April 6, 2007

4/5 Sights and Sounds

Thursday's ASU spring practice was more like a scrimmage before the scrimmage. The 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 segments made up a large part of the workout as the team prepared to again take the field at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday, and both were dominated by the defense.

--There were several surprise developments on defense, not the least of which were redshirt freshman Saia Falahola working with the first team at defensive tackle and Jeremy Payton lining up at the corner spot opposite Tryon. Payton definitely brings some size and some attitude to the position. ASU has seemingly struggled to find a reliable first-team cornerback opposite Justin Tryon and Payton may be an answer, with Josh Barrett and Troy Nolan looking like a very capable tandem at safety. Payton seems more comfortable coming up to make a play then turning and running with a wide receiver on a deep route, but of course, he hasn't played this position at the Division I level.

--The D-Line was solid but only Dexter Davis seemed to be regularly pressuring the passer with any effectiveness. Kellen Mills who was at the strongside defensive end, did have a nice knockdown of a Carpenter pass. Eric Tanner had a strong day at the weakside defensive end spot, beating his man a few times. Luis Vasquez was playing opposite of him. Jon Hargis and David Smith were the second-team tackles.

--The linebackers were very impressive today. Morris Wooten continues to shine in the middle. Ryan McFoy looked like he could do some damage on the blitz with his speed at the SAM. Travis Goethel was the WILL and he was very impressive. It seems that Wooten and Goethel increasingly appear to be locked in at their spots and McFoy is close to doing the same. Gerald Munns was practicing at the second team MIKE. He was flanked by Chad Lindsey and Jamarr Robinson. Both linebacker units were doing an excellent job in pass coverage.

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