Koetter Recaps Camp Tontozona

On the first day of practice following Camp Tontozona the ASU head coach summed up the pre-season camp, as well as talking about the perpetrations for the season opener against Nebraska.

Q: Now that you're back from camp, do you feel that you accomplished all the goals you set forward for the team at the end of camp?

A: Camp Tontozona isn't a win or a loss. It's just preparation for the season. You don't know where you stand with your goals right now. I do like the team unity, and just the feel of our guys. We haven't faced adversity yet, so we'll see.

Q: What's the plan for the closed scrimmage tomorrow? What can you tell us about it?

A: What I can tell you or what I want to tell you (smile)? It's just going to be a typical last scrimmage before your first game - kind of a mock game. Practicing all situations…Half of your first game, aside from the physical part like tacking, is the logistics - running out the right guys at the right time. You can have situations like all of a sudden a guy gets hurt on the opening kick-off, punting from your end zone, onside kick. It's just different situations that come up in a game, and you have 25 seconds to get the right guys out there. We're gonna have officials there, with piped noise and Nebraska schemes. Now having your scout team imitate Nebraska schemes isn't easy. Nebraska is a tremendous option team, and one of the best cut blocking teams. We don't do much of that blocking because that's how you get hurt. Terry Richardson has done a good job of playing the option quarterback on the scout team, giving that position speed – and we know that the Nebraska quarterback will have a lot of speed.

Q: You mentioned the cut blocking. How do you prepare for such a technique when you don't really use it?

A: You'll see our defensive coaches have their guys line up in cut drills, and it's just not the same. When you watch Nebraska's wide receivers, they're just fantastic at it. We don't even allow our receiver's to cut our DB's except for a few live scrimmages in the spring and fall. It's difficult…We're gonna spend time on it this week. We'll do it for short periods, and we'll tell tem it's coming. The thing that's tough is that the they (Nebraska) can try and cut block you every snap. We can't do justice for the amount of reps it deservers.

Q: How do you pace the practices before the Nebraska game, knowing that you have to play a 13-game schedule this season?

A: I mentioned before that what you see is a lot of NFL teams not going two straight weeks of two-a-day practices anymore. Most teams don't go more than one or two days like that. We're back in the valley, and because of the heat and the fact that we're a little nicked up; we'll cut practices a little short. We're gonna have walk throughs in the morning, and cover the mental stuff without beating up our guys. That's the way it's going for not only NFL teams, but also College teams. We can't practice the 33 times that the NCAA allows us to practice before Nebraska. There's just no way that we can practice that many times, still be healthy, and have fresh legs for the first game. Especially when we have a 15-game season. There are other games after Nebraska. Sure, we're focused only on Nebraska right now, but we still have 12 games after that one.

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