Coyle focused on moving forward

After only recording six catches in his first two years at Arizona State, Chris Coyle has become a crucial piece to the Sun Devil Offense. Already having a team leading 38 receptions this year, the tight end is a breakout star that is thriving in ASU's new offense, and is making the most of every opportunity that he gets during each game.

"I know the running backs and the tight ends are a big part of the offense," Coyle admitted, "so there is some pressure to get open. The way this offense was created though, allows us to get open. We run plays where we can use misdirection and allow myself or a running back to get open on the other side of the field."

With so much of the offensive game plan centered on him, Coyle often feels the pressure to live up to those expectations and produce on the field.

"I think this offense helps us get out in the open," Coyle explained. "When guys are focused on me is when I feel the pressure to use my own technique to get open for Taylor (Kelly). I just want to go out there and help the offense succeed every week."

When opponents' defenses do key in on him during games, the junior is confident that one of his fellow offensive players can make the defense pay for that extra focus.

"Absolutely, there have been times where I walk up to the line and hear them pointing me out," Coyle remarked. "If they are focused on me, than that will leave a hole open for one of our wide receivers to make a play. I don't care if I get the ball every play, as long as I am making a difference I am happy."

One of the biggest things Coyle has learned has been the effect the offense's high tempo pace of play has had on ASU's foes.

"There were drives where we ran plays back to back to back," Coyle noted. "It is becoming evident how much our tempo affects the other team's defense throughout the game."

After suffering two straight losses at home, many fans are starting to compare this team to last year's squad which lost the last four regular season games. Coyle is confident that this team is different and they will get back to their winning ways very soon.

"Last year, every time we lost we would get in a worse mood and get negative," Coyle recalled. "This year we are much more positive, we understand that we did lose and we can't let what happened last year happen again. We are just looking forward to next week.

"Last year we got too caught up in the past and weren't focusing on improving for the next week. This year we are focused on moving on and fixing our mistakes. Right now we are focused on Oregon State."

Coyle feels as if first-year Head Coach Todd Graham's mental approach will allow the Sun Devils to rebound from this losing streak. The tight end said that after last Saturday's loss to UCLA Graham offered his players encouragement while also pointing out areas that need to improve for future games.

"He let us know that he was proud of us for how we fought back against UCLA," Coyle stated, "and we should hold our heads high. He let us know that the deciding factor in a game really does come down to inches, and this won't be the only close game we have this season. One turnover can decide a game. He reminded us of the missed opportunities that we had, and told us to execute the way we know we can play football."

The team wasted no time moving on from the tough loss, and Tuesday was described by Coyle as being one of the better practices for the offense this entire season.

"Offensively we came out real fast," Coyle said, "we didn't make many mistakes at all which is good. Mistakes are something we definitely have to focus on after last game. We didn't make too many mistakes last game, but it still came down to a turnover. We are focusing on ball security. We know we have to have ball security against Oregon State to have success. We just focused on maintaining our tempo and game plan.

"We have to play Oregon State with the same intensity that we had against UCLA in the second half. We have to come out fast and score quickly. We have to play high octane. They have a good defense, but if we can wear them down and keep pushing them we should have success."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories