Q&A with Keith Patterson

Devils Digest caught up with Arizona State's defensive coordinator following Saturday's spring game.

DevilsDigest: What was your overall impression of today?

Keith Patterson: "It was pretty good. We just tried to keep the defense pretty vanilla. We just want to see guys if they can go through a progression and compete with a passion. There was a winner and a loser today, and we are trying to be a program about winning championships and to do that it has got to become a lifestyle. In every single thing that they do, compete like a champion. We wanted to be unique with our approach and I think that's what you see with our kids."

DevilsDigest: Did anybody stand out in particular to you today?

Keith Patterson: "It's always hard to tell from the sidelines because you get caught up in trying to make calls. That's what the film evaluation is for. But I thought the kids showed up with a great spirit about them today"

. DevilsDigest: Damarious Randall seems to have emerged as a leader for the defense. Talk about his progression over the spring.

Keith Patterson: "Yeah he's just a tremendous talent. We are challenging him to bring it every day, become more disciplined. He just has that natural instinct and ability. He's going to continue to progress through the summer and fall camp. We are really excited about him."

DevilsDigest: D.J. Calhoun showed up early and had a great spring atop the depth chart at the WILL spot. What is your evaluation of his performance this spring?

Keith Patterson: "It's a process. He's going to have highs and lows, but I tell you what, I'm excited about what we've seen from him. He just has to understand how we do things. It's hard to sustain focus for an extended period of time and that's a big adjustment coming from high school to college. But he's made great progress this spring and we are looking forward to his fall camp."

DevilsDigest: Antonio Longino looks the part of a solid linebacker, and plays like it at some point. Yet, he's still in the second unit. What's holding him back?

Keith Patterson: "I think it's just Tony (himself). He's got to get where he trusts what he sees. Sometimes with linebackers, it's called paralysis by analysis where they sit there and see it but they may not trust it. It just has to be a situation where he has to get a better understanding of the scheme, which he has. Now he needs to be more consistent in relying on his fundamentals and let them work for him."

DevilsDigest: Are there any players that are coming in that you are particularly excited about?

Keith Patterson: "All of them. They are all extremely talented. You never know, the ones that you think are going to come in and be no-brainers sometimes don't turn out that way. And others that you think might be a year or two away can come in and blow you away. We will see; that's what fall camp is all about. We'll evaluate them quickly and make sure we get them in the right spot to understand the defense."

DevilsDigest: What are you looking forward to this summer?

Keith Patterson: "Griz does a great job, he's the best training coordinator in the country in my opinion. The summer is about getting your mind right and spending time with each other. That's where you develop everything, because now that's where they aren't just hearing it from the coaches, they are hearing it from each other. They are all communicating and saying the same things about what we want to be as a program. That's what is most exciting to me about summertime."


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