Quotes From Quarterback Andrew Walter's Monday Press Conference

Nov. 10, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. --Following is a transcript from ASU junior quarterback Andrew Walter's weekly press conference.

How did the ankle feel Saturday and how does it feel now?
'Today it feels better than it did last week at this time. Besides a couple of tweaks during the game it felt decent. It was hurting, but it felt better than it did the week before. I'm feeling pretty good about this week healing up a little bit more.'

What's the hardest part about redoing your footwork?
'Just the quickness, I can't drop back as fast and put as much weight on my back foot on the fifth or seventh step. It's a little harder to transfer your weight through the throw. I've thrown off-balance many times in my career but it makes you a little more inaccurate. I'd like to heal so I'm able to move around a little more in the pocket and avoid some of the pressure.'

Can you give an example of a throw that you could make before that you can't make now because of your ankle?
'I think I'm still able to make all of the throws. If I wasn't able to make all of the throws I shouldn't be in there. It's more being able to move in the pocket right and left, up and back to buy yourself a second.'

What is the FieldTurf up at Washington State going to be like for you?
'That's a good question, plus the cold weather. Riccardo Stewart was telling me that last year when we went up there, he had a tweaked ankle, and his bones were hurting a little bit more and you feel it more in your ankle too.'

What are the feelings you took away from the Stanford loss the other day?
'It's just a bad situation. We're going to try and beat U of A and play spoiler this week and have fun doing it. I think the bowl game is out of it and it's been a difficult, up and down kind of season. It's been tremendously inconsistent and you get frustrated.'

Is that the attitude the other guys have?
'When I say 'have fun' I do mean compete. I'm going to compete and try and win every snap and every play. That's still my focus, so I don't want that to be mistaken with having fun. Guys' attitudes better stay the same that we're going to work hard every day in practice and try to get better and finish out the season well. If they are doing anything less, then they need to answer to the leaders and everyone else.'

Did you get the feeling that the team was competing more at the end of the Stanford game than the beginning?
'Yeah, I can maybe sense that. Guys may have a sense of waiting for something to happen instead of going out there and making it happen. Or there may be a false sense of security that we can get down and come back because we have in the past. That is the wrong kind of feeling. Once guys get in there and start playing and we're down, or whatever the situation is, then they realize, 'Oh, now we have to play,' but it's too late then.'

Does this year's team lack the charisma of last year's?
'The whole cocky, 'We can make a play on anybody at any time,' confidence feeling that you get when you win games [is not there]. It's a borderline arrogance that you have to have on the football field that you have to leave there. Once you're out there, if you don't have that, that may be why it takes us a while to get started in games because guys don't start right from the get go with that attitude.'

What are your thoughts on the Washington State defense?
'Last year, Marcus Trufant played a great game against us and their secondary is great against the run but they also cover well. Their corners like to jump routes and it makes it tough on you if you're not on time and in rhythm. Their ends are Terrell Suggs-like in their upfield rush and they get a good push up the middle too. We're going to have our hands full. They are no question one of the fastest defenses in the Pac-10.'

Were you taken aback last year by how fast their defense was?
'What surprised me was how they were sitting on routes, waiting for us to break. That was kind of a surprise. We had to throw on time and in rhythm every play because you can't be late with these guys. They have an aggressive and anticipating style of defense.'

Did they have a better gameplan for you?
'I don't know what it was. They read their keys pretty well and Marcus Trufant was one of the best corners we played against all last year.'

Your running game has been good but when you're behind you can't use it. How frustrating is that?
'It's hard when we don't start off from the kickoff, so we can't use the running game. It makes it tough to run the football when you're down because the defense knows you are going to throw. We need to stop starting so slowly.'

What did you think of the plays made late after starting so slowly?
'We had chances earlier in the game to make plays that we didn't make and it's frustrating. If we started the game the way we finished it I think we would have been okay. We need to start that earlier in the game.'

Comment on the team's turnovers.
'We just need to take care of the football, not turn the ball over and not put our defense in a bad situation on a short field. If we have to play field position instead of turning it over, I'd rather play field position. To eliminate the turnovers will go a long way in remedying things.'

Are the conditions at Washington State a psychological factor?
'I think a lot of the guys are just not used to playing in the cold. I've played in it, so I've been there to a certain extent. Guys who were there last year know what to expect. More than anything, I think for the new guys, their inexperience is going to have to be figured out before pre-game warm-ups.'

How much is the team hurting mentally after all of the high preseason expectations?
'I think there will be time for that after the season. There are two games left, we need to finish out and you can do your crying and sobbing afterwards. There is not time for that right now. We have a game on ABC coming up and we're going to try and make a game out of it and not play the way we've been playing. If guys want to cry about things they could have done, they can do that after the season.'

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