April 5, 2007
Head coach Jim Harbaugh has made it clear that special teams is a critical component for his team and that he and his coaching staff are in the process of identifying those players who can excel on all special teams. After day two of spring practice, both Harbaugh and special teams coordinator D.J. Durkin said they were pleased with the team's effort and enthusiasm towards competing for special teams positions.
"You can't rehearse special teams," said Harbaugh. "You just have to go out and do it. We feel we can win games on special teams and we're taking time this spring to look for guys who can fill those key roles on all special teams."
The Cardinal had another spirited practice that was filled with excitement and high energy throughout the two-and-a-half hour session. Perhaps the most competitive drill during the day's practice was a special teams drill that pitted 12 members of the kickoff team vs. 12 members of the kickoff return team.
"We want to simulate our kickoffs and put our players in the most competitive situation in practice," said Durkin. "I think our guys did a good job today. We have a ways to go, but we were much better today than we were yesterday. We want guys who look forward to the competition.
"You'd be hard pressed to find a team that spends as much time on special teams as we do," Durkin said. "We've made it a priority and our guys know that it's important."
Stanford's aerial attack was also on display in today's practice. Quarterback T.C. Ostrander completed a 60 yard pass to Richard Sherman and a 40-yard TD pass to Chris Hobbs during "team" drills and also connected with Stephen Carr on a deep touchdown pass during "7-on-7" drills.
Stanford's next practice is Saturday, April 7 from 11:00-1:45 pm.