Thursday's Post-Practice quotes

Thursday's spring practice ended short this week, as the Sun Devils prepare for another Saturday scrimmage at Sun Devil Stadium. Head Coach Dennis Erickson took it easy on his squad today to hopefully make the best out of Saturday's showcase...

"We've got to try to get something out of Saturday," Erickson said. "We did a lot of team stuff and review because last Saturday we were just really dead, our legs were dead. We just cut it back about a half hour or so. We got the things that we needed to get done and we just have to have a good solid scrimmage so I can evaluate where we're at and evaluate players and stuff like that because you cant do it out here."

Saturday will mark the end of the second week of the spring session. With two weeks of practice under their belt, the maroon and gold will hopefully show signs of improvement as they matchup against one another.

"The plan will be, we'll go ones against ones for 12 or 13 plays," Erickson explained about Saturday's scrimmage. "Start on the 35, kick some field goals that will be scripted in there, to get that done that way. Basically the ones that have been like that for a long time."

In attempt to turn things around after a disappointing 2009 season, the Sun Devils have focused their efforts on creating a more effective offensive scheme. The offensive line has come a long way since the fall and has returned this spring as an improved unit all around.

"I like where they're progressing," Erickson said of his offensive line. "They're guys that have been there that are getting bigger and stronger and faster. Garth (Gerhart) has been around, Patrick Jamison is playing pretty well, and (Evan) Finkenberg is doing a good job. Obviously Brice (Schwab) is doing a good job.

"We've got some depth and some guys who can play. (Adam) Tello is finally growing up and playing. It's nice to see them as opposed to starting as a true freshman right tackle to begin your senior year competing for a job at strong guard, I think that kind of speaks about where we've come from."

The running backs, another offensive group that struggled in the fall, are showing signs of improvement this spring, as well as increased depth at the position.

"James (Morrison) is doing a good job," Erickson remarked. "Right now with Cameron (Marshall) hurt he's our number one guy. He's improving a lot, getting better. So is Marcus Washington, he's getting a lot of turns. We've got to get Jamal (Miles) back at running back to see what he can do there too."

Sophomore defensive end, Greg Smith has caught the attention of his Coach Erickson. Playing in 10 games in 2009 as a true freshman and accumulating four solo tackles, Smith is competing this spring to secure a starting position for the maroon and gold.

"Greg has got a ways to go," Erickson said. "He really did a great job in the winter; he's about 265 pounds now. He is a heck of an athlete. He's got a long way to go technique wise and all that but he has a chance to start at that position, we just have to see what happens."

Since spring practice has begun, the depth of the maroon and gold is becoming apparent. With competition at almost every position, things are no different at safety. With several standouts so far this session, Eddie Elder, a JC transfer has proven his abilities in a more competitive, fast-paced environment.

"Eddie has looked good," Erickson commented. "There's great competition back there at safety, with everybody. You're dealing with Eddie, Keelan ,Clint and McCullen. There are some guys back there. For a junior college transfer he's starting to pick things up pretty good. He's doing a pretty good job but we'll see. The next two weeks will clear out a lot of things."

Cornerback, Osahon Irabor, impressed coaches last fall, and was expected to start as a true freshman until a wrist injury delayed his debut for the Sun Devils.

"We kind thought during camp before he got hurt that he was going to have a chance to play," Erickson said. "We felt, before he got hurt, he's a good cover guy, he's got some natural skills back there and we thought he could help us but then obviously he got hurt."

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