Q&A with Coach Grady Stretz

If any one group on the football team was in dire need for an upgrade from last season it was certainly the defensive line. In 2006, ASU's front four were a vital part of the team's defensive improvement. In this exclusive Devils Digest interview, we caught up with the team's defensive line coach to talk about his group's play this season.

DevilsDigest: How do you feel that the defensive line performed this year?

Grady Stretz: "I've been pleased; they made a lot of progress. Anytime you go from 114th in the country in total defense to 27 the next year, it's because of hard work and getting the job done and I think they continued to improve throughout the season."

DD: How would you assess the play of Kyle Caldwell?

GS: "Kyle has done a lot of little things that may not show in statistics. He has improved, hasn't missed a practice and he has been a real asset for our defense and had a great year."

DD: Can you talk about the play of redshirt freshman Dexter Davis?

GS: "He's a freshman All-American and he has come a long way. He came here in the spring and he didn't fit into the depth chart and by spring's scrimmage he showed he can play. He worked hard all summer, and earned himself a starting job."

DD: How helpful was it having a defensive line rotation?

GS: "I think it helped a lot. Anytime you have a bunch of unselfish guys that are in there… they're committed to finding a way to help the team. When you can develop enough depth you have the ability to play well and compete. Those guys worked their tails off getting into that situation and having that rotation kept them fresh and kept us healthy."

DD: What do you see on film in regards to Hawaii's offense?

GS: "Number one offense in the country. They have a good offensive line, they're athletic they have a great scheme and anytime you have a quarterback that has thrown for 5,000 yards and 50+ touchdowns, and one touchdown away from setting a NCAA record…We have to step up and take care of business. They have a couple big backs that run the ball hard, the quarterback throws on the run well, and they have wide receivers that can make plays."

DD: Can you sum up your first year at Arizona State?

GS: "It's a great experience anytime you can show that much improvement on defense and you have guys who have a good attitude, and who are unselfish guys…it's been a wonderful deal."

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