Head Coach Dennis Erickson
on keeping schemes simple
"…We're gonna keep things very very simple on both sides of the football and let them play football. We're schemers in terms of what we have to get done, but we don't make a living scheming offensively and defensively. We make sure that they (the schemes) are simple and that they (the players) can play. We have to evaluate our personnel as far as strength and weaknesses. We'll do that a lot in the next couple of months before we start camp…it's our jobs as coaches to give them the best chance to win."
on the team's defense
"I really believe the last two weeks we got a lot better. We're running to the football better and they're playing with more confidence. Because we kept it very simple, a lot of them (players) are able to just play. Luis Vasquez, for example, in the last week jumped out as a playmaker because he knows what we want. I thought on Tuesday he probably played as well as he had (all spring). We have a pretty good idea who our personnel is and who we're gonna play and when we get some of those guys back that were injured, particularly Josh (Barrett), it will make a difference."
on what else does he have to know about his players
"I think the biggest thing you need to know about your football team is how they're gonna play on Saturdays, and you won't know that until you play on Saturdays. A lot of guys practice pretty well, (but) how do they deal with pressure of games? How do we deal with the pressure of being ready to play and playing 60 minutes? Coming out of the shoot and playing hard from the start…all those things you find out when you play a football game. How are we gonna deal when we're behind? How are we gonna deal when we're ahead? How are we gonna deal on the road? How are we gonna deal against great football teams? I don't know that answer and we find that out as we go through the season."
On whether he found himself tinkering more than usual with schemes or personnel so far at ASU
"Our schemes don't change. We've been doing the same thing for a long time and we've been very successful. We change personnel and we made a couple of moves that I think will be great for this football team in Saia (Falahola) and Ryan (McFoy). They're learning the position and by the time we play (the season opener) against San Jose State they'll be pretty good. They make us faster and better on defense."
"We have our philosophy offensively and defensively, and then it's a matter of what they can handle and what our strengths are. If we're a good running team, we'll probably run the football. If we don't feel like we can play man-to-man outside, then we'll probably play with no safety in the middle and play more zone. Those are all the things we're talking about as we get into this thing and we don't know all those answers until after camp T or even later than that."
on whether there's any area he's practically concerned about
"Every area – I'm a worrier. We have to get better in every area; we have to develop starters and depth in a lot of areas. We (tried) Ryan McFoy at corner – somebody has to step up at corner. We're gonna play our best four guys (in the defensive backfield). If we have three safeties that our better than our second corner, we're gonna move Ryan over there and play our best guy…how much depth do you have? In the heat that we're playing in you'd like to play a lot of guys. You have to find out how many guys can play. You always worry about depth. I'm worried about our depth on our defensive front – that would probably be my biggest concern. And we have to have our corners step up. So those two areas on defense and we have to develop depth at receiver."
on the chances of incoming freshman cornerback Omar Bolden not redshirting with all the troubles at corner
"There may be some freshmen that will come in and play. Off the top of my head, I would think Omar would have a chance to play quite a bit."
On whether the depth at tight end allows him to play the two-tight end scheme as often as he'd like to
"It just depends how well they perform when we get into camp. I feel pretty good about our three-wide (receiver alignment). Tyrice Thompson is a wild card. He has had a great spring. Nobody had a better spring than him. He has had to play tight end, ‘U' which is a move guy at two tights; he had to play H which is a third wide."
on whether he thinks this team lacked confidence based on what he saw last year
"I don't judge anything on last year. That's the past. I don't even talk about last year. When we got here in the spring, we started from the ground floor up. We don't know them (the players) and they don't know us. They know what's happened to them in the past and they know what they need to do to get to that next level. As far as confidence, I haven't seen a lack of that out there, so hopefully it will carry out. Again, it's a test of time. A test of what happens September 1st."
on whether there's another guy aside from Thompson that has come from a low position on the depth chart to have a good spring
"Shaun Lauvao at guard has played very well. Troy Nolan has jumped up, earned a spot and has given us the ability to move Ryan McFoy to linebacker. Troy has been a pleasant surprise on defense. Like I said Vasquez is getting better. You can see Morris Wooten getting better. It will be interesting to see on Saturday… Saturday is important to me. It isn't a screw-around game. I wanna see them compete; I wanna see who wins, who loses and who plays well. It means a lot."
on how important is emotion in college football
"It's huge. It's huge in all sports. That's why they're upsets every week. That's why good teams get beat by average teams, and why no one stays undefeated. Emotion is what it's all about. It's very difficult in a 12-game season to stay at a high every week. You don't want to have a lot of highs and lows. You want to keep it as steady as you can. The thing about our league is that every team is a good team and anybody can beat anybody in our league and emotion has to do a lot with it."
on the play of Morris Wooten and his ability to be a leader on defense
"It's hard for him. He's starting to play better, and it's a lot easier to do it (be a leader) when you play well and you don't make mistakes. He's picking things up, he's a good football player, he loves playing the game and to me that's what it's all about. If you get a bunch of guys who love to play, then you have a chance."
on finishing practice early today
"Feels good. Our bodies our fresh, so hopefully we can come out fresh and play fast on Saturday. This is gonna be our last hurrah for a while, so hopefully we can get it all out of our system now."
on how he feels about the team with spring practice coming to an end
"I'm actually pretty happy with where the offense is coming out of spring. To be honest with you, I thought that with the new system, coaching staff…it would take a while to get things going. I thought we would have a lot of turnovers, mental errors…but we've actually done really well. This has been, at least for me, the most productive spring I've had. The confidence that the coaches have instilled in us – that has allowed all of us to play better as a unit. I'm very happy where we are."
on whether that confidence wasn't there for him last year
"It's different. I think the confidence may be there more because it's new. Everything is new. The coaches are new and we had to all come out here and prove ourselves again. I think for me, the coaches told me that they are confident in me and what I can do. I think that's allowed me to feel that everything wasn't on my shoulders and that I can go out there and just play and I got guys around me that can play too."
on whether the enthusiasm that Erickson brings make a difference
"I like Coach Erickson's enthusiasm. It's a lot different and it's good four our team. When you make a mistake, you're gonna get yelled at, but you will have a chance to go back in the game and redeem yourself. Guys aren't afraid to make mistakes and guys are going out and playing faster, playing harder, and playing a little better because we're not thinking that much."
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