Another “has to get better” sighting for you – and, no, it’s not the Gator pass defense. For once.
This time it’s Dennis Dodd’s opinion about the Arizona State offensive line.
Coach Dennis Erickson has the most equipped program. Coming off a 10-win season, he has 16 returning starters, including the Pac-10’s best quarterback (Rudy Carpenter), a tailback with heart (Keegan Herring) and an offensive line that has to get better (55 sacks, second most in the country).
“We had some veterans who had a little bit of trouble adjusting to what we were doing,” Erickson said. “We, maybe, put too many protections in. We’ll simplify our protections. We’ll be quicker (throwing the ball).”
Remember now, this is the team that’s replacing most of its starting offensive line and tight end. Here’s how The Quad summarized the situation:
There are questions up front on offense, as the team must replace Pollak at center and the right tackle tandem of Julius Orieukwu and Zach Krula. With Fanaika and the junior Shawn Lauvao penciled in at guard, that spot seems to be in good shape, but the tackle position took a hit after the would-be junior Richard Tuitu’u, the proposed starter at right tackle, chose to leave the team. That leaves the redshirt freshman Adam Tello as the starter at right tackle, though the team may think about moving the backup left tackles Tom Njunge and Mike Marcisz over to augment depth on the right side. At center, the redshirt freshman Garth Gerhart and the junior Thomas Altieri are locked up in a tight battle for the open spot, with the pair alternating time practicing with the starters. While Altieri looked like the man to beat for the starting job, he has been battling injuries in fall camp, giving Gerhart an opportunity to show what he can bring to the table. I’m really looking forward to what the sophomore Jon Hargis can do at left tackle. A member of the Pac-10 all-freshman team – as a defensive tackle – last fall, Hargis was moved over to offense…
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like the Sun Devils will have newbies at both offensive tackle positions. Please don’t get me started on that. But they have to be better, right?