Consistency is Important to Marquardt

Performing at a steady level is important to any player. Sun Devil DT Michael Marquardt is certainly no different in that regard. He did however believe that for him and his peers to achieve that feat; their position coach should be retained as the rest of the staff was going through a massive change. His plea didn't fall on deaf ears and the senior couldn't be happier.

"I felt really strongly about that," said the 6-4 295 Michael Marquardt. "I had a lot of defensive line coaches in my career – I've been through five coaching staffs since I've been to college. From what I've seen from Coach Stretz – he's by far the best…he already has a relationship with all the defensive linemen that are here, and that helps us progress even faster than we would under a new coach. And like I said he's one the best coaches out there."

Contrary to popular belief, when a new defensive scheme is introduced the defensive line has as much adjustments to go through as the rest of the defense. Having said that, he relishes in the fact that the Arizona State defensive line scheme has remained virtually untouched from 2006. "A lot of the terminology is the same," he explained, "so it's not a hard transition for the D-Line. And it helps having to work with the same coach."

Marquardt admitted that an actual practice is more challenging than conditioning, because one has to put together their technique with their conditioning. What remains to been seen as a challenge or not is how the Sun Devil defensive line will cope with the loses of two starters in Kyle Caldwell and Jordan Hill.

The depth on the front four in 2007, albeit including very few players with Pac-10 experience, is hard to ignore. Nonetheless, Marquardt chose a tempered down approach on that topic and said. "You never know how everything will work out. It's hard to say right now how deep we are and we hope all those new guys step up. We'll find further along how all those guys will do."

One matter that the defensive tackle feels isn't up for debate, is the overall improvement that the defense has experienced in one year's time. "Our improvement last year from the year before was absolutely tremendous," he claimed. "You turn on the game film and what you see is night and day. We want to be able to continue and build upon that. That's our goal and our coaching staff is demanding that from us. I know that's something we can accomplish."

Marquardt finds it hard to believe that he's already embarking on his senior season. He does realize that this status will require him to be more than ever a leader on and off the field. "I'm not such a vocal person," he admitted. "The coaches want that out of me and I try to do that. I try to lead more by the way I play, and that's something I have to work on everyday."

As much as Marquardt yearns for consistency in his performance on every down, he does hope he can elevate his overall play. "I think I can really step my game up a lot higher from what I've shown," he said.

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