Second Spring Practice Marked by DL Changes

Spring practice is the perfect season for position shuffling according to Head Coach Dennis Erickson. Thus, after further review, Jon Hargis was moved from the OL back to his original position of DT. On the other hand, after a lengthily Tuesday conversation with Erickson, DE Loren Howard decided to retire from football because of health issues – namely his knee injuries.

Erickson stated that the decision to hang it up was made by Loren Howard. "Those injuries…all the things he had to deal with over along period of time…it's just not worth it for him to play," he said. "I totally agree and the doctors agree – it's just not good for him to play. He needs to get on with his life. He's the one that decided that he's not gonna play anymore, which is no question the right decision for him physically."

Unrelated to the Howard situation, a need to bolster numbers at defensive tackle (as opposed to defensive end – a position Erickson feels much more comfortable with), forced the Hargis move back to his original position, after spending just one day at offensive guard. "We had him in the offensive front, and we talked this morning and we feel that it's (defensive end) is an area where we have to develop some depth. He ran real well (at offensive guard)."

Free at Last?

Tight end Brent Miler mentioned in an interview following the first day of practice that under the new scheme the receivers have freedom to improvise on running routes, and Erickson validated that notion to some extent. "We run a lot of stuff on coverage," he explained. "They (the defense) play inside, we run it outside…a lot of teams in the country do that. There are option routes, particularly for him (Miller) inside, and outside according to coverages we change routes."

Better Second Time Around

After looking at film form the inaugural spring practice, the Sun Devil skipper felt that the Monday session went well, but thought that Tuesday's practice was even better. "We practiced at a little higher rate of speed, because we know what we're doing defensively a little more," he remarked. "We're still not where we want to be, but that will still take some time. You can't operate when you're thinking all the time, and today we didn't do that and just played faster."

Early and Positive Impression

Backup QB Danny Sullivan may have a tall order to unseat Rudy Carpenter, but that's not to say that his performance thus far hasn't caught the eye of the coaches. "I like Danny. He's smart, he has a real good arm," said Erickson. "He's obviously big, but very athletic – I like what I see. He's gonna continue to get better and better. He's a good young player. Too bad they had to burn his redshirt year, but they had to play him and that helped him."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories