ASU Coaches Review of Camp T

We all know how head coach Dirk Koetter feels about the culmination of camp Tontozona, but how about the rest of the coaching staff? Hear what Tom Osborne, Brent Guy, and other position coaches had to say about the pre-season camp.

Special Teams and Tight Ends Coach Tom Osborne:

"At tight end we saw some good things. We saw less assignment errors, which is encouraging when you try and to put in a new offense. Typically when you scrimmage you tend to error more because of the intensity and the crowds, but we actually made more errors in practice when there were fewer distractions. You know, the players get all hyped up with the moms and the cute girlfriends (smile), but we're excited and encouraged on how well the tight ends perform. It wasn't perfect, and it never is during scrimmage. That's why you practice more. Things won't go as smooth because you're top guys are getting less reps during practice, compared to the number of reps they would get during the season…Maddox has been our starting tight end since the second day of practice. I'm pleased with his play. Pinkard has been making a push, and is a very close second. We'll continue to evaluate, and who ever is the best will be the number one guy…Burghgraef has a long way to go, like most freshmen. He's a great kid who works hard, and is very conscientious, but like most freshmen is constantly trying to learn how to play the position. To play as a skill guy in a conference like the Pac-10, is while lot of different than playing high school ball. The physical play on the offensive and defensive line, is probably the biggest reason why you don't see a lot of freshmen playing those position their first year…We made a lot of progress from the spring on special teams. I don't think we made one mistake on punt protection all camp. That fires us up. We're still trying to identify our outside cover guys, that's a big deal. We're not as efficient in the overall scheme of things, but we haven't had many practices with the full group of players. We're making huge progress, but not ready to play a game yet. We're just trying to continue and teach the system, and evaluate our guys on a daily basis. I know it's sounds generic to say that we're trying to put our best players in the best spot, but that's exactly how it is. For example, Willie Daniel is one of our best players, but will he be better at one special teams position than another. That's what we're trying to find out right now…O'Neal's injury is not only huge for the offense, but also for a punt teams. He plays many different positions on our teams. He's very good at what he does, and he does take a lot of pride in it. So, yes his absence will impact us. Injuries are just part of the game, so we have to deal with it and see who can step up in his place when he's gone."

Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Brent Guy:

"Camp Tontozona was great. It's great to be here up in nature and take a shower outdoors. It's great for team unity and comrade, which are very big on. We have a philosophy that team wins, so we're were very excited to be here. It was our first time up here, and we did a good team bringing the team closer together…As far the linebackers go, Bates is a highly intelligent guy who probably understands the defense the best, and made the fewest mistakes up here. Mason Unck has done a great job. Josh Amboi and Eric Fields are coming along. So I think those are the four guys that you'll see the majority of time from me…Overall on defense we had a great experience aside from Ben Fox. Fox has an excellent off-season where he dropped 25 pounds and worked hard on his game, and now he's gone for the year with an injury. It was good to be isolated up here, because it really gives you a chance to focus on stuff. Having no distractions it's what's important now when we teach our scheme…I couldn't say who would replace Fox. It would probably be dictated by a situation. In other words, substitution by down and distance."

Offensive Line Coach Jeff Grimes:

"I think we got an awfully good group out there, and our experience is probably the biggest factor contributing to our skills. I don't know if we're the best unit on offense or even all on the whole team, just because I think as a team we have a lot of strengths. As far as experience goes, yes we're probably the most experienced group…Obviously it's huge having all Pac-10 and all-American players like Peters and Jones on the line. It goes without saying that I'm excited about them, but I'm also excited about the other guys on the line. If we can stay healthy and progress, as we should, we can be a great line. As far as the individual honors go, the more power to them. It will make them feel better when they're 50 years old (smile). I think a lot of our leadership comes from those two. It's not so much they're stature that dictates that, but rather the type of people they are. They are natural leaders, and are very vocal. They work their tail off every day, and they earned the right to sometimes get on others. Koiser is another of those leaders…Having a senior line is always a great asset to have. In our case, it's even more valuable because we're teaching a new system. Usually the experienced guys, who have seen it all, can pick up new schemes quicker. Experienced guys are just more confident in their abilities…You can't help but look ahead to the 2002 season when our line will be much younger than it is now. You have to think ahead all the time, especially because of recruiting. Our depth chart and the development of our guys is something we constantly look at. We have to know who'll be ready to play this year or next year. We do have a lot of young talented linemen who I hope will see some playing time this year, rather than wait until next year…After spring ball I would have said we were run blocking a little better. Right now, I don't see us doing one type of blocking better than the other. We were throwing more this week, and I feel that we did a good job pass protecting…If I look at who will be the starters right now, obviously it would be Jones at LT, Koiser at RT, and Peters at C. Muldrow and Scott are still fighting for left guard, and Crawford, and Hodgdon are fighting for right guard. I can't really say right now who are the two out of the four that would start…We're not as good as we need to be. I don't think you're ever totally pleased as a coach. When you're a new coach, I think only mid-season you get to see your group really coming together and executing the calls and the techniques as they should. I pleased with the effort, but we have a ways to go. I'm confident we'll be there."

Safeties Dan Fiedler

"I can't say that I inherited the most talented group, because we moved to from a two safety scheme to a three safety one. So I can't say that I necessarily inherited the best group. We do have two very talented players in Daniel and Williams, who are very passionate about the team and our great leaders…You're always striving for perfection, but overall this group does do a very good job understanding the system. We still are making too many mental errors, a and we're still looking to find more guys who'll be battle ready for the first game. The work ethic and attitude of the group is great…Noting really surprised me when we saw Riccardo Stewart who's a true freshmen converted from wide receiver, step up to be our third safety. I didn't see him practice last year, and I didn't come with any pre-conceived notions. I didn't even watch film of last year, because I didn't want to pre-judge anyone, and I wanted an even playing field for everyone. I'm just looking for guys who are ready to play…I think we'll be solid. Since I haven't been coaching in the Pac-10, I don't know what we're up against. I know we have high goals, and I will have to push our guys to get better so we can reach those goals."

Running Backs Coach Tom Norquist

"I was pleased with the way our backs have played during camp. We're just starting to understand how to play the system. There's still a lot to be learned as far as schemes, but I'm pleased with their progression. I'm anxious to see how well they do when we finish implementing all our schemes on offense.…Flowers and Pace should be ready to go this week. All the backup backs are very talented. It's just a matter of giving them reps, and show what can they do. I was very happy how they all played when they were given the opportunity…"

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