"But that's a lot better and you really don't know until next Saturday. I'm happy that we don't have to hit each other any longer. It's getting old."
Erickson said that even though the NCAA mandates practicing five weeks before a team's season opener for safety reasons, he's not sure that the intent of that rule is being achieved.
"You practice pretty much all that time," Erickson explained, "whether it's two-a-days or it isn't. It really is a long time."
*** The upgrade this year on the various offensive positions is easy to recognize, and if you thought that the quarterbacks unit has been especially impressive in fall camp you are in good company.
"It might be as good as I ever had," Erickson said about this year's signal callers group. "We have three older guys who can all play and I would be confident putting any of those kids in. Taylor Kelly to me has a huge future from what I've seen on (his high school) tape and backed up even more with what I've seen here in this period of time."
Consequently, the selection of the starting signal caller on Monday will be anything but choosing the lesser of two evils.
"This is a choice of good players," Erickson stated. "It's not like you're choosing someone just to play. They all are competing pretty well and they all are picking (the scheme) up. I would feel good with any of those guys."
*** The depth at the safety position is probably the most unsettled on the team. Aside from starter Clint Floyd, a few players are battling to start alongside the junior or at the very least be the first ones of the bench.
Like most of the players here, JC transfer Eddie Elder has been inconsistent in fall camp which may be surprising after turning heads in spring practice with play. Nonetheless, Elder perhaps had his best session this month collecting an interception (a throw by Osweiler) and two pass deflections.
"He really did jump out today," Erickson commented on Elder. "At safety you'll probably see four, five guys play next Saturday night. Other than Clint I don't know if (the depth chart) etched in granite."
The Sun Devil skipper added that Floyd is a player who rarely makes a mistake.
"He's a good athlete and he's becoming more physical," Erickson noted. "He has that playing time last year and got hurt and that has happened to us a lot on the secondary last year. So we really have a lot of players coming back who played last year." *** It's hard to standout in a deep and talented wide receiver unit, but junior T.J. Simpson has undoubtedly made his mark in camp, especially in the last couple of weeks.
"He's probably been as pleasant of a surprise that we've had," Erickson remarked. "Coming off that ankle surgery and he's catching the football way better than he did a year ago and he has worked hard on that. Even when he was hurt and couldn't run he was on that Jugs machine.
"He can fly and he comes off the ball as good as anybody we got. I'm very happy. He's smart and he can play a number of different (wide receiver) positions."
*** Defensive tackle Corey Adams's string of bad luck with injuries continues. The sophomore didn't finish last season due to a back injury which was operated on in December. Early in fall camp he suffered a concussion and recently while possibly playing the best he has ever had at ASU he tore his meniscus and will have his knee scoped on Friday. He's expected to be sidelined for two weeks.
Bo Moos slid into the third team with Adams' emergence, and now has been able to reclaim his spot on the second team. Erickson said that the junior has been playing well for a while.
"Bo was solid for us last year," Erickson stated. "He's solid against the run and doesn't make mistakes. He holds the point real well and makes plays. More than anything he opens opportunities for linebackers to make plays and that's what those tackles are about.
"He's been in the program for four years now and has grown bigger and stronger."
*** The team's mock game tomorrow night will be a walk through and won't involve any contact. The Sun Devils are off Saturday and back for a 45-minute no pads session on Sunday where they will start their preparations for Portland State, which is somewhat of a challenge because of the new coaching staff there which will likely employ schemes the Vikings didn't play last year.
"We don't have any film on them," Erickson said, "so we go back to what their coaches did before."