Quotes From Lisa Love and Dennis Erickson's Monday Press Conference
Dec. 11, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. -
'I visited with you all two weeks ago and spoke with you candidly about the direction we would like our football program to go. My office is on the sixth floor and I have a pleasant view of Sun Devil Stadium out of my window. It is impossible, for the last few weeks, when I was actually in my office, to have conducted that search with out looking out into that stadium and envisioning and dreaming for what it can be and what it will be. Filled to the brim, suited up in gold, and `Go Devils' resonating until you can't hear anything else. It is the kind of excitement I've witnessed in that stadium before and I believe so strongly that we can capture and have again. So through the two weeks of the search, a lot of travel, a lot of telephone conversation, a lot more reading than I can ever tell you. I had three driving forces and it is the same three tenants that I've spoken to so many times. Who is the best fit to lead the Sun Devil football program in regards to our standards? Who fits us, `us' being a commitment to the scholarship and academic standards and the success of student athletes and
'I am really excited to be here. It is really an honor to be the coach at
On what brought him to ASU:
'If you look at my career over the years, obviously I've moved. Every moved that I've made is to meet a challenge in the business I'm in, which is college football. I've done that. When I was at the
On commitment and loyalty:
'I'm my profession and in what I want to do, I just wanted to the best that I could be. Commitment to me is doing things that you ask people to do. Commitment and loyalty are different things depending and where you are at and what you want to do with your life. The bottom line for me, leaving
On the selling points of the ASU program:
'The selling points of
On ASU's potential to grow as a program:
'We have to elevate the program. It has been done very well here. Now we have to elevate it and take it to the next level. That takes a little time, but I'm impatient. I believe that they are good football players and we want to take it to the next level. I don't know that there is a time table on it, but starting with spring football we want to start getting to that level.'
On discipline in the program:
'I believe we bring in talent. When I talk to our players we talk about what it takes to win. They play with a tremendous passion for the game. Obviously there are times when we've had penalties. But basically they play the game they way it should be played. Undisciplined, I don't see that as something that happens regularly in Dennis Erickson football at all. We play hard, we play with a passion, we play the game the way I think it should be played, and there are times we get some penalties. And sometimes that happens. Do I condone them? No, not at all. Our players will play hard and with a passion for the game.'
On assembling his coaching staff:
'I've made a decision on a couple, (former ASU offensive coordinator) Dan Cozzetto, who was here before, will be with me. And (current ASU cornerbacks coach) Al Simmons, who was on the coaching staff with me in
On coaching in the NFL:
'I did not regret the
On learning from having coached in the NFL:
'You learn something every step that you take. Football has changed. X's and O's are different. But you learn a lot about life. I've made a lot of mistakes through out my life and I've learned from all those mistakes. I believe I'm a much better football coach than I was, dealing with players, the X's and O's part of it, learning how to play the game the right way. Things like that, you learn as you make mistakes in your career.'
'What I told the players when I left at the
On learning from his career as head coach of the
'I learned that the NFL does stand for `not for long' league and that things do change real fast there because it's quite different. The year that I sat out, I had a year to sit out in
On the projected length of his coaching career:
'I don't know if there is a time table for anything. I'm here to build a program. And to build a program that the people here at
On the projected length of Erickson's coaching career:
'My conversation with him was along the lines of program build and how you do that and how to sustain a program if he coaches for 10 years, eight years. I don't know that. I don't go in naïvely say that there is some kind of predicted outcome or timeline or anything like that. I think that's a naïve approach to people in this business and to careers. What we focused on is what he can contribute to this program and that it's for the long haul. And if it's not, we'll go hire another great football coach. But in this stint right now, I believe Dennis Erickson will lead our `troops' for a really long time. I don't work in terms of hypotheticals, `what ifs' or `give me absolutes.' It's just not reality and I think that's just a little naïve.'
On responding to his critics:
'I believe at the
On Erickson being compliant to NCAA rules:
'Because of those three tenants I mentioned, I read the transcripts and findings and consultations with the compliance officials with regards to the
On Academic Progress Rate (APR) requirements:
'Well the APR to me is one of the greatest things to happen in college athletics and the reason being, everyone is held accountable as far as graduation. The way that it is structured is that these athletes have to take certain units towards graduation and requirements, so that when they are done playing they've graduated or they're really close. Does it affect your recruiting? No, not really, because you have to evaluate regardless of that rule or any rule. You have to evaluate guys that can be successful not just on the football field but also academically.
On his expectations for ASU football...
'(I expect) to be very competitive. Like I said earlier, (I expect) to compete for the Pac-10 Championship, and to compete to go to the BCS. To be competitive in that arena, that's what it's all about. Obviously as well all know, the Pac-10 is a great football league. Teams have gotten better, so it's competitive year-in-and-year-out. But that's our goal, and occasionally if you fall short of it you're still going to have a pretty darn good season.'
On coaching in the Pac-10 Conference:
'It's been a large part of me. It's where I was born and raised. When I was at
On Erickson's ambition:
'I might add something to that, with regard of where Coach Erickson has been in the last 20 years or so. Ambition doesn't bother me at all. As a matter of fact, in hiring staff in our department last year I was only hiring people if they aspired to have my job. I understand that, and I understand when you look at his career track that he wanted to grab the brass ring in the NFL. He wanted to go from a Division 1-AA program to a 1-A program to a BCS conference to a
On immediate plans for recruiting:
'Right now I'm going to meet here with in the next couple days with the staff here. The biggest sense of urgency is in the junior college players that can sign on December 20, and where they thought this program was, as far as needing immediate help. After that we will talk about the high school recruiting and go from there. But right now that's the immediate thing and where we will go junior college wise.'
On speaking with the Sun Devil team:
'I talked with them today before I came in here. The two biggest things I talk to them about are the two biggest things for them right now which are finals, which they are in right now and preparation for the (Hawai'i Bowl) game and go and play for Coach (Dirk) Koetter and his staff, which is a great staff and get ready to play that football game. The other stuff can wait until they get back.'
On offensive and defensive philosophies:
'Offensively, we are going to be somewhat similar to what you have seen. Although we would probably try to run the football. A lot of it depends on personnel. As you know if you've watched my teams, we will spread them out. We will probably be a one-back, two tight ends and those types of things. I really believe you have to throw it and get it down the field, but you have to be a physical running football team and a physical team on defense. To win consistently the word `physical' is such a key. If there is one thing I can say offensively or defensively, we are going to run a 4-3 and we are going to blitz, but we are hopefully going to be physical on both sides of the football.'
On changes in the Pac-10 since he last coached in the conference:
'The conference has a lot more equity. The conference is a heck of a lot more even. If you look at the programs and how much better a lot of them have gotten. Obviously the emergence of USC now over the last four or five years has made a difference. But they've all improved.
On what is necessary to elevate a program:
'Personnel, recruiting and attitude (all help elevate a program). Dirk (Koetter) has done a good job here, he really has. You just have to look at it. I mean, how do you get better, as a coach you go into your program and evaluate your players. Speaking about