The 5: Best quotes from Herm Edwards’ intro press conference
Herm Edwards’ introductory press conference as Arizona State’s football coach on Monday was, if anything, unique.
Before Edwards took the podium, ASU president Dr. Michael Crow, Vice President for University Athletics and Athletics Director Ray Anderson and Edwards’ agent, Phil de Picciotto, all spoke.
Here are five notable quotes — among many — that stood out.
“What we’re doing here is we’re changing into a differentiated model. We’re not happy with with the way this model is working at other schools, we’re not happy with the way the model has worked through many coach changes here in our case at ASU.
“Advancing this new model, we needed to find a unique individual.”
Though he wasn’t present, Crow dialed into the media gathering and expressed much of what the university stated about restructuring its football program in its Sunday night announcement of the hiring becoming official.
“When you’re the head coach (in the NFL), you’re always talking to ownership, you’re always talking to the GM. It’s constant. There was a link between those three. You watch certain organizations and they continue to have this success, it’s consistent. Now there are times they might not make the playoffs, but it never drops where it’s like, ‘What just happened?’ That’s the model we’re looking for. That’s the model we’re trying to build with football. They’ve done it with other sports here.”
A proponent of innovation across all of Arizona State University, Crow and Anderson discussed an NFL-like model in which Edwards would act as a CEO figurehead. While Edwards said that meant delegating duties to his assistants — ASU has said defensive coordinator Phil Bennett and offensive coordinator Billy Napier could remain on Edwards’ staff — the new head coach did explain how the remodeled roles could help from a standpoint of performance consistency, which is the No. 1 thing the firing of Todd Graham was supposed to fix.
“What I would say to you is, this train in football is leaving the station. For any doubters that for whatever reason can’t commit to get on right now, that’s OK. We understand. We’re not going to take it personally. But as that train continues its path uphill, if for whatever reasons at any time you decide you now want to get on board, jump on board, because we got a seat for you.”
Anderson introduced Edwards by comparing ASU football’s new structure with those of the other Sun Devil teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, the swim and dive program and the ice hockey team. As for the football program, well, it appears he’s heard the criticism of his hire of Edwards.
Dubbed the conductor of said train, Edwards later cracked, “If you want to board a little bit later, we got a seat, just like Ray said. It might not be comfortable, but we got a seat.”
“Some people will question: ‘Well, you haven’t coached in along time. You haven’t been on the field.’ Turn on the TV Wednesday, I’ll be back in studio in Bristol — and I’ll be coaching football, by the way. That’s what I do. I coach football. And I’ve been coaching football my whole life, and that’s why I’m here today because of the vision.
“There’s something a great former player said here, Pat Tillman. He said, when he talked about passion, he said, ‘It ignites your soul.’ Football ignites my soul. This is what I do.”
The head coach on multiple occasions defended his resume and lack of a full-time head coaching job in nine years. He was fired from the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, just after the 2008 NFL season.
Edwards added that he will return to Bristol to work for ESPN through Friday before hitting the recruiting trails.
“I would say simply that Herm Edwards just fits here, and I have no doubt that he will put a lot of points on the scoreboard of life for everyone in this community.”
— de Picciotto
Edwards’ agent discussed the unique situation presented to Edwards by ASU and how the opportunity to help the community of student-athletes at the university made him want to leave his job as analyst of ESPN.