: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

ASU Football: Graham Stepping Aside on Defense

: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Todd Graham is stepping aside…sort of.  As ASU enters week two of their spring practices, there is a lot going on; position battles, conditioning, building team chemistry, etc.  One of the more obvious tweaks to this year’s spring practice is the role of the head coach. 

With the arrival of new defensive coach, Keith Patterson, there is a new dynamic for the Sun Devil defense.  While Patterson is officially the linebackers coach, he will call the defensive fronts, essentially regulating the front seven.  This relieves coach Graham of that responsibility. 

So, while Todd Graham is being his typical upbeat self, he is not as involved in directly coaching a specific position.  This will allow him to back off and be more of a head coach. 

This is probably a good move.  A head coach has a lot on his plate on game day.  He has to maintain dialogue with the officials, his coordinators and other assistant coaches.  He also has to interact with players, monitor the mood of his team and assess the trends/tendencies of the opponent and supervise the game plan as it pertains to the time and score. 

That’s a lot.  And it’s probably too much for a guy that has to do all that and also get “caught in the weeds” watching a certain position group.  In the coaching profession, it’s called “wearing the blinders”.  It’s when a playcaller gets so involved watching specific people, he can’t see the big picture. 

This move also allows coach Graham to spend more time overseeing the Special Teams units.  The kicking game was borderline atrocious last season and was a priority for Graham in the off-season. 

Time will tell if this is a good move or not.  Feeling good about spring ball is quite different than producing on Saturdays in the fall.  But it appears to be a healthy change right now.

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Tags: Arizona State Football Asu ASU Football ASU Spring Football Keith Patterson Sun Devil Football Todd Graham

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