Post-Scrimmage Quotes

Head Coach Dennis Erickson and his players comment on the first spring scrimmage.

Dennis Erickson

His general thoughts on the scrimmage

"Offensively, particularly that first group executed extremely well. Got a lot of big plays that we're capable of doing, because we do have some athletes…the good thing about it is that we have some young guys that we're counting on that kind of jumped out, practically at receiver. Kyle (Williams) and Brandon (Smith), Chris McGaha made some plays. We ran the football pretty well too and once you do that there's a lot play-action pass over the top. That's our offense – we'll spread you out and then we'll come back with two tights and try to keep the defense off-balance…it was a good day offensively."

"On the other hand, defensively if you look at the tape we did some good things, as far as sustaining drives and keeping them out of the end zone. The problem is that we made too many mental mistakes and gave up big plays, which is easily correctable. If the offense just went up and down the field, five yards and a cloud of dust, that would be different. So, physically we got the talent to be a lot better. We just made too many mental mistakes and that happens. The other thing was, Thomas Weber…that dude can hit it. They (his field goals) go high…I told him ‘you made all these field goals; I had to put you so far back (attempting a 55-yard field goal).' He'll be a heck of a weapon for us. It was good to see that, good to see punt coverage…we can get a lot of things done tape wise looking at that stuff."

"For the first time out…it's a learning process. I remember when I had this happen before, the next week the defense gets motivated and turns it around. We have to get better on both sides of the football. It's like I told them ‘this isn't easy – this is hard.' It's physical, and we'll make it physical because that's how the game is. You can't make it any other way. That's how it's gonna be on Saturdays."

On whether the lack of depth at wide receiver was the reason for the 2nd team offense struggling in the passing game?

"Without a question. We have guys sidelined. Mike (Jones) tries to go, but he's hurt. When we get Rudy (Burgess) back that will make a difference. Keegan (Herring) and (Nate) Kimbrough are out…the two freshmen (wide receivers) will help us. The good thing about a lot of people missing practice is that those other guys catch up. I know one thing, if I'm on this team, I don't want to sit out too many practices. I don't want to sit around with little bruises and stuff, because those other guys will fly right by them. That's what it's all about – you have to play through pain. We have some guys that can't (practice). I understand that…sometimes you get something sore and a guy goes right by you and you get healthy real fast."

On Rudy Carpenter On looking relaxed and confident

"He knows what he's doing and we've let him play and I've always done that with quarterbacks. You can't make them so mechanical…just let them play. He's a natural player. If you watch him throw and all…he wouldn't win an Emmy, but he gets things done."

On whether he's pleased with the team at this juncture of spring practice

"I am. We made too many mental mistakes defensively, that's probably the biggest disappointment of the day. But it also can show you that making big plays can turn things around. We fumbled; defense picks it up, takes it 90 yards and scores. That's a 14-point change in a matter of 30 seconds. That's something we can point out and say ‘this is what could happen if this was in a regular game.'

On coaching back at Sun Devil stadium for the first time in a while

"I had some good ones (memories) and some bad ones. I've been on both sides of it over here. I know one thing, if I can get the Pac-10 rule to change when we play during the day and be on that side (pointing to the shadier sideline of the stadium)…"

Rudy Carpenter

On going back to ‘Old School' ASU style throwing the ball for big plays

"I say ‘New School' under Coach Erickson. Today was fun getting back in the stadium and playing again. I'm looking forward to next week (Saturday scrimmage also in the stadium)."

On being relaxed during the scrimmage

"I've been trying to work on some little things so far in this off-season and that's just one of them – learn to relax a little bit. Just play and not worry about all the other things that are going on. I think today, over spring ball…it's really showed and hopefully I can carry this over to the season."

On the play of Williams and Smith being at a high level all of spring

"The thing about this offense is that it allows me to get the ball out fast and let those guys make some plays. Fortunately, that's what they've been doing. They've been catching the ball and making plays after (the catch). That something we didn't do last year...we couldn't do it. If we can do that on a consistent basis we'll be hard to stop. So, I look forward to those guys getting better."

Kyle Williams

On his play during the scrimmage

"It's always fun to get out here and make plays. That's what I'm put out to do. I'm just loving this offensive scheme right now. As along as I can keep on making plays, hopefully I'll get on the field. I expect to do this kind of stuff, because you work on it so much and do it in practice. It's (the scrimmage) just another practice. It is kind of on a bigger stage because it is in the stadium, but it's still practice and we got to do what we got to do."

On whether the timing between him and Carpenter can be any better right now

"Right now we're just clicking. Hopefully we can keep this going and carry it over to the season, because right now it's looking real nice." On making plays through various types of catches

"That's what this offense is all about. I can do so many things, they throw me in positions where I can do bubble screens, go deep…I'm just loving it right now. Once we get Kimbrough, Burgess and Mike Jones back to full health it's gonna be scary."

On the big 70-yard touchdown he had down the sideline and the block he got from Brandon Smith

"Brandon took care of that corner and I just had to do just one move and run. It was easy to get around. We stress in our meetings ‘protect your buddy.' When you make blocks you're gonna make plays."

On how much more comfortable he is from playing last fall

"I'm way beyond…it's so much easier right now. After you get your feet wet a little bit and get in the game…it's a different experience and the game is a lot different. It's not moving 2,000 miles per hour anymore. You can analyze and see what's going on. You play fast, but not in a hurry. I'm way ahead of last year."

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