September 13, 2006

Dirk Koetter Tuesday practice quotes

Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter spoke at length about a wide variety of subjects with media members following completion of Tuesday evening's practice ranging from player availability to his thoughts on Colorado and the NCAA rule that has shorted games by as much as 20 percent.

on Rudy Carpenter, who left for part of practice and returned to take the field again later:

"He had to go get something checked out but he'll be fine."

on the availability of Jamaal Lewis for Saturday:

"It's not that I didn't make a decision. It's just I still can't get the information I need. Nothing has changed. Trust me guys, you don't have to ask me. If something happens you'll be the first ones to know. I want to get it over with as bad as everyone else but it's out of my hands right now. I can't get what I need."

"He's still limited in what he's doing. We had a few guys out today … Because there is enough similarity between us and Colorado we're doing a lot of work together … We did what we call 'service work' where we go [first team offense against second team defense] and [second team offense against first team defense]…There's carry over on both side of the ball so we can run similar looks for each other and get better tempo. Our receivers were kind of beat up today so it was all hands on deck."

on the availability of Rudy Burgess:

"Rudy is still day-to-day with that concussion thing and nothing has changed. You know, he's feeling good and like I said at the press conference he has to pass the concussion test, the baseline test, and that's something he will take again tomorrow."

"As I said before, Rudy Burgess is a warrior. He's done some incredible things and it's not a matter of him wanting to. I know he wants to and I know he'll do whatever he can. The doctors have the final say based on the test."

on the availability of Loren Howard:

"He has never been probable for this week. He is hopeful for Cal maybe. I don't think anything is going to happen this week. He's moving around better and definitely making some progress and on the road to recovery."

on Colorado's switch to quarterback Bernard Jackson against Colorado State and how it changes what they do offensively:

"It changed a lot last week. The first week against Montana State they looked a lot like we do with a few variations. This last week they went out and marched right down the field primarily using the quarterback [running the ball] … They didn't have a lot of success thereafter but they did have some success with those running plays … When you play a team that's gonna run their quarterback that's one extra guy you have to account for… Most teams run a single back offense. [With a quarterback that can run and a tailback blocking], that definitely changes what you do (defensively)."

on whether or not his team will have different preparations for the first road game:

"We always work more with crowd noise when we get [to] Thursday. We'll work with a lot crowd noise. I read an article today that the altitude is going to affect us so we're going to change the altitude on Wednesday and practice on top of the stadium I guess."

on his former Boise State coordinator and now Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins:

"When Hawk got the Colorado job and I realized that we were going to play each other I thought about that for a while. But it's gone this long and here we are and you play who you play and you can't control those schedules so far out in advance. It's not really about me and Hawk, it's about the two teams playing on the field."

on the Pac-10 possibly expanding to 12 teams:

"I don't think I'm going to be asked for my opinion. I guess it depends on who the teams are … It's been 25 years since the Pac 10 expanded from 8 to 10 and I just don't see who those next two natural teams are. But I'm worried about Colorado. I could care less about expanding right now."

On the play of defensive tackle Michael Marquardt:

"Going clear back to the last fall when they were all redshirting, Loren (Howard) was completely out of it (due to injury) but Mike was in their battling. (He was the) scout team Player of the Year last year. He's paid his dues on the scout team. Mike is a blue collar player … That kind of comes with being a defensive tackle. Mike works hard on his moves and technique and using his hands. Mike's out there battling every day. Mike and Jordan Hill along with David Smith and Will Kofe gives us four real solid guys in the middle and I couldn't be happier with it. Mike's consistency from last year on the scout team carried over into spring ball and fall camp and now into the season. I love those consistent guys. I wish we had 105 of them."

on kicker Jesse Ainsworth getting a chance to showcase his talent:

"That's a catch 22 because I would love Jesse to get more attention but yet I will take touchdowns over field goals any day of the week and we've been real fortunate that we've been able to score a lot of touchdowns the last couple years … We've got some guys that because of our nature won't get maybe as much [publicity] and are maybe underappreciated."

"Zach Miller is another guy (like that). We've got this tremendous tight end and I was telling (ASU Associate Athletic Director Mark Brand) that we gave Zach the game ball and we were laughing because we could give Zach the game ball every week. I mean Zach is so darn steady and so consistent as a player every week and we take him for granted … Zach is not the flashy 60-yard down the middle player. He is the grind it out in the trenches but then still give up his body for the catch and just hit - like that catch in the end zone the other day that was a hell of a catch. Everyone was worried about Rudy (Carpenter) being out on bounds and at the end of the day that was a great heads up play for Zach to find that spot in the back of the end zone."

joking, when asked about preparing his team for Colorado's high altitude:

"We made the guys run 7,000 yards of gassers tonight to try to get them nice and winded and then have a two-and-a half hour practice. I don't know. I don't know what you can do. Drink pickle juice? Is that for altitude or is that for cramps?"

on his updated opinion regarding an NCAA rules change that speeds up games:

"I'm not big on it. I want to see the person stand up, have the courage, whoever wants less college football, stand up and say I want less college football because we're down 17 plays a game on offense. So we're down 20% of our plays. So in my opinion our players are getting cheated 20% of their plays careers from here on out. I want to see someone stand up and say they wanted college football to be shorter. I mean who wanted that? No one will admit it and it's here, OK, it's here. Whoever wanted those games shorter, yeah they fit in that nice little three hour time window. I have never heard one person every say around me say 'Man, I couldn't wait to make it home by 10 to watch the news.' A lot of people say 'I wish the college football would have last longer.'"

"And I just think from a player's standpoint, the guys that have a chance to break the records, the Zach Millers, the Rudy Carpenters, the Jesse Ainsworths … And it's not about records, it's not about that. But still, this game, we've got this great game. College football has worked for over 100 years and it's been fine and all of a sudden someone decides we need to shorten it by 20%. I didn't think it was going to be this big of an impact but it is … If a team really wanted to shorten a game like the old four corners in basketball which they outlawed, I think they could do it. Remember people used to win 12-10 in basketball when one team was inferior to another team and I think a team could do that. I don't know if anyone is doing that. I know we're not going to do it."

on whether the rule can be reversed:

"Well, there was a lot of backlash in the conference meetings and they said then that it would be (something that could be turned around), but, a 3-hour time window on [television], who knows? Maybe that TV money talks. TV is claiming they're not behind it and maybe they're not behind it. I'm dying. I'm putting up the challenge. Whoever is behind it, stand up and take credit for it. I mean they should be proud, they got what they wanted."

on having a time clock:

"It would work if we wanted to be the NFL but once again, who said college football wants to be the NFL. And that's nothing against the NFL but there's NFL and there's college. There's colleges and there's high school. They never took a vote of the coaches. I mean I heard a couple coaches say that the coaches screwed it up, that we had a chance to change it and that's [not true] … I filled out that questionnaire and it was 95% against it. It was 95% against that rule."

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