ASU Football Media Day Notes

The buses in the parking lot of Sun Devil stadium were waiting to wisk the Sun Devil Football team to camp Tontozona. But before the team made the trip up to the pines of Payson, the coaches and players gathered to meet the media and talk about the upcoming season. The only thing they were tight lipped about is the planned freshmen pranks…

Head coach Dirk Koetter offered these words in his opening statement: "I'm very excited to start camp Tontozona, but I'm not sure about the players (smile). I've never been crazy about media day, because I'm anxious to start practicing for the season….we will have 103 players go up to camp, with 29 newcomers…the whole Football camp is pretty new experience for me, because as a player or a coach I have never been to camp since the 7th grade…we will practice only six days up there, because we have only 29 opportunities to practice before our first game on Sep. 8th. Next year we start the season in late August, so we'll have more days up there."

"I'll go briefly over our objectives: We need to master the scheme on al sides of the ball. We want to take ownership of players on special teams. We put a very high emphasis, as you know, on special team. We want to get in game shape for our first game of the season. When our opponent San Diego State plays us, it will be their second game of the season so their game shape may be better than ours. I have no doubt in my mind that we are in good physical shape, because of our summer conditioning program. However, physical shape and game shape are two separate things. We need to gain a sense of confidence in the team, which will help us win games in the fourth quarter. Lastly, no excuses. No matter how big the obstacle is, and whether it's in our control or not, we need to overcome it."

Here are other comments from coaches and players:

Running back Delvon Flowers: "Coach Koetter told us the first time he met us, that the successful teams in college Football always put their best players, their play makers on the field. I didn't know much about coach or Boise State, but once he came in and those words, that's when I knew we had a winner. That works out great for me, and shows me what the coaching staff is all about. That really touched me.…When I look at why we weren't successful last year, I just see a lot of me people, who care more about the individual than the team. I think that took a big toll on the team, and doesn't help with leadership and trying to win games. I feel that this year we're coming more together and we are a true family. If we start with that attitude. We'll get somewhere. Having anew attitude really helps a team. I have a lot of buddies on Oregon State, and tell me how the attitude changed when coach Erickson came there. They played in Hawaii when we did, and you could just see the team chemistry and how they all came together as one…I'm not too worried about all this emotion being my senior year, and this being my last Tontozona. I just want to go out and win games. I'm thinking also about playing in the future after college. So, I don't worry about seniority and all that. I'm just having fun now…Right now they're counting on me and Tommy (Pace) to be the kick-off returners. I just want to go and contribute every way I can. If that means returning a kick for 100, 105 yards that's cool. Coach Osborne has installed a good system in special teams. Whatever he asks me to do, I'll do it. I'm going to give t my all and have a lot of success on special teams.

Quarterback Jeff Krohn:

"I wouldn't say I'm coming into this season with a chip on my shoulder (amid all the talk of his arm strength), but I'm definitely coming in with more confidence than last year. I learned last year not to read what people say about you in the newspaper, because it affects you. Bottom line is that there's a lot of power in words. I'm just not going to let that affect me this year. I'm going to get things done, and I'm going to do a better job at it this year…mobility is just as important as arm strength, and I have a lot of that. You're going to have games where the offensive line has trouble with different schemes, and then mobility comes into play. There are so many intangibles that go into plating quarterback, so I think that having mobility is one of them…The summer conditioning program has definitely help me a lot in improving my arm strength, but also just going out there and throwing the ball helps too. Just going through repetition throwing the deep ball helps you. I'm really looking forward to the season and seeing the change in my arm…It will make me really happy to silence my critics this year. People don't like to be criticized, but I took it. Now it's my turn to dish it back (smile)"

Defensive coordinator Brent Guy:

"The kids bought into our new defensive scheme pretty fast, because they were hungry and eager to learn. We still have some stuff to introduce to them. I told them that I want to pick up where we left off in spring game, and continue to master our techniques and schemes. I want our players to be coaches a little bit, know what happened and why, and what we need to do to repeat it or correct it…From an experience standpoint we have good experience in our front four. Some of them may be young, but they all have played. We have good depth. Same goes with the linebacker group, we have a lot depth and talent. On the other side, in the secondary we have untested talent. Aside from our safeties Williams and Daniel, we have very little game experience among our cornerbacks. If I were our opponent that's the group I would test, and we have to be ready for that…What's so great in facing Koetter's offense in practice is that he runs multiple schemes. We see all the different offensive looks that exist in practice, and that way we get prepared for our season. He (Koetter) is always innovative, and always trying some new twist. That helps us from a defensive standpoint, because we face the cutting edge of offensive Football. We constantly talk to each other about possible offensive scenarios and how the defense would react, and vice versa. It's a fun game…Overall; every individual has to do his job to make this thing work. The plays will come to you as the offense dictates them, so you just have to go out and do your job. We have to be in great mental and physical condition when we play San Diego State. We have to be confident as a team that we get the job done."

So up the hill ASU goes to one of the shortest camp Tontozonas in the team's history. It would probably be hard, due to the short duration of the camp, to fully teach and implement all the schemes necessary for this team to succeed. Nevertheless, no ASU fan should doubt the fact that the young and hungry coaching staff will do everything in its power to make full use of the time up there.

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