Dissecting the ASU Defense: Q&A With Defensive Coordinator Paul Randolph

House of Sparky sat down with Arizona State co-defensive coordinator Paul Randolph at ASU media day for a Q&A surrounding the Arizona State defense. Coach Randolph breaks down how to improve the run defense, Chris Young's transition to WILL linebacker and his freshman defenders.

Arizona State football fans can see co-defensive coordinator Paul Randolph on the sidelines beside Todd Graham screaming at his defense. Randolph is one of the most vocal ASU coaches, oftentimes losing his voice after practices and games.

Luckily for us, coach Randolph had just enough of a voice to chat with us at ASU football media day about the upcoming season.

House of Sparky: How are things going in year two of the Todd Graham era?

Coach Randolph: "We started camp off extremely well, the guys are bigger, they are stronger and they are faster and thanks to coach Griz (Shawn Griswold) for that, our strength and training program I think is one of the best in the country. We had guys put on 20 pounds and lose 20 pounds in the same program. I think they (players) had a great offseason and a great summer and it shows on the football field right now that we have improved in the areas that we need to as far as being a bigger, stronger, more physical team."

House of Sparky: What are some keys to improving the run defense?

Coach Randolph: "I think that was it, just getting bigger and stronger. I think most every player we have put on 10-20 pounds, so we are bigger and we are stronger and naturally we got faster. I think that coupled with just improving our fundamental techniques, everyday that is what we preach and harp on. Coach Shipp is doing a great job with the guys up front on fundamentals. The linebackers have to improve their fundamentals and that is the key to improving the run defense."

House of Sparky: How as the transition with Chris Young been so far?

Coach Randolph: "Chris got bigger, faster and stronger this offseason. We know Chris can play that SPUR position, he played it all last year, and as we watched later in the season he started playing more on certain packages down inside and did a really good job. He actually likes being in there and mixing it up so I think the transition is going extremely well. He's working his tail off to fine tune his fundamentals of being a linebacker and I think he's progressing right on track."

Disclaimer: Chris Young received reps back at SPUR linebacker on practice Tuesday, filling in for the injured Anthony Jones.

House of Sparky: Can you talk about some of the young players on this defense like Marcus Ball, Chans Cox and A.J. Latu?

Coach Randolph: Absolutely, when you ask me about them you see me smiling, those guys are going to be really good football players. Truthfully, they are pretty good right now as freshman, they are just trying to find out what up tempo is and high octane. I think those guys have the athletic ability to play as freshman it is just a matter of them learning the system and understanding the system well enough to play early."

House of Sparky: Do you feel like the depth you have on defense will help with the run defense?

Coach Randolph: "I'll tell you what, one thing our recruiting class added to us and also our strength program added is that the guys who redshirted last year are better, the freshman that have been here this summer are better. So naturally we have improved our competition at each position and in doing that we are creating depth, we are going to feel god about the guy who is behind the guys that get the first team reps. I think those are the things that are improving our depth and naturally we still have guys that can play a number of positions so that also increases your depth."

Stay tuned for part two of our interview with coach Randolph tomorrow.

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