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August 17, 2009

Sluggish practice irks Erickson following day off

Coming off a Saturday scrimmage that was impressive in spurts, Arizona State was back in action Monday morning but seemed sluggish following its first off day.

The Sun Devils arguably had their worst practice of camp to this point and coach Dennis Erickson wasn't afraid to let his players know.

"We made mental mistakes," Erickson said. "We weren't running around like we were in the first 13 practices. But that happens. You come off a scrimmage and it's not the first time it has happened to me. It is unacceptable, we can't practice like that."

Hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 5-7 campaign last year in which ASU failed to reach a bowl game for the first time since 2003, Erickson hopes to bring back glimpse of his first season at ASU where the Sun Devils finished 10-3.

Following the workout, Erickson attempted to impress upon his players the sense of urgency they'll need to have on a consistent basis in order to have a winning season.

"You know the saying, you play like you practice," Erickson said. "if that's true today then we don't beat anybody."

Not all was negative in the early morning practice though.

One of the bright spots included cornerback Pierre Singfield, who was congratulated by position coach Greg Burns more than once after showing off technical proficiency in man coverage.

Singfield has made an impression in camp for his consistently high energy level.

Scrimmage review

Asked about his team's scrimmage performance after watching it on film, Erickson said he was encouraged by a lot of what he saw.

"Our quarterbacks played pretty well," Erickson said. "As I mentioned after the scrimmage and it holds true, Danny (Sullivan) did well and made good decisions. I thought our offense front, particularly the first group as a whole, played well. Our receivers are also catching the ball pretty consisting in the first group."

On defense, Erickson mentioned a few of the top scrimmage performers, which of course included freshman standout Vontaze Burfict.

"Defensively our linebackers, Vontaze, was all over the place. Oliver Aaron played as good as he has all year. In our secondary. Ryan McFoy had a pretty good day and Dexter of course always does; that's just how he is. He is a very consistent player."

Additional Notes

  • After a disappointing scrimmage, sophomore quarterback Samson Szakacsy wasn't found on the field much in the morning session, but Erickson said Szakacsy was not demoted but instead "has a finger problem, just a blister."

  • With junior defensive tackle Saia Falahola sitting out practice Monday, freshman William Sutton received the first-team reps at nose tackle. Also found working with the first team for the first time in camp were redshirt freshman end Toa Tuitea and sophomore linebacker Colin Parker. Tuitea earned the reps even as position-mates Jamaar Jarrett and James Brooks remained healthy, while Parker took the play of Shelly Lyons, who suffered a knee strain Saturday.

  • At strong safety, senior Ryan McFoy worked with the first-group after being behind classmate Jarrell Holman through Saturday's scrimmage.


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