Dirk Koetter Quotes From 2005 Football Media Day

Aug. 6, 2005

Quoting Head Coach Dirk Koetter, Aug. 6

Opening Statement:'We sure are excited to get started. We had an interesting night last night. We were five minutes into warm-ups when lightning hit so we had to sit there for an hour. Then, at about 10:00 the lights went out and we weren't quite done yet. That was an interesting way to get started. We'll practice in shells for the next two days and then on Tuesday we'll practice in pads here. We'll go up to Camp Tontozona Tuesday afternoon and have a double day on Wednesday. We've got a veteran team. They're listing us as having nine starters back on offense, but if you look at it Sam (Keller) has started before at quarterback, (Mike) Pollak has started four games for us at center and Chaz White has started off and on in his career at tackle. So we really have more than a full team that's started on offense. Rudy (Burgess) started a couple of games at tailback too. I think we really have something like 12 or 13 guys that have started on offense.

'Defensively, we have six starters back with two in the front, two linebackers and two in the secondary. We take guys like R.J. Oliver and Josh Golden for granted. Those two guys have a combined 53 starts in their careers at ASU. Having them out there has been really good the last couple of days. We have all of our specialists back and all of our return guys. We also have our holder, our kicker and our punter all back. We've also got a lot of guys that could challenge for those returner jobs. The newcomers have looked good the first two days. Yesterday, we had to practice in one big group because of summer school. Today, we did it more traditional. We worked with the young guys for an hour or so before the varsity came out. That was much better because the young guys are swimming in terminology right now.

'We're excited to get to Camp Tontozona even though the weather was not bad at all today and it certainly wasn't bad last night. We went ahead and named six captains for the season: Derek Hagan, Grayling Love, Lee Burghgraef, Sam Keller, Jordan Hill and Jamar Williams. They were voted by the team and those guys have done a nice job over the summer by taking leadership roles. When the players take ownership of the little things that they know need to be done for us to be successful it makes it easier on the coaches. I'm happy with Bill Miller and the job he's doing with the defense. We will still play 4-3 and we'll play a little more nickel. We didn't really play much nickel last year. Bill has a little different style than (Brent) Guy had. Bill is a good football coach and he brings a little bit different edge to our defense. I think that will show up four weeks down the road here.'

On the defensive line:'There are question marks there, but I'm pretty confident that the guys will step up. We have two second year junior college players in Quency Darley and DeWayne Hollyfield. We also have two new junior college players in Shannon Jones and Will Kofe. Will Kofe has looked excellent the last couple of days. We also have some veterans mixed in there. Mike Talbot is going into his senior year. He's played some other positions, but if we had a game today Mike Talbot would be one of those ends. When you look at our D-line group the depth is there. When it comes to who is going to actually win the spots, that is still a little unclear. I'm confident that it will take shape.'

On Grayling Love:'Having Grayling (Love) in the center of the line is going to be good for everybody. Grayling is maybe the smartest guy out there and he is a natural center. If you look at all those giant guys we have and that Grayling made All-Pac-10 as a tackle it's kind of funny because he's one of the smallest linemen out there. He is so smart and along with the quarterback, the center makes all of the calls out there so this is good for our team. It's good for Grayling in the long run. Also, since we have Chaz White and Brandon Rodd who have both started at left tackle in their career it gives us a lot of flexibility. Mike Pollak is going to be the new swingman for now and we're going to try and leave Grayling at center. I think that will be a huge move for our team to get Grayling back in the middle.'

On Derek Hagan:'The three things I'd like to say about Derek (Hagan) are for one, Derek is very durable and a guy that's been able to last. He doesn't miss games and he certainly doesn't miss practice. The second thing about Derek is that he can take that 15-yard catch and turn it into a big play. He's done that a lot over his career. Derek is much faster than people give him credit for. Third, Derek is a hard worker. Not all of our best players here have been great practice players. Derek Hagan is a great practice player and that sure sets a great example for the young guys.'

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