Quotes from Dirk Koetter's Press Conference

Aug. 29, 2005

Tempe, Ariz. - Opening Statement:'I hope that you will get a chance to take a look around the third floor remodel and at the Tillman Tunnel. We tried to put different themes in different areas, primarily based upon recruiting and honoring past players. We are very proud of the Tillman Tunnel. The tunnel went from just a plaque on the wall to now two murals. What a great way for a Sun Devil football player to start a game, as the last thing he sees before he hits the field is a reminder of a great hero like Pat Tillman. We are really proud of the aesthetic changes and I hope we play as good as this floor looks. If we do that, then we'll be in good shape.'

On this years Sun Devil football team:'We need to play a game. We had an excellent camp in Tontozona. We were up there for ten days and put some great work in. We are relatively healthy and didn't have any major injuries. We've been sluggish since we've got down the hill. I don't like to make excuses, but it has been abnormally hot and with school starting and the changing in schedule, I think our guys are pretty bored right now and need to get out there and play. This team will chart its own course. Last year was last year and this is about the 2005 team. I trust our guys and trust the leadership of our team.'

On the movement at the safety position:'I think all three of the junior college transfers, Zach Catanese, Will Kofe, and Beau Manutai, are much improved over the spring. Zach has played very consistently. Along with Josh Golden, those two are our most consistent defensive backs. Zach may be our best overall special teams player. We have always had huge expectations for Josh Barrett but he's missed a lot practices and has worn an orange jersey, but he has looked good in the limited work with him.'

On Thursday's opener against Temple:'The fact that it is on a Thursday and on television makes it all the better. Hopefully, we will have a lot of people in the stands. As a coach, you would always prefer to play a team you know more about. The fewer surprises the better, but we studied all their film from last year. We're excited to get started and make the best of it.'

On Punt Defense:'We are going to rotate Rudy Burgess, Terry Richardson and Nate Kimbrough and get all of those guys touches back there. Rudy started the season strong but after playing tail back he tailed off a little bit. Terry finished the season on fire as a returner. Nate Kimbrough tore up our practice field last year. Punt coverage has been a little bit up and down. We've worked hard on it and have made a couple changes. We're trying to play to our strengths and hide our weaknesses.'

On concerns with this years team:'I have concerns with punt coverage and depth at defensive line and linebacker. We have a lot more new faces on defense than we do on offense. The first time you play 200 plays as opposed to controlled scrimmages, you are always a bit on edge, as a coach, to see how the team transitions from 90 percent speed to 100 percent speed. We have enough experienced players that I am confident that we'll do what we should do.'

On Randy Hill:'If he's not at 100 percent, he's pretty close. I can still see that he drags that leg a couple times. He's taking the hits and he's shown that he's not afraid to get hit in there as a runner and a blocker. He has a certain style that he brings with him. I love the way Randy is level and knows how to compete. Keegan Herring has been outstanding, he is making the jump from high school football to the largest stage in college. I just think it is much better for us to have Randy help transition Keegan in as well.'

On Sam Keller:'I feel great about the quarterback. I think Sam is where he needs to be. I think Sam has practiced the most consistently on offense. His timing been impeccable and his checks have been right on. I can honestly say, I don't think Sam has had one bad practice since we've been here. He's on top of it and excited every day.'

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