Sunday, August 05, 2007


It looks like we lost a reader

Rudy Carpenter, when asked what he thought about Rudy Carpenter-related blogs:

“I used to see that stuff all the time, and coming into this season I decided I wasn’t going to pay attention to that stuff anymore. The only blogs that make me mad is they always want to talk about me and Matt Leinart and Brynn Cameron. I don't understand why that's a big deal.
While this blog has been less than admirable of Carpenter's on-field performances in the last 13 months, I make it a rule of life to stay away from the baby momma drama, whether it's mine or somebody else's. Carp had plenty more to say after Saturday's practice, and the Trib's Scott Bordow offers this piece on Rudy's duality and the fun he's finally having.

There's plenty of special interest bukkake surrounding the first week of practice. Keegan Herring's personal struggles are front and center at the AZ Republic:

It's impossible to see through his megawatt smile to what the 20-year-old is feeling inside.

His father, Freeman, died Feb. 14 at age 47. His 23-year-old sister, Denisha Washington, died June 17. His aunt died two days after his sister, and he recently lost one of his best friends.

"Life is not easy right now," Herring said Saturday.
Rudy Carpenter has said publicly that he's going to do everything in his power to get Keegan the season's first touchdown. Other players and coaches have been supporting him, making sure he doesn't travel down the wrong path:

"I remember how I was, and I didn't handle it very good," said [ASU running backs coach Jamie] Christian, then a fullback at Fresno State. "I did a lot of bad stuff because I couldn't deal with the loss. I am keeping an eye on him. He's 10 times better than I was, the way he's handling it. It's hard, but the kid has got so much spirit. There's going to be days he'll be up and days he'll be down. I understand that."
Some may remember former Sun Devil Daryl Lightfoot, a young receiver with a ton of talent that unexpectedly lost his father in 2002. D-Light was suspended from and eventually quit the team for rules violations within months of the incident, so it's good to see everyone rallying around Herring. Every personal account I've heard or read states that Herring is a class guy with a lot of character, hopefully that will translate to success in life in the wake of these terrible tragedies.

* Coach Erickson spoke at length about the team's progress in the early stages of fall practice and addressed his relationship with ASU's director of football development, Frank Kush:

“Well I have to go up to the sixth floor from the third to see him. That ride up there is scary sometimes because you know that you are going to get either punched or hit or blocked or tackled, and you better make sure your technique is correct. Being around Frank Kush is the greatest thing that can happen to me. I have been an idol of his…he has been an idol of mine (laugh), I’m starting to sound like Michael Irvin. He has been an idol of mine for years and years. Ever since I started coaching I watched his teams."
Those in attendance at the press conference got a kick out of Eazy-E's self correction regarding the idol remarks and they were mentioned in both papers on Sunday, but no one has said diddly about the fact that he's afraid of getting punched or hit by Kush, a man who lost his job for assaulting a kicker. Even in jest, you know Kush is still pissed about that scumbag kicker and he's not a man I would mess with, even in his old age. I still think it's great that the pope of ASU football still gets a seat at the table.

The East Valley Tribune has a brief piece on sophomore defensive end Dexter Davis, who was expected to be little more than a warm body coming into last season but surprised many by leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss. Brandon Rodd talks about lining up against Davis everyday in practice:

After a year of going at each other, Rodd has an idea of what’s coming when Davis lines up opposite him. Rodd simply calls it ‘The Move,’ when Davis bursts around the edge, leaving the offensive lineman flailing. Rodd might not be able to stop it every time, but at least he knows what’s coming.

The younger players have no chance.

“He does The Move on me every day,” Rodd said. “I see it now, because I’ll watch film and say ‘That’s The Move.’ In practice I’ll walk up to him when he’s going against the rookies and I’ll tell him to do it. He knows that move is deadly.”

“He’s unbelievably quick,” Rodd said. “You wouldn’t even imagine just looking at him how fast he is. He’ll turn on the juice on the edge, and if you’re a big ol’ offensive lineman, you’re not keeping up with him.”
Defensive line coach Grady Stretz was skeptical of the undersized Davis' talent when he came to Tempe two years ago, but his work ethic coupled with his speed and leverage have proven Stretz and the rest of us wrong. Stretz had this to say:

“He had some tools, but he was just extremely raw. Early on in spring, in all honesty, I questioned how good a player he would end up being here.”

A few quick practice notes:
• Of the WRs, Erickson has been most impressed by Mike Jones, but he's been a practice all-star in the past without carrying it over to games.
• Eazy-E said that Kerry Taylor “is as polished of a receiver out of high school as [he has] been around in a long time” and he may not redshirt.
• Since Troy Nolan and Josh Barrett have the safety spots locked down, Jeremy Payton is getting some practice reps as a nickel back and at corner. CB Jarrell Holman is being moved to a backup safety role to make room for Payton.
• Kyle Williams was planning on playing baseball throughout spring practice, but after the coaching change he felt he owed it to the new coaching staff to concentrate full-time on football, even at the expense of ASU's College World Series losses.

I've done a little touching up around thanks to Mark, who started a brand spankin' new ASU blog, Pitchfork Nation. It's well written, looks professional, and it's promptly updated- it's basically everything this page isn't. Thanks Mark, hopefully we can push each other to be better like the running backs and not compete where one of us quits like last year’s quarterbacks. Lord knows I need the help.

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One thing I have noticed is Rudy loves to talk to the media. Not about just the game, but who he is and what he is feeling. Jake, Walter, and even Sam weren't like that. Is Rudy too much of a drama queen, more worried about what he's doing looks like on TV than how it can advance the ball down the field? Time will tell.
He strikes me as the no nosense type who won't let that sort of thing get in his way. He is a gym rat by many accounts, and he totally downplays all the stuff going on between himself and Matt Leinart's baby momma. Ryan Kealy he is NOT.
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