If Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards was expected to show up to Pac-12 Media Day with a somber attitude, don't tell him that.
The 67-year-old coach, entering his fourth season in Tempe, looked every bit the charismatic persona Sun Devils fans are accustomed to seeing. Taking the podium after a short lunch break in the gauntlet of Pac-12 Media Day, Edwards arrived ready and willing to answer every question he could with a grin and a few chuckles here and there.
"I think our team has a tremendous focus this year, you could see it in the spring," Edwards said at the beginning of his press conference.
Edwards touched on a handful of topics during his time in front of the microphone. Below are Edwards' comments on the highlighted topics during his Media Day appearance:
Arizona State Investigation
"Well, for us it hasn't been a distraction at all, to be quite honest. If you watch our players work and our coaching staff, we're excited about getting back in the building tomorrow," said Edwards on whether or not the ongoing investigation will be a distraction.
"They're there today, but I'm going to be back in the building tomorrow. Really going forward on starting camp the 4th of August. I heard the local guys, you guys will actually hopefully get to attend practice, kind of see what it looks like. We're a focused football team. I think it has a lot to do with the players that decided to come back in the spring. That's kind of where our mindset is right now, as far as what I know, what I see and feel about the players."
Edwards also spoke about filling the role of assistant coach Adam Breneman, who is currently on administrative leave because of his alleged involvement in the NCAA's investigation of potential recruiting violations.
"Yes, because you don't want too many voices in the room," answered Edwards when asked if one guy will be filling in Breneman's role. "We're staffed enough to be able to adjust. That's what you do, you always adjust. We'll be in good shape that way."
Name, Image and Likeness
"We don't know what the number is, right? There's a NFL number and there's going to be a college number now. I think all athletes look at it different," said Edwards on athletes looking at money to decide whether or not to go pro.
"We know this. A lot of these young people today, they're three and done. When you start recruiting them, you actually understand they're probably three and done. COVID has been a year where obviously guys decide to come back. Our season was only four games. It was cut short for a lot of folks. But I think that will still be a factor."
Edwards explained his own thoughts on how this will impact not only his team, but college sports in general:
"I think it's a new day in college football. But not just college football, in college athletics, for all student-athletes. When you think about student-athletes, it's not just football, it's all sports. We have over 600 athletes at ASU," said Edwards.
"How it affects the student-athlete, your university, on where he or she may decide to go, I think this is part of the recruiting of it now. You better embrace it. If you don't, you're going to get left behind. That's the thing we learn in life, that things move on. You have to be ahead of it. I think we've got a plan how to do that. I think there's going to be some glitches. First time that we all are dealing with this.
"But it will be interesting to watch the next three or four years of how this really develops and what it looks like, the model of how to do this. I don't think anyone has an answer right now because it's so new to us."
Importance of Throwing the Football
"In college football, it's really shown that you have to score points, score points in college football, even pro football, through the passing game. You have to be able to throw the football," said Edwards.
"We're built in a way where Jayden (Daniels) is going to have opportunities. I think for him, just listening to him and being with him, the young receivers that he played with last year, all the work they've done behind the scenes and during the spring, when spring was over with, even now.
"Talking earlier in the green room, telling me how those guys have progressed. He has to throw the ball, there's no doubt about that. We have to score points. You know that in this conference. You got to be in the high 30s to have a chance, right?
"That's just the way it is. It's hard for a defensive guy to say that, but that's the life we live now. You got to be able to throw it."
Arizona State's Secondary
"Any secondary knows they're only as good as the pass-rush, right? How you put pressure on the quarterback. I think we've got some gifted players back there, some talented guys that can play sticky defense, that can play man-to-man, cover guys. I think they're excited about that," Edwards said.
"Three or four of them have played together now for two or three years. They're very comfortable. The communication is what I like the most. Have to change certain things because of different looks or formations, motions.
"The communication with the secondary is much cleaner than it's been. That's important. You have to communicate. You have so many different elements back there, you all have to be on the same page. Chase (Lucas) is a prime example. You can just tell the way he walks around, the way he talks.
"He's the team captain. It's fun to watch him develop from the years I've been here to where he's at right now. I'm excited for those guys."
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Donnie Druin is a Deputy Editor with AllSunDevils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin, and AllSunDevils @AllSunDevils. Like and follow AllSunDevils on Facebook, and for more ASU news visit https://www.si.com/college/arizonastate/