Caldwell Manages to Keep Spirits Up

Frustration probably doesn't come close to describing how Kyle Caldwell feels about this season. An off-season knee surgery limited him in training camp, and once he was able to heal that part of his body various other injuries have seemed to plague him every contest of the 2005 campaign. Much like other hobbled players, the defensive end was able to heal up during the bye week, and is eager to contribute and turn around his fortunes.

Having a father who played the game, in former Sun Devil star Bryan Caldwell, has helped the junior cope with the trials and tribulations that come with constantly being riddled with injuries. "It's been hard, but that's part of football," said the 6-3 270 Kyle Caldwell. "My dad went through that through out his career, so I can always talk to him about that. But injuries are part of the game. Some guys go through out their whole careers lucky with no injuries, and some guys are just snake-bitten. You just need to keep your head up, because all that stuff will make you a good person in the end."

The former Scottsdale Saguaro star wouldn't put a percentage on how healthy he is, and commented: "I'm working my way there. I'm what I can give, and that's usually hard and good effort. I'll be good and I'll be in the game plan."

Caldwell is coming off a sophomore year where he started in all 12 games, and established career highs in tackles (28), sacks (seven), and passes blocked (four). In 2005 he was forced to miss two games, and has seven tackles on the year. Some feel the struggles on the Sun Devils' defensive line are attributed to Caldwell's physical condition. However, the junior disagrees with that assessment and goes out of his way to compliment his comrades.

"These guys are doing a great job," he stated. "When I come off the field, the next guy there is giving a great effort and learning from the things I have done and the things that I've thought them. Coach says we're overachievers and we go hard every down. We may not all be 6-5 300 pounds (smile), but we get the job done."

No matter how your football year has been going, a bye week allows to heal the body and mind from the demanding rigors of the gridiron. Caldwell couldn't agree more. "Coming off the bye week we feel fresh and ready to play some football," he commented. "We've had some ups and downs, and it's too bad that Jamaal Lewis got injured during the bye week – but that's football. We can't wait to get back on the field, and we'll get the job done for sure."

While on paper a 3-3 record may be short on positives, the defensive end acknowledged that there were some things he and his team can be proud about and brining them up can definitely boost morale. Nevertheless, he also realizes that paying extra attention to the team's shortcomings is vital for improvement. "You want to focus on what went wrong, what were the breakdowns, and re-gather," he explained. "The bye week was a good time to do that. We have our heads back together now and we're good to go."

ASU's next opponent Stanford, may not having the eye-popping players or a gaudy record, but Caldwell realizes the challenges they pose. "They got a quarterback that can move around the pocket and he's their third leading rusher," he said, "so as a defensive line we're obviously gonna watch out for that. They really a technical team that doesn't turn the ball over, so you have to force them to do things they don't want to do. Laying the wood early and getting in their face will create some turnovers and make it a fun day."

Negative feelings can usually be channeled into positive energy, and Caldwell admitted that having all these vent-up frustrations erupt in the form of solid play on the field. "It will be fun to get out there. I'm good to go and I'm gonna some fun."

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