PAYSON, Ariz. — ASU’s first practice at Camp Tontozona was interrupted by Hall of Fame analyst Kevin Mawae who rallied the team together for a speech. Wednesday, it was head coach Herm Edwards who halted practice to talk to the team.

“The message was real simple,” said Edwards. “Football is about how you handle adversity or a negative play and a couple things happen bad and you don’t want it to be a series of bad plays.”

“I just didn’t want to get them into that mode of feeling sorry for themselves,” he added. “I thought they responded pretty well. I thought the quarterbacks responded well.”

Quarterback Battle

The coaches remain tight-lipped about the quarterback battle, but for the first time Coach Edwards gave a hint as to which player will not get the starting job, freshman Ethan Long.

“I would say that would be the case,” said Edwards. “But, he’s still going to play quarterback.”

Long has practiced at several positions including quarterback and receiver. Edwards has said repeatedly that he will see the field on offense this year.

“I know one thing, he has to be on the field for us offensively. He has to, he’s too good of an athlete. He’s earned the respect of everyone on this football team because of his character, how he works. You just love coaching the guy.”

Picks for pizza

ASU’s defense finished it’s first practice at Camp T without an interception and Coach Edwards wanted to see more.

“I challenged them and said who’s going to get the first one?” said Edwards.

Cornerbacks coach Tony White added an incentive for his group, pizza. And, it was senior corner Darien Cornay that delivered.

“He had that pick on the sideline and that’s why we went crazy,” said redshirt junior Chase Lucas. “The food up here is good but there ain’t nothing like Pizza Hut pizza.”

ASU will hold practice number three at Camp Tontozona on Thursday from 10a.m.-noon.