Always the consummate peacekeeper, Herm Edwards spent roughly 20 minutes at the podium on Monday afternoon delivering an even-keeled, simple message.
“We have to win a game,” he said. “Every week you have an opportunity to win a game, and feel that joy. We haven’t felt that. Once they decide to win again, we can get that winning feeling, it’s that simple.”
“There’s not a whole lot to be said about those guys, they’re very talented on all sides of the ball. It’s interesting they’re playing two quarterbacks right now, kind of rotating them. Drake London, my prayers go out to him, he was injured and out for the rest of the year. That’s a shame, he’s a guy who has a lot of potential and could play in the National Football League.”
With a roster that features several Southern California natives, Edwards knows that playing against USC and UCLA often means the matchups on the field are personal.
“It’s one of those games where guys know each other, and there’s always come chippiness when these two teams get together. There are guys that played Pop Warner football, high school football together. I know they’re texting each other and whatever those guys do. We anticipate them coming in here and playing well. We gotta play a whole game, can’t play in halves.”
When asked how his team’s performance could have been so lackluster coming out of a bye week in such a big game, Edwards’ offering wasn’t the most encouraging.
“I wish I could tell you, but I have no answer for that, except that it happened. We didn’t respond. We didn’t react in a way that gave us a chance, and it’s all about reacting to what happened to you. We didn’t respond to adversity.”
There’s no quick fix, no immediate antidote for a costly two game skid in the heat of a division race. Edwards instead pointed out what you can’t do.
“You cannot change your personality all of a sudden, because that becomes a red flag. There’s certain things you can say and do, behind closed doors, but you can’t change too much. Sometimes less is more, that’s what I truly believe.”
When Ray Anderson hired Edwards in early 2018, he stated that the program’s goals are lofty. A consistent top 15 ranking, and perennial major bowl participation were at the top of that wish list. Obviously, this hasn’t been the case.
“This is our third season, football’s hard it’s not easy,” Edwards said. “The Rose Bowl team was here this weekend, and that team was 25 years ago. So that shows you how hard it is. If it was easy, it would just happen.”
Not so sweet serenade
I heard them,” Edwards said of the chorus of boos from the home fans Saturday. “You have to remember, I played in Philadelphia, I don’t take it personally. The best part about our fans is they’ll be back here on Saturday hollering for the Sun Devils.”
Saturday’s tilt with USC will be back under the lights, kicking off at 7:30 at Sun Devil Stadium.