Osweiler happy with offense's improvement


Posted Aug 20, 2011


During last weekend's first team scrimmage of the Fall camp the Sun Devil offense sputtered and stalled, raising concerns and casting some doubt. On Saturday, Brock Osweiler and the Sun Devil starters helped put some of the concerns to rest with an impressive aerial attack and sound offensive showing.

"I thought from the offense's standpoint, that the first group moved the ball pretty well," said Osweiler after the scrimmage. "We seemed to have some successful drives. There were a few things in the red zone that we need to clean up, but those can easily be cleaned up in one meeting session.

"Other than that, I was really happy with how the first team offense played."

For the day, Osweiler completed 11 of his 16 pass attempts for 144 yards and one touchdown, a 14-yard pass to George Bell. The starting unit experienced the kind of success against the stout Sun Devil defense that they hadn't seen in a while. It was just the kind of improvement fans, coaches and players were hoping to see with less than two weeks until the season opener.

"From the first practice to now, I wouldn't say that our timing has changed or anything like that, but it's just the little things," commented Osweiler. "The receivers are understanding where they've got to bend on certain routes. The running backs are seeing the holes that they've got on the cut backs. The offensive line is picking up gains and stunts now."

"So I think we've progressed really well this Fall camp," he continued. "We've gotten better every single day, which is essentially our goal."

Much of the Sun Devil offensive success can be attributed to the offensive line, which turned in one of its better performances of the Fall so far. Improved pass protection, along with gaping holes along the line of scrimmage allowed Osweiler and his teammates to gash the defense, en route to a 29-10 win for the Maroon Team.

"I thought Kyle Middlebrooks had a great day, along with the offensive line," remarked Osweiler. "The offensive line played great. The defense brought a couple blitzes, they picked them up, and we got a couple big plays down field. And they opened up a lot of lanes for the running backs."

With most of the player positions settled for the upcoming season, the only battle for fans and coaches to follow seems to be for Osweiler's backup position, between sophomore Taylor Kelly and freshman Mike Bercovici.

While Bercovici started the morning with the 2nd team offense, it was Kelley who appeared to have the better day, completing all three of his passes for 78 yards and touchdown to Kevin Ozier. Osweiler though said after the scrimmage that he thinks both players have room for improvement, while also remaining confident in them both.

"I think the backups need to pick it up a little but they will," stated Osweiler. "They got a lot of reps today and that was kind of the first time this while Fall camp. But they showed good things too. I'm happy with where we're at right now."

For the junior, having now nearly completed his second camp now as the starting quarterback of the Sun Devils, he feels that his overall play and understanding of the offense has progressed and that he's comfortable taking the team into the season.

"I've gotten better, as far as understanding our concepts of our routes and where the ball needs to go on certain downs and distances," he stated. "I need to continue to get better throughout the practices and the season, and whatnot.

"But I'm pretty comfortable with where I'm at right now," added Osweiler. "I think I've just got to play within myself and be smart with the football and get it to our playmakers and we'll be okay."

Heading into the 2011 season, many media members have been quick to point out that Osweiler only has two career starts under his belt, and that his inexperience may make it difficult for the Sun Devils to achieve some of the lofty expectations that have been set for them this season. Osweiler though says he doesn't see it that way, and credits the staff and his teammates for preparing him for the opportunity ahead.

"Obviously it's different than high school, but I did it on a week to week basis there for three years," said Osweiler. "There are plenty of guys around me - Steven Threet, Taylor Mazzone, and Coach Mazzone - to mentor me along the way; to help me do the right things to prepare for each game.

"So because of the supporting cast that I have around myself, I feel very comfortable and I'm ready to get this thing started."


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