long: "It's just another game and they are all equally important to win. We just need to put our preparation in this week and get ready to play."

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