Meetings Result in Emergence of Vocal Leadership

In the past, head coach Dirk Koetter stated that his team's personality is more business like than vociferous. However, through out the individual meetings he conducted with his players earlier in the week he witnessed a shift in that attitude.

"That's the one of the things some of the players told me," Koetter said. "I asked the players three questions: what they can do individually do to help our team, what they think our team needed to do better, and what they think I needed to do better. Several of our upperclassmen said that one way they can help is be more vocal. I agree with them. I think they could, and I think they have done that in Tuesday's and Wednesday's practice."

As far as the other outcomes of his conversations, the Sun Devil skipper claimed that the results would ultimately reveal themselves on Saturday. "We don't know what we accomplished until we see how we come out and play in a game," exclaimed Koetter. "I learned a lot of good things. I learned where our guys hearts and minds were, what they thought we should do to move forward and if they are willing to do that. I think their response in practice has shown that they are willing to take the first two steps, which are Tuesday, and Wednesday practice. Now, we have to take it between the lines on Saturday."

With the 2003 season winding down, some of the Sun Devil followers have in essence written the season off. Naturally, Koetter chooses not to take that approach. "Everybody wants me to put an obituary on the season," stated the ASU coach. "We got our butts kicked last week, and in life when you get your butt kicked you better not quit and go in the tank. Regardless where are right now we have three games left, and it starts with Stanford this week. We have nine seniors that are playing a lot of football, and they have a chance to go out with a winning season."

"Everyone associated with ASU football starting with me and trickling down to the water boy is embarrassed by the Cal game," continued Koetter. "It happened. It's over. We can't go back and change it. All we can do is move forward, try not to let it ever happen again, and get back to playing the ASU football we want to see and all our fans want to see."

Koetter said that generally all players took a long hard look in the mirror, and realized their mistakes. However, with such a large group people one can expect players to each take their own individual approach to correcting one's flaws. "There's a lot interchangeable parts when you have 117 players on a football team," said Koetter. "There's a lot of soul searching that goes on. Players to players. Players to coach…there are a lot of dynamic parts with a football team. Unfortunately, last week there were all going the wrong way. It was a bad bad day for ASU football. But there's gonna be good days in the future too." And the future starts in less than 48 hours in Palo Alto.

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