Olson Sees Mental Mistakes on Offense

The offense didn't fair well in Friday's scrimmage, and ASU's Offensive Coordinator Rich Olson discussed what he saw, and gave his thoughts on the various units on offense.

DevilsDigest: Coach, looked like the second and third string offense played better than the first unit. What are your thoughts on the scrimmage?

Rich Olson: "I don't ever pass judgment until I look at the film. We dropped some balls, had some penalties…when you do those things on offense you will only stop yourself. "

DD: Are you perhaps maybe a little more disappointed about the offensive performance, after they didn't play that in the scrimmage last Saturday?

RO: "We're doing some good things, but again we had penalties, missed assignments and in offensive football when you do those things you'll get stopped. On defense one guy makes a mistake and the other ten guys can rally around the football. You make one mistake on offense and you're (in a tough situation). I'm not happy with the way we played by any stretch of the imagination. To say I'm disappointed? No, I'm not."

DD: It must be comforting to you as the offensive coordinator, knowing that you do see this offense performing well in the practices before and after the scrimmage…

RO: "There wasn't a lot of enthusiasm tonight on offense, they didn't come out with a lot of fire…I think they want to hit someone else. But again, that's no excuse to coming out (without a fire). We can't make mental mistakes, we can't have penalties."

DD: Can you talk about the progression of Rudy Carpenter from the spring to the fall?

RO: "I think he makes a lot of good decisions, he doesn't turn the ball over – he'll pull it down and run with it or throw it away if he needs to. That's what he needs to do. He needs to allow the people around him to make the plays. But they have to make the plays. They dropped balls is some critical third down situations"

"He's improved in his decision making, his accuracy is pretty good, he has a command of the offense…I like the way he's playing."

DD: Same question – Danny Sullivan. How has he progressed?

RO: "He's come a long ways. He still makes mistakes at times, but he's young – it's actually his birthday today. He forces some balls at times that he doesn't need to, so he has to get better at that."

DD: It appears that Samson Szakacsy made a strong statement about being the third string quarterback…

RO: "Until we watch film it's hard to say. We have to make a decision this week (before the scrimmage on the 24th)."

DD: Even in this scrimmage the running game has preformed pretty well. What are you thoughts on this unit?

RO: "Every play we call is supposed to work. But the defense comes out hard and makes some plays. They're gonna stop us at times running the ball, but our philosophy is as the games wears on we will wear you out. As the scrimmage went on, we got better, moved the ball and scored some points. A good running game will allow you to do that."

DD: What is your assessment of the receiving game?

RO: "They're young. They made some mistakes and dropped some balls that they haven't been dropping. But they're coming along fine and just need to get healthy. They do a lot of running everyday and they're tired, sore…we have to get them back to being fresh."

DD: The fact that the team played the two-tight end with no fullback last year, help in the transition to the new offense because your scheme is somewhat similar?

RO: "I think so. They understand the blocking schemes for that personnel group. We have a lot of good tight ends and it gives us an opportunity to get a lot of them in there and block the edges. We'll be in and out of that personnel group."

DD: Speaking of tight ends, Brent Miller has so far looked great in the pre-season…

RO: "He really has. I'm excited about him. I don't know what his brother was like, but this guy is awfully good."

DD: What are you trying to achieve with the offense between now and the season opener in two weeks?

RO: "Eliminate mistakes and get some consistency to where we're gonna make first downs, move the football and not rely on a long run, like Ryan (Torain) had tonight (50 yards). You have to be able to move the ball consistently and not make mistakes."

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