December 4, 2006

Pollak talks about offensive line performance

Arizona State junior center Mike Pollak earned second-team all-conference honors after starting all 12 games and helping the Sun Devils to put forth their first 1,000-yard rusher since 2001. Pollak was named the team's Most Outstanding Offensive Linemen at the team's season-ending banquet. spoke individually with Pollak last week.

On the overall solid job of the line this season:

"I think it's a credit to our offensive line coach, coach Myers, how well of a job he does getting our line ready to go to battle and our young guys have stepped up to the plate and answered the challenge and it's a credit to them."

On the success even in the face of a second consecutive season with numerous injuries

"I'm extremely happy. We had a 1,000 yard rusher and 500 rusher behind us and not too many teams can say that. That's going to go down in the history books and it's something I'll always be proud of."

On his thoughts about Dirk Koetter's job security at the end of the season:

"I didn't know it was that big of a deal until the banquet. I can to the banquet still on a high from the Arizona win and then when the coaches told us I was just in shock. But you know stuff like that happens."

Early thoughts on playing in the Hawaii Bowl:

"It gives us one more chance to play one more together as a team with this coaching staff. And we're going to try to come together and get a win for them."

On playing for Koetter:

"I think he improved this program so much since I've been here and I have to see him leave but that's the [athletic director's] season. I just know he's really given everything he could give to this program and we're all better off having played for him."

On his thoughts for the future:

"I'm not even thinking about next season. I'm just trying to focus on the Hawaii Bowl and keep my mind on playing together with this team one more time and trying to finishing off with a third straight bowl win. And after that I'll maybe start to think about next season."

On his role mentoring young players who played a critical role:

"I take it upon myself to help those younger guys out because I was in their shoes freshman and sophomore year and thrown into the mix when people went down with injuries. It helped me when Drew (Hodgdon) and Grayling (Love) were right by my side helping me as a young guy. I think me and Brandon Rodd and the older guys like Robert Gustavis are helping those young guys day in and day out with their confidence and their technique. We've just built a strong commodity since all those injuries happened throughout the last few years."

On how all the injuries and a lack of players impacted the team:

"We'd practice and guys would be playing different positions all over the place just to have enough guys where we could practice but when it came down to it in the games people were ready to play through injuries. All the guys just played through so much pain this year and it just comes with that position."

On what running backs coach John Wrenn brought to the team:

"Coach Wrenn just brought a whole new enthusiasm to the team. He tried to make it more fun in practice just being the guy who was laughing with you and making jokes. When weeks and days in practice got tough he was the guy who was breaking the ice and keeping the tension low and I think he's been a real help to this team."

On whether the team's run game improved via making scheme changes or just getting better at what they were already doing:

"A little of both. We started the season pretty much with the same scheme we ended the last season using and with Torain and Keegan doing so well and DeWitty and Nance, we found their strengths and sort of adjusted our scheme around what they do well and it's just gone from there."

On what specific changes were made:

"We just started to run the ball more downhill than we did in the past. In the past we were more of a zone team and this year we just said we were going to take it right at the guy in front of us and get after 'em and move the ball downhill and it really worked for us."

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