Quotes From Quarterback Andrew Walter's Monday Press Conference
Oct. 13, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Following is a transcript of Arizona State quarterback Andrew Walter's Monday press conference:
What was the biggest difference this week over the previous weeks in terms of the offense?
'Partly, the defense that Oregon was playing, and partly that our offense finally clicked. We had a few big plays that we didn't get in the past this season, but Saturday our offense completed some long passes. Our hard work in practice finally paid off.'
How has the relationship with your receivers developed?
'Watching films with the receivers, communicating with them, and talking back and forth helps our communication on the field. In practice we have been at a higher tempo, and I think that carries over to the game. Practicing at a higher level makes it that much easier to be on the same page as the rest of the team come gameday.'
Why did things go so well when you were scrambling?
'There wasn't anything uncomfortable for me outside the pocket. When I scramble, I try to get the ball downfield. Some guys like to scramble to run, but I like to get the ball out of my hands, and to my receivers. Daryl Lightfoot and I were on the same page, he ran his route, and saw that I was scrambling, and kept going, and we completed some big plays. There was just good quarterback to receiver chemistry.'
Can the Oregon game be a turning point in your season?
'I hope so. I hope we can keep that going, get a win this week, and have everybody on the same page. Just because you got one win, doesn't mean you have anything else. You have to keep it going. We could use this win as a turning point.'
What is it going to be like going into the North Carolina game in the middle of conference play?
'We are heading out to North Carolina early just to adjust for the time difference. Guys understand the way the game went last year, and their eyes and ears are alert in the upcoming game. We need to focus on finishing drives. When we get in the red zone, we need the score. Last year, it was a high scoring game, and they made the big play at the end that sealed it.'
How nice was it to get the big plays going against Oregon?
'We had been talking about getting big plays all year. It was good to click on a long play. It was a pretty exciting thing to finally get a long play like that.'
Has it been a tough adjustment from last year to this year?
'Last year's team was more of a big-play, get-the-ball-down-field type of offense. This year it's not that necessarily, so it was not just me adjusting, it was a lot of guys adjusting. That's why the communication is important to make sure that we stay on the same page. We are not as deep-ball conscious as we were last year, so we are more controlled.'
How nice has the play of the offensive line been?
'The line has to be there. This year, I have a little more time with the offensive line providing me more protection so I can go through my reads and get the ball to the right guy. I don't have to worry about getting pressure, or getting hit from behind. So I have time to find the open guy. It helped out the passing game a lot, and this last week, it helped the running game.'
How many audibles do you call at the line?
'We have been checking plays at the line a lot more this year. We can check to different plays and stay in the running game. Week to week there are minor adjustments to what defense does, and things we can check in and out of. The coach wants to keep control over the offense, and we want to just make minor checks, and nothing drastic.'
How do you feel about playing a team that is 1-5?
'Just because their record is 1-5 doesn't mean they're not good. They have played a lot of hard teams. These guys are athletic as anybody. Last year after they beat us, I don't know how the rest of the season went for them, but this year its going to be on their home turf, and they are going to want to defend it. The record, to me, doesn't mean anything. Their quarterback is a mobile athlete. He can make plays with his feet, and with his hands. He is someone who can make plays all over the field.'
Are you concerned with your receivers and their roles?
'I am not worried about the things that the receivers have to do. Last year, I had to make sure that they knew the different coverage schemes and understood procedure and keep them avoiding penalties. Now everyone is gaining the knowledge and it makes it so much easier than before.'
How excited are you to be going to North Carolina?
'It's the first time for me to go to North Carolina. I guess it's a long plane ride, and the weather there is different. Traditionally the ACC pageantry is high, I don't know how many people attend their games, but I know that our team is excited to go out there and see something new, and something different. It will be a new experience.'
Will the travel time and the time of the game make this a tougher trip?
'Going out to Iowa wasn't too rough, because the game was later in the evening. This week's game will be a little earlier, and I think that is going to be the only thing for us that will make the travel harder.'
What do you remember about the UNC defense from last year?
'I remember they were all over the field. They were in the backfield a lot and we had to get the ball out fast. We will see the tape here soon, and I will remember it a little better. I remember getting hit a few times in the game last year, so I know they are in the backfield. I know they are pretty athletic.'