Coming off of back-to-back losses, head coach Herm Edwards spoke in his weekly press conference during the Sun Devils’ final bye week.
Before the matchup against the Utah, Arizona State was, keyword was, one of the least penalized teams in the nation. Now not so much. In the Sun Devils two straight losses, they’ve averaged 10.5 flags per game.
Edwards addressed the reasonings behind the high amount of fouls.
“I just believe you can be passionate but you can’t be emotional,” he said. “When you do that you make errors. That’s what’s kind of caught me a little bit by surprise. Some of it has to do with youth but then again, some of the guys were older guys. You expect those guys to be more like, ‘Wait a minute. What are you doing?’ So it’s just a phase we’re going through. When you’re building a program like we’re doing you’ve got so many young guys you just never know what’s going to happen. You just don’t. I think it’s a learning thing for me as well.”
He also explained that errors are expected when starting a high amount of freshmen.
“Well, they say in pro football, ‘For every rookie you start, you’re going to get at least three errors in a football game,’” Edwards said. “So do the math, all the guys we got out there that (inaudible). Do the math. It just happens. And you can get mad at him, (but) what are you getting mad at him for? You already know it’s going to happen, just when does it happen? Does it happen in a critical moment that kind of sets you back? Those two kind of set us back, right? It just happens. But that’s what you deal with when you play that many young guys, because they don’t know what they don’t know yet.”
Player’s coach or disciplinary actions
Edwards is always mentioned for having a solid, genuine relationship with his players. The penalties have now risen the question if Edwards doesn’t keep his players in line enough. He explained every coach is a quote on quote ‘players coach.’ Edwards went deeper finding the balance, much like a parent, of actions for good and bad.
“I just think every year you find out — unless you have a veteran team — how teams will handle losing or a loss,” he said. “It’s all new because we’re 5-1 and then we lost two in a row so how do we handle that?...
I just think that there’s this image of if you’re this guy that’s stern and you walk around and you’re not a player’s coach. You’re a player’s coach. Without the players, you can’t play. You need the players to play and you better have a relationship with them. So, then there’s a guy maybe like me that’s a player’s coach well I got more discipline than most people in the world. I’m that far. I’m way over on discipline. I mean details? I’m that guy. I don’t know anything different. But I think sometimes the perception of how I say things like, ‘Well.’ That’s not true, there’s a line that you can’t cross and everyone knows the line. When you cross it there’s reproductions.
“I don’t vocally jump up and down. I do it my way. All the sudden people look around and the players look around and they go,’ Oh. We just saw what happened.’ I don’t embarrass people. I don’t believe in doing that. No player wants to be embarrassed, no coach wants to be embarrassed. But you have to understand that there’s standards you have to meet. If you don’t meet those standards there’s going to be some consequences. So that’s how I am.”
On Tuesday’s practice starting linebacker Darien Butler was in a walking boot. Other linebacker Khaylan Kearse-Thomas left Utah with a boot as well but played fine against UCLA. Defensive lineman George Lea also left the UCLA game. Edwards dropped an update.
“Sore ankle, so we put (Butler) in a walking boot. We kind of held him out. Khaylan was a little sore, he’s OK. Lea, he didn’t practice today. He should be OK, little sore shoulder. Other than that, I mean, most of the guys were OK. There’s some soreness in a bunch of guys, but I think I’m hoping everybody should be ready to play. We got a week off, so another week to prepare, so we should be OK.”