By: Charles Wulf
Forks up, Sun Devil fans! The first day of practice has come and gone and the players are just as excited as you are.
“I thought it was great. I loved the intensity and the competitiveness between the offense and defense,” said running back D.J. Foster, “I though we had a lot of heart out there and I loved the tempo and the guys were excited which is good to see.”
The defense was the main focus of this morning’s practice. After losing nine starters to graduation and the NFL, head coach Todd Graham has a lot to work on.
“Obviously the thing defensively we’ve gotta do is not just do what we did last year. Make sure we adapt what we’re doing to the players’ skills that we have.”
Graham admits that he isn’t sure what his defense will look like this year. He will need time to figure out the strengths and weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball. Luckily for Graham and the defense, there is a completely different story for the offense.
Taylor Kelly and co. enter their third year in Mike Norvell’s system which was very impressive last season. But if you ask Kelly, he’s confident the defense will be just fine.
“Our defensive guys are flying to the football better than I’ve ever seen our defense play. We’re not as talented, but we’ve got all eleven guys flying to the football which is huge.”
Despite Kelly’s confidence in the defense, there will be more pressure on the offense to produce on the field. In 2013 the Sun Devils had six defensive players selected for the first and second All-Pac-12 teams. All six of those players are no longer at Arizona State.
Graham has a lot on his plate, but will have plenty of time to build his defense before the season starts. It helps having an experienced quarterback and a solid offensive line but there is no doubt everyone’s eyes are on the defense.