Monday, August 07, 2006


Koetter emphasizes the run; blogger paralyzed in amazement



While a top-5 offense has obviously much to hang its hat on, there was one blemish on their performance - 3rd down and short yardage conversion. Lack of physical backs didn’t help the situation, but the remedy for this shortcoming lies with other factors as well. “We finished second in the Pac-10 in 3rd down conversions,” said Koetter. “3rd and one should be your best (conversion percentage), and as you get longer yardage it (conversion percentage) should go down. Well, the 3rd and one was our worst. The short yardage film makes you sick.”

“We have two bigger backs in DeWitty and Torain, so that’s part of it,” continued Koetter. “We totally had to go back and re-examine our scheme and say ‘are we putting our players in the right situations?’ We’re a huge play-action team and we probably didn’t play-action enough. A championship team has to run; when every person in the stands knows that you’re gonna run. We’re gonna have a little different mentality on 3rd and one this year, and that will start with the head coach, down to the offensive coordinator, down to the running backs coach. We don’t practice that until later in fall camp, and we will change what we do on that down.”

I suffered a minor heart attack and shed tears of joy after reading the above comments.

Well well well, the lightbulb finally came on for Coach Koetter. The above quotes came after the second day of fall practice, where it appears the Sun Devil coach actually knows what they're doing. Instead of remaining the "ASU Second-and-ten's" as my uncle calls them the Sun Devils might actually run the ball on first and third downs, thereby making the aforementioned play-action an even more serious threat. In other quotes Koetter described the 2006 Sun Devils as the best conditioned squad in his tenure in Tempe and that they are "easily the most athletic team from number 1 to number 105 that we’ve had." Heard that before, Dirk. I suppose the next thing you're going to tell me is that "the earth is round," "defense wins championships," or some other erroneus blather. Incredible, although incremental doses of football knowledge are better than none at all.

My tight end is better than your tight end.

What came as a shock to me was that Koetter acknowledged a weakness at the tight end position. He listed Zach Miller as the best TE in the country (which he is), that his older brother Brent is "solid" at the H-back position, but noted that beyond those two there is not much depth as the youngsters have not come along as quickly as he had hoped. Fellow Mackey Award watch list member Jamaal Lewis will play a "slash" role splitting time between flanker, split end, and at reserve TE. He can certainly be counted on to step up if needed as there is a wealth of young talent waiting in the wings at wide reciever, including Mike Jones, Brandon Smith, Nate Kimbrough, and token cracker/former 5A Arizona POY Chris McGaha. Florida transfer Dane Guthrie has shown flashes of brilliance but has been plagued by inconsistency. Welcome aboard Dane, inconsistency is what we Devils do best.

My backup tight end is also better than your tight end.

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