July 28, 2006

Media Day Part I: Koetter remarks

Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter and senior offensive tackle Andrew Carnahan addressed the Pac-10 media that gathered in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The following is Koetter's opening remarks:

"Good morning. Glad everybody is here and it's our pleasure to be here. Andrew Carnahan our starting tackle from Hereford Texas is with me today. This guy is not only a great player but everything a student-athlete should be. A great student in construction management -- except for his haircut -- I mean we can do something about his hair but other than that this guy is what it's all about in college football right here. And he's a little bit nervous so be gentle with him on those questions.

I want to talk briefly about our football team. We have 13 guys on the offensive side of the ball that have started at least one Pac-10 game. We have a lot of experience coming back on offense. The big question I'm sure everyone wants to know about is the quarterback situation. We have two really good quarterbacks in Sam Keller and {db]Rudy Carpenter[/db]. I do believe a two-quarterback system could work depending on what kind of quarterbacks you have. I do not think a two quarterback system would work with Sam and Rudy. These two guys are both very very competitive, they both want to be the guy -- wouldn't want it to be any other way. So what we're going to do is we're going to go through 18 practices in fall camp, at the end of 18 practices we'll pick a starter and the other guy will be the back up and just plain and simple, the guy that's playing the best and gives us the best chance to win throughout the season, he'll be the guy that'll be the quarterback. The other guy's going to be disappointed, he's going to be the back up and he'll only play if the other guy's hurt or not getting the job done but we already know both of these guys can get the job done.

We have a lot of playmakers on our offense. We have a guy like Rudy Burgess who's been playing tailback for us; he's going to spend more time at wide receiver for us this year because we had some hits at wide receiver to graduation. Terry Richardson is a returning wide receiver who can make plays out there. We have a guy named Jamaal Lewis who is listed as a tight end but he's kind of a swing man between tight end and wide receiver. Zach Miller a preseason All-American at tight end. We have seven different offensive linemen that have started in their career so we field a pretty good group of guys there I think … something like 86 starts [among the group].

The key for our football team is going to be on the other side of the ball. It's going to be on our defense; we only have four starters back on defense and when you were 113th in the nation in defense that might be a good thing ... I like the four starters that we do have back; we have two linemen Jordan Hill and Kyle Caldwell; one linebacker Robert James and we have a terrific safety, Zach Catanese. If you check your stats close I think you'll find that Zach is the leading returning tackler in the entire Pac-10.

You know we have eight players on defense that are not freshmen that are mature guys that have a chance to have an impact on our team. We have three d-line transfers that sat out last year … those three guys will make an impact on our defensive front. We signed four junior college players on defense, two d-linemen and two corners; and then kind of an unusual situation, we got a young man named Mike Nixon who had been playing [professional] baseball with the Dodgers for four years who is going to play somewhere for us on defense; a 22 year-old freshman, was an all-state quarterback, an all-state basketball player, an all-state baseball player when he came out of high school in Arizona, signed with UCLA decided he wanted to play pro baseball and now is returning back, played in spring football and that's a guy will have an impact on our defense somewhere whether it's at linebacker or safety.

We also return our kicker Jesse Ainsworth for his senior year; one of the premier kickers in the Pac-10 conference. I like Jessie a lot; he's a tremendous kickoff guy. Even with this one-inch tee Jesse's one of those guys that can kick the ball out of the end zone which gives you great starting field position for your defense and he's a tremendous field goal kicker as well…We didn't have to call on him too many times last year but he can kick 'em up to 55 or 60 yards."


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