The Deep Cut is a companion piece to the Opponent Preview, in which I take a closer look at something related to the opponent, with a humorous slant.
The Arizona State Sun Devils fired Todd Graham at the end of last season, despite the fact that he orchestrated one of the best stretches of good football the program has ever seen, and hired Herm Edwards to replace him, despite the facts that he hadn’t coached in a decade and had a under .500 record as an NFL coach. It’s still the most baffling move of this last coaching carousel, but at least it led to one thing: fantastic, bizarre quotes from Herm Edwards.
Herm Edwards has been extremely quotable since arriving in Tempe. So, we’re going to play a game called Who Said That? In this game, you are going to get a quote and then decide if that was a quote from Herm Edwards or a quote from someone else. Simple, right? I’ll have the answers below all the quotes.
We don’t huddle anymore in our society. That’s the problem with it to be quite honest. When you become a part of a team, and you become a part of a football team and you look to the left and you look to the right, there’s this bond that says, ‘I’m not letting that guy down. Not today. Not ever.’
I have no doubt that he will put a lot of points on the scoreboard of life for everyone in this community.
I don’t know what I’m talking about a whole lot. My box and my world is really simple. Kind of real small. I don’t get outside my lane. I just get in my box. I think I know a little bit about the game of football. Not a lot, just a little. But enough to warrant if I speak, (players are) going to listen. I hope, anyway.
Am I supposed to be looking at you? Am I looking at you, cameraman? Who am I looking at? That camera? OK. Got all these cameras, I don’t know who to look at. Who’s in charge of this? Send somebody up here and say what camera you’re supposed to look at. OK, you guys are supposed to ask questions! Start asking!
I want you to know that ASU football is nobody’s rebuild. This is not a start-up, this is not a start over.
I’ll tell you what now: You’re not only recruiting kids. Sometimes you’re trying to recruit the parent, too. That’s what amazing. You gotta stay in contact with these kids.
I’m trying to throw the game back to 1998. I’m not going to rely on modern technology. I will certainly have some people that are professional that can help me from that regard. But I still think doing things the old fashioned way is a good way.
What I would say to you is, this train in football is leaving the station. For any doubters that for whatever reason can’t commit to get on right now, that’s OK. We understand. We’re not going to take it personally. But as that train continues its path uphill, if for whatever reasons at any time you decide you now want to get on board, jump on board, because we got a seat for you.
Devils Digest? I’m Catholic now, I’m Christian. Watch out for them devils. We’re good, though. I ain’t takin’ it personal.
People think, ‘Well, he’s out of football.’ Out of football maybe on the sidelines. But mentally, you’re never out of football. It’s like being a football fan. At what age do you stop watching it? You don’t!
1. In one of the more perfect encapsulations of what we’re dealing with here, this is Herm Edwards from his introductory press conference. You gotta appreciate someone who, when asked what change he would make to football, decides that society itself isn’t huddling enough.
2. While this quote is also from the Herm Edwards introductory press conference, it surprisingly is not from Edwards himself. Rather, this is Edwards’s former agent Phil de Picciotto (and, just as an aside, this press conference managed to have 2 of Edwards’s former agents going to bat for him, which says a lot if you think about it) making his sales pitch for Herm. I’m starting to guess that everyone around Herm Edwards just talks the same way.
3. Coaches love to get all “aww shucks” at times and point out that they’re not the brightest crayons in the toolshed (yes, I mixed 3 metaphors. I’m talented like that), and Herm Edwards is no different. This is him at Pac-12 Media Days as part of a deflection, as he was asked whether the game has passed him by in the 10 years since he last coached a football team. The thing is, I’ve heard Edwards talk about football on NFL Live and I have my doubts whether he knows a little something about football, but I’ve never doubted that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
4. This is Herm Edwards, providing more evidence that he never learned how television worked despite that being his job for years.
5. Again, introductory press conference, and again, not Herm Edwards. This time we got athletic director Ray Anderson, who somehow again raises an interesting point. If Arizona State is not a rebuild, why did you fire the last coach to hire Herm Edwards? The mind reels.
6. One of the things that was always going to be interesting about the Herm Edwards hire was how he did on the recruiting trail, having come from the NFL where recruiting does not really take place. So it had to be good for ASU fans to hear this quote from Herm Edwards, just to see that he understands that there are layers to this whole recruiting thing. He was also quoted as saying “Signing Day is a little bit unusual for me, because in pro football, you get to draft them. In college, they get to pick you!”, but I did not want to use that because it was both too obvious and sounded like a Yakov Smirnoff bit.
7. This quote seems like it would fit in the Herm Edwards lexicon, but this is actually Jon Gruden at this year’s NFL Combine. Turns out it was a banner year for football teams making dumb decisions by bringing in failed NFL head coaches from the early 2000s.
8. I think everyone at ASU, from Ray Anderson to Herm Edwards to whoever the university president is understood that hiring Herm Edwards to replace Todd Graham was going to be met with apprehension at best. It’s more impressive that anyone, in this case specifically Ray Anderson, would acknowledge that fact out loud. He also leaves out the fact that trains do occasionally crash, and those crashes tend to be catastrophic in nature. Everything should be fine, though!
9. Ok, yeah, this is Herm Edwards, from the introductory press conference, but it begs the question: did he not know what the Arizona State mascot was when he took the job?
10. You might think this is some radio host in Arizona trying to carry water for the Herm Edwards hire by saying “look guys, he’s like an elephant; he never forgot how football works”, but it’s not! This is actually Herm Edwards talking about himself and trying to sell the idea that he has kept up with the evolution of football! Everything about this hire is fun.