Dennis Erickson Likes What He Sees Out Of His Team With Just Days Remaining Before The Kickoff Of The 2010 Season
September 2, 2010 – 10:30 am by Bunk
It’s hard to keep Dennis Erickson down. He’s found a way to remain in the national spotlight as a college football coach throughout his career. First it was Miami, then Oregon State, and now Arizona State. Yes, the Sun Devils stumbled a bit last year, but don’t count on them faltering again this coming season. It’s just not something Erickson’s teams have done repeatedly throughout his career. It all begins in a few short days for ASU when they take on Portland State in Tempe.
Erickson joined KTAR in Phoenix to talk about naming Steven Threet the starter at quarterback, if he plans to use both him and Brock at QB throughout the season, the new and improved lot of playmakers on offense compared to recent years, and what he feels his defense is capable of in 2010.
On what led him to name Threet as the team’s starting quarterback to start the season:
“Well, basically during the spring it was very close between him and Brock. They were kind of up and down as far as who was going to be the starter. But the biggest thing, and it was both of them, they really got better as far as what we were doing offensively. And the bottom line is the light has gone on with Steven as far as reading things, getting the ball out of his hand quick. Obviously he’s played at Michigan, good leader, and basically it’s just how he’s executed the last couple of weeks. Brock’s not far away. It’s a good problem to have because Brock has improved quite a bit. So Steven will get the nod and he’ll be the starter, and obviously we’ll play Brock some. We’ll just see how it goes as the season progresses.”
On if he plans on playing both quarterbacks even if Threet goes out there and performs well:
“Oh, no. If Steven goes out and does what we think he’s going to do, then Brock will be his backup. I mean, that’s how it’s got to be. But hopefully Brock gets some experience. I mean we’re obviously not in a position where we can redshirt him at all. He’s got to play, and you never know what can happen in a 12 game season. So hopefully he’ll some opportunities to get better in practice. But if Steven goes out and does what we think he can do then we won’t make any changes. Ideally that’s what you would like to have happen.”
On what is most important for his quarterback to execute in new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone’s new system:
“Reading things, getting the ball out of his hand quick. We run a bunch of different motions and different motions, and understanding what happens with that motion as far as if we’re going to throw it or hand it off. If he sees blitz, being able to handle that. But it’s relatively simple for them to see things, but they’ve got to see it, they’ve got to understand, they’ve got to understand their reads. And more than anything, it’s being accurate. Accuracy is the key, and getting the ball out of their hands quick.”
On there being more playmakers at the skill positions on offense than in years past:
“Yeah it’s a lot different than we’ve been the last couple years. You can start at running back. We’ve got Deantre Lewis and Jamal Miles who’s playing there now – and they add so much speed to what we’re doing. And Cameron Marshall will of course be our starter. But you get the ball to those two out in space and they bring us some speed and home run ability in our running game. We saw Jamal some last year, but we’re going to keep him at just one position right now. And Kyle Middlebrooks is a new freshman that we’re going to move around. And then the two junior college receivers, Michael Willie has been very, very impressive as far as making plays. And plus the guys that we’ve got coming back. T.J. Simpson has had a good camp, Kerry Taylor has had a good camp. So we’ve got speed and we’ve got skill that we haven’t had the last couple years. So I’m excited to watch because I think you’ll see more big plays this year out of our offense than you have the last three years”
On his defense and how he’s feeling about it heading into the new year:
Well obviously we’ve got good depth. We’ve had some injuries at defensive tackle the last week or so Corey Adams and Toa are both going to be out for a couple weeks. They’ll be back. Of course, Lawrence Guy and Saia were extremely good there, and Bo Moos has played very well for us. We’ve got six hands that we feel we can play, so our linebacker corps has been well known…we’ve got some depth there. Probably the biggest surprise on defense for me has been our safetys and particularly our corners. We feel like with Devron Carr and Boldin we have two corners who can come up and play man coverage which allows us to do more things. Then our safetys…we have some depth there. So we’re excited about that. If we can stay healthy up front, obviously we’re going to do some things with the 3-4 with the linebackers that we have. Obviously we’re not going to be in it all the time, it will be a change up.”
Listen here to Erickson with Doug & Wolf on KTAR in Phoenix
Tags: 2010 College Football season, Arizona State Sun Devils football, Dennis Erickson, most successful college football coaches, PAC 10 predictions