Mazzone sees good fit with Sun Devils

Throughout his 23 years of coaching in the college ranks, Noel Mazzone admitted being a fan of ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson and his style of offense. Thus, he was naturally excited when he got the call to interview for the offensive coordinator position in Tempe and was elated when he was officially named today as the Sun Devils' newest member of the football coaching staff.

"I've known Coach Erickson since 1988 when I was just a young coach," Mazzone told Devils Digest Monday evening. "I learned a lot of football from him. I had a chance to work for him for a year.

"He's one of the top head coaches and I'm fired up to come to the Pac-10 and work for Coach Erickson. I know he talked to a lot of good candidates so I'm happy I got the job."

Mazzone served as an offensive coordinator at Mississippi, Auburn and North Carolina State. He spent the last four years with the New York Jets as a wide receivers coach and in this past year as personnel consultant.

When it comes to offensive philosophy Mazzone stated that he feels "some common ground" with Erickson, which would obviously ease his transition into ASU's offensive coordinator position.

"I visited his staff when he coached at Washington State and Miami," recalled Mazzone. "I worked under him at Oregon State one year. So we both speak the same language. We both ran a spread offense, a fast-paced attacking style that is diversified. That's what we are going to run here and we'll work on improving the offense."

ASU's newly appointed offensive coordinator is known for his quarterback development skills and starting in spring practice he will oversee a battle between three fairly inexperienced Sun Devil signal callers and will ultimately decide who will get the nod it the 2010 season opener.

"That's what I love to do," admitted Mazzone. "That's my field – working with young quarterbacks and see them grow. I'm really looking forward to that."

Recruiting wise the maroon and gold are looking to sign a quarterback in the 2010 class, and Mazzone upon his arrival in Tempe will evaluate a number of prospects that have already been scouted by the Sun Devil staff.

"I really look forward to recruiting again," stated Mazzone. "I missed that when I was in the NFL. I recruited Dallas and Houston for 16 years when I was in the Southeastern Conference. In my last few years coaching in college I concentrated on recruiting the top quarterbacks in the country in different areas (of the country)."

Mazzone remarked that when recruiting a quarterback he looks first and foremost at intangibles, before examining physical abilities.

"I'm looking for a player that can step in and command the game;" explained Mazzone, "make good decisions, someone that is a student of the game. After that I start looking at the size, the speed, strength and all that.

"I believe that there is a lot to be said about someone who can come in and have that ‘It' factor."

Mazzone enjoyed his four years with the New York Jets, learning the various aspects that go into a professional football team.

"It was definitely interesting learning the game from the NFL perspective and how they approach it," commented Mazzone. "I really learned a lot about the organizational detail there.

"But I always missed the college atmosphere, the players and the bond you form with them. I coached a lot of good college players like Philip Rivers, Jason Campbell, Ronnie Brown and Deuce McAllister and I'm looking forward to getting back into that again."

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