Q: What kind of offense can be expected from Erickson’s ASU teams?
A: In many ways, it will be similar to what Sun Devil fans are accustomed.
Erickson spreads his offense out, using many multi-receiver and one-back sets. His 2000 Oregon State team that won the Fiesta Bowl — featuring explosive running back Ken Simonton and wide receivers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh — offers a concise resumé of an Erickson offense. However, he also utilizes two tight ends at times, and will turn a TE into an offensive weapon if he is talented enough.
Q: And on defense?
A: Erickson said that ASU will stick with the 4-3 formation. He wants his defenders to be quick and aggressive, and his teams blitz frequently.
Q: Has Erickson decided on his assistant coaches?
A: He has not yet determined his offensive and defensive coordinators, saying that he has a handful of candidates for both jobs. Dan Cozzetto — Idaho’s offensive coordinator who served in that capacity at ASU from 1992-99 — will follow Erickson to Tempe, but in a role to be determined. So will Gregg Smith, an offensive line coach who has been an Erickson aide since 1982. Current ASU cornerbacks coach Al Simmons, who served on Erickson’s staff with Oregon State and the San Francisco 49ers, will stay on.
Q: The recruiting clock is ticking. What is the plan?
A: Erickson is devoting himself heavily to this area in the coming days. He plans to hire staff to help communicate with ASU’s current recruits and commitments, and mine new talent, especially before Dec. 20, when junior-college players enrolling for the spring semester can sign letters of intent. Erickson has been through the coaching-change process before, and he said he believes that it is not too late to salvage a quality recruiting class.
Q: Has Erickson met with the ASU players?
A: He did before Monday’s press conference, telling the team that its most important duties right now are finals and preparing for the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24. “Anything I have to give them can wait until after that,” Erickson said.
Q: Does Erickson plan to meet with outgoing coach Dirk Koetter?
A: Yes. Erickson called Koetter “one of my favorite people” in the business and wants to get his feedback on the ASU program and its players.