Quotes From Dennis Erickson's Weekly Press Conference
Sept. 21, 2009
On how Georgia is this year in comparison to last:
'I think they're every bit as good as they were a year ago. Obviously they are getting better. When you lose a guy like Knowshon Moreno and Matt Stafford offensively it hurts you early, but Joe Cox is playing extremely well at quarterback. The last two weeks I didn't see any drop off. They are awfully talented. They've got them stacked up. They have for years. They have great speed offensively and they have depth at receiver. They're just an awfully good football team. A.J. Green might be as good of a receiver as there is in the country and they make a lot of plays defensively, very similar to what they were last year.'
On what he tells the team to prep them for the experience of playing at Georgia:
'I don't know that you can tell anybody about an experience like this. Playing in the South East Conference is going to be a tremendous experience for us; the fan base and the respect that football has [in Georgia]. You talk to our players about it and they're excited to go down there and experience [that]. It's going to be fun; they're looking forward to it. You can't tell anything about some of the places that I've been fortunate to go in my coaching career. Until you go in there and experience it you just don't know.'
On the points Georgia's defense has given up in their last few games:
'When you give up points there are a lot of reasons for giving up points: it can be field position, it can be turnovers, it can be a lot of different things. I don't see any difference in them between this year and last year to be honest with you.'
On if being pushed in camp has helped Omar Bolden in starting position:
'It helped all three of those guys [Bolden, Pierre Singfield, Terrell Carr]. It's given us some depth and all of those guys are playing better. We had competition at number of positions in camp and I believe it's made us better. It really has at that position. Josh Jordan who has been hurt off and on came in because Omar had a bit of a pulled hamstring, and I thought Josh came in a played pretty well, so we're starting to develop some depth at corner, but obviously the competition in camp made a big difference.'
On if Georgia's ranking makes a difference going in to Saturday's game:
'I don't believe it makes any difference. They are playing the opponent. We're just excited to go down there and play obviously our first two games, although Louisiana-Monroe had some athletes, we'll find out a little bit more about what we are as a team that's the bottom line. It doesn't matter who we are or what their rank is. We're [asking] right now: 'Where are we at as a football team?'; that's my biggest concern. As we go into these next 10 football games, obviously it's a very difficult schedule that we play, we're 10 straight now starting with Georgia and going into our league. It will be interesting to find out exactly where we're at when we go down there and play.'
On Saturday's game against Louisiana-Monroe: 'We did some things that were pretty good. The penalty situation was inexcusable, we had 12 of them, and if you go down there you're going get beat badly at Georgia if you have that many penalties. We had some dumb ones that we haven't had around here. We had a couple of personal fouls and a couple on some things up front that we're trying to get straight as far as how people are looking at it--cut block and so forth--because everyone kind of looks at differently, but it's how the official looks at it. We had some undisciplined penalties and you can't have that. That's probably the biggest thing that jumped out that we've got to continue to work on. There were some good things: we played pretty well defensively, we gave up some yardage and everybody is wondering, 'Gee, they got a first down', but that's just how it is. Again, every part of our football team, we're going to find out more about us when we play this week.'
On Thomas Weber's injury:
'I don't have an answer for you on that. I know he's getting an MRI this afternoon and we'll know more about it. You want to have Thomas Weber when you go to Georgia, I just don't know what that situation is.'
On Bobby Wenzig:
'To be perfectly honest he had not kicked that much so I wasn't sure what to expect. He didn't jump out at me at camp, by any means, but he is who we had and I thought he did a good job. He came in and he kicked off good. He knocked through all the extra points and knocked through the field goal when he had a chance so it's pretty hard to complain. It might be a little different for him kicking down there than it was here.'
On Georgia's passing game:
'They have tremendous skill. AJ Green might be as good as there is and then Michael Moore is their second leading receiver who they move around and play him in the slot quite a bit. All their backs catch well, their front is good and their quarterback is playing really, really well right now so they create a lot of problems and they create it with play action pass because they run the football really well. They get the deep ball and they get big plays just because of their skill out there. They are a typical really, really good Southeast Conference team.'
On if he can take anything from their Georgia match up last year:
'They pretty much dominated us. We didn't play very well and they played well. We had chances in that game but we were playing here and that was an awfully good team that we played and we weren't, as time showed, a very good football team. We look at the game because they don't change a whole lot offensively and defensively in what they do, so we can look at that and look at the things that we are attempting to do and get some sort of an idea.'
On Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt:
'I've known Mark for quite awhile, he played at Miami many, many years ago, before I got there. He's done a wonderful job. What can you say about what he's done? They have a great tradition, they win all the time, it's a great venue to play in and Mark has done a great job in taking that program. He has come in there and developed a really solid program over a period of time.'
On how the Pac-10 looks:
'It's like I thought it would be. Sarkisian has done a great job at Washington, there is no doubt about it those guys play their rear ends off. You have to remember one thing about the University of Washington: the guy behind the center he's a pretty good player and he can make plays. When it gets close he can make plays. This league is so even you just don't know what's going to happen.'
On how he feels about ASU's offensive line this year as compared to last year:
'I feel quite a bit better. We're much more solid, we have more depth. We're playing a little bit better, technique wise and so forth we made some moves to get our best players in the right positions I believe. As we go through the next ten weeks if we lose a guy or two we'll put people out there who play pretty well. I like where we're at. Are we a great offensive line? No, but we're getting better all the time and we're better now than we were at this time last year.'
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