ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

After eventful month, ASU football gearing up for spring finale

Feb 26, 2019, 3:45 PM
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)...
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s apparent there’s still some NFL head coach and television analyst in Herm Edwards.

Take ASU football’s spring game on Thursday as a testimony.

There won’t be much tackling during the event, a provision that he’s employed since his days coaching the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.

There will, however, be a show for the Pac-12 Network cameras.

Ten years of TV experience will do that to a coach and Edwards wants to show off a good product without putting his players’ safety in danger in their last organized practice before the fall season.

“I’m not big on that and maybe that’s the pro football coach in me where I think you can teach tackling without taking guys to the ground,” Edwards said on Tuesday. “I think we’ve done a nice job of doing that all spring.”

It’s been an abnormal spring for ASU, so there’s no need to take any chances during the spring game.

The Sun Devils started spring practice in early February, a month and a half before they typically have in the past.

ASU players and coaches have been complimentary of the new spring format and it’s kept the buzz around the team going after a strong first season under Edwards.

“I’m about efficiency. I don’t want to waste people’s time. Don’t waste my time,” Edwards said. “I think when you become more efficient, you become more focused on the job at hand and I think the players understand that.”

An open quarterback competition caught immediate headlines and has been a topic of conversation for the entire month.

The spring game, despite the lack of tackling and the high abundance of situational football, will likely only augment the fan base’s interest in who will take over for Manny Wilkins.

Also a hot topic in February — the high volume of transfers away from the program.

Seven players have announced they left ASU football since the start of 2019.

The transfers have left some positional groups, most notably the defensive line, thin during the spring sessions.

Edwards, for one, is already looking forward to what a hopefully healthy ASU team will add in the fall.

“This is going to be interesting when these other guys show up because we’re going to be really fast,” Edwards said. “We’re going to be a lot faster and will need that in the long run.”

So, if ASU’s spring game lacks the flashiness and excitement outside of what Edwards wants the folks watching on TV to see, don’t be alarmed.

It’s already been an eventful month for a shorthanded team that will have six months to grow before the start of fall football.

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