The Sun Devils are still trying to find right formula of 11 players on the defensive side of the ball as they prepare for New Mexico and the triple-option offense Saturday in Albuquerque.
During defensive walkthrough, Todd Graham repeated over and over again the necessity for the team to have discipline with their eyes and communicate their responsibilities on the defensive side of the ball if the Sun Devils are to have success against New Mexico.
One example of a switch that took place was Marcus Ball, who had been seeing most of his reps at bandit safety, moved up and shadowed Laiu Moeakiola at SPUR linebacker.
"I liked getting him up around the ball. He's one of our best 11 guys, he's just a little bit behind in fundamental development," Graham said.
Jordan Simone started at bandit safety against Weber State in place of Ball. According to Graham, it's just a matter of Ball playing catch up.
"He's gone through a tough thing physically and mentally," Graham said. "I think it's just repitiion, you miss a lot of training you miss a lot of reps and you miss all that early camp stuff he's just making that back up. I can tell he's back to normal, progressing and getting better everyday. He's got a great spirit."
Brimhall has heart
Graham said he talked to the team a lot Tuesday about serving each other and what that meant. He pointed to walk-on Jacom Brimhall as a prime example of having heart and serving his teammates.
He played locally at Mountain View High School, then went on his Mormon mission and came on to the team as a walk-on this past spring. Until two weeks ago, Graham said he didn't even know his name and the only reason he made it was because of how hard he worked on kickoff coverage this spring.
"He serves D.J. (Foster), he serves the running backs, he serves us. He's just got an unbelievable attitude," Graham said. "Guess what, he could have come out and said ‘poor me, coach doesn't even know my name and I'm not getting any reps.'"
Brimhall didn't do that though, Graham characterized him as a player who works his tail off. He also stands just 5-foot-5 and 183 pounds.
"If every one of us could come out here and have that kind of heart? we talked about that as a team," Graham said. "We got out there today and our guys served each other. Our guys got after it today."
- Carlos Mendoza is still in a green jersey.
- No 11 on 11 today but Graham characterized the safety depth again after practice: Damarious Randall at starting field safety, James Johnson at starting bandit safety, Jordan Simone at third safety backing up either Randall or Johnson.
- Chad Adams, Armand Perry and Kweishi Brown are competing for the starting boundary corner spot opposite Lloyd Carrington according to Graham. But he still said Solomon Means had a, "good day" too. He says they will all need to play at some point.
- Graham said the team worked a lot on defending the play action pass and not giving up "critical errors" today.
- Graham said he spent 30 minutes with team in meetings today talking about a "victorious attitude."