Quarterbacks Coach Mark Helfrich:
"I think a high level of anticipation rather than worry would best describe my emotions about this position. We're excited to see these guys get going and compete for a spot. All of them have shown good things. We need to get one or two quarterbacks to get ready for the start of the season, and that's my goal in camp Tontozona…Yes, we did want somebody to distinguish themselves in spring practice. That didn't happen. You can't be too disappointed because guys went through growing pains of playing in a new system and getting used to new terminology. We just have to get trough the growing pains…Arm strength is an overrated issue, and Krohn as is does have strong enough an arm. Mobility is a big part too of the quarterback play, and Krohn definitely has that attribute. We were lucky at Boise State the last two years to have a very mobile quarterback in Hendricks. It's important for a quarterback to improvise when things break down. Christensen and Rhodes bring that athleticism to the mix too…Rhodes' sore ankle will set him back in Tontozona and his bid to be in the mix for the quarterback competition. Now it's going to be hard in his physical condition. He has made no excuses, and has competed in great fashion…I can't say who would start if the season started today. We have to get to work and get guys ready to play. We have plenty of work ahead. We're not where we need to be. The coaches know that, and so do the players. They are all good hard workers, and are picking up things at a high level. I know we're going to get better."
Wide Receiver Coach Darryl Jackson:
"I wouldn't say that our offense sets up the run by passing a lot. We will run an offense that best suits our personnel. Run setting up the pass is just a Football cliché. As far as the passing game, that's where most of your big plays come from and help you break a game wide open. Regardless how good or bad our running attack is, we have to do a good job passing the game. If we see eight and nine men fronts we need to have our receivers make plays and back those defenders back…I understand that some say that aside from O'neal we may not have a proven consistent receiver, and that's why I'm here (smile). I need to make sure that the rest of the receivers are consistent. That's part of teaching these young men the discipline of Football. We have a good core of receivers and we have to develop them right now for this year, and not for two three years down the road…The speed receiver isn't more important than the possession receiver in this offense. We need to put players in positions that they can make plays, and each receiver brings something different to the table. We don't care if a receiver is possession receiver or a jitterbug that can make you miss him in a phone booth. We just want to find players that can make the plays…I like the kids we have right now. Everybody talks about having speed at wide receiver, well look at Jerry Rice. He's not considered a speedy guy, but he runs his routes full speed, and never slows down on a break. He's does an excellent job in yards after catch, and is consistent each game. If you run good routes and you're consistent as a receiver, it doesn't matter if you run a 4.3 or a 4.6…O'neal is one starting receiver. As far as a second one, it just depends what kind of personnel we're in. We'll just have to wait and see (smile)."
Special Teams and Tight Ends Coach Tom Osborne:
"Murphy is an absolute asset with his consistency and the huge field position he brings to us. I'm worried that he may be too good, and we may have problems running to cover his punts (smile), which is a completely different issue. A punt may be beautiful traveling down the field, but it will turn ugly if your opponent has a big return. If we can cover accurately a punter that gives you huge field position, it's an awesome situation…If Barth is the best field goal kicker out there, then he will play. Right now based on last season and the limited spring practice he had, he is the best on our team. No player on this team is invisible. You have to perform in order to play, and he's a performer. I would want him to be more consistent, but as a filed goal kicker, he does a heck of a job… If we were playing today Pieratt would be our kick-off guy. Two out of the three players: Pace, Williams, and Flowers would return kick-offs, and McDonald would return punts…not redshirting a player isn't all about the ability to play special teams. If he can contribute on offense or defense that would probably dictate more than anything if he would redshirt or not…It will be quite a challenge in Tontozona coaching special teams with only one field. When we do special teams drills we split everything up. In two fields you can get a lot work done. Working with one field, will definitely change how we teach things, and we'll be behind more than I'm used too from a teaching progression. But we'll make the best that we can when we're up there, and when we come down we'll go back to practicing on two fields… As far as the tight end group, I know that people are concerned. But believe me, nobody is more concerned or analyzing the situation more than I do. Nobody feels more pressure than the coaches and players. You don't lose a tight end to the first round NFL draft everyday, especially when no one really played that much behind him. That's a very unique situation. But we are what we are, and we will work as hard as we can to get our players to play. How well will they play? That will be dictated by their god-given talents and other things. None of tight ends has played much, so we're anxious t see how they do. We don't have a lot to choose from when you have three scholarship players and one of them is a true freshman. Pinkard by process of elimination would start the season today…way too early to tell if Burghgraef would redshirt or not. How fast he grasps the learning curve, how he fits in, how athletic will he be – when you try to learn a new system your tend to over analyze and that can take away from your physical abilities…I think that our tight end situation will force us away from frequently employing a two tight end alignment. It's not like we have tow stallions out there. However, more than anything else. Having a great fullback in Mike Karney would probably be the biggest reason not to have a two tight end alignment. Not a lot of schools have a talented fullback like we do, so we'll take full advantage of it. Bottom line is that we'll put the best eleven guys on the field in based on the down and yards to go…I don't think I need to prove to all the nay sayers that we will have good tight ends on the team. If we win games with three receivers and two backs, I'll be the biggest cheerleader out there. I just want to win games and have my players play as well they can."
ASU Media Day Notes Part III
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