Aug. 3, 2006
San Francisco, Calif. - Stanford football head coach Walt Harris addressed the media during the 2006 Bay Area Football Media Day held Thursday at Tres Agaves restaurant in San Francisco. Stanford players Trent Edwards, Tim Mattran, Evan Moore and Udeme Udofia were also in attendance. Stanford begins team practice sessions for the 2006 campaign next Monday, August 7. The Cardinal opens this season at Oregon on Saturday, September 2 (12:30 pm, PT). Stanford's first game at the new Stanford Stadium is scheduled versus Navy on Saturday, September 16 (7:00 pm, PT).
Here's some of what coach Harris had to say to the media on Thursday.
HEAD COACH WALT HARRIS
"This is our second season (as a coaching staff), and I think some of the things we want to do are falling into place. We have a lot of "ifs" as does everybody else this time of the year, but we have a good nucleus of mature people. We're a little older on offense this year than we were on defense, which is exactly the opposite of last year, so we need to play well on offense."
"Our new stadium is really going to be quite remarkable. It's a whole new experience. You'll be shocked when you walk into the stadium. It's a completely different environment. I believe it will really help our fans and contribute to a first-class environment. I hope it will also affect our team a lot. I don't have that crystal ball to tell you that for sure, but I think it will have a much different atmosphere for our fans and our players, and hopefully our opponents."
"It's an obvious commitment by Stanford University to being good in football. Now we have to dot all the rest of the "i's", cross all of the rest of the "t's", and do all the things you have to do to [to be a good football program]."
"We obviously need to get to a bowl game. You start every season wanting to win every football game, but we need to find a way to get to a bowl somehow this year. We find out last year that we could win at the Pac-10, and we have to get back to that level."
"The expectations for our offensive line is for them to show improvement, hopefully a lot of improvement over last year. As a coaching staff, we spent a lot of time in the off-season doing some things that we think will help them this year."
"That's the most exciting thing about the new season. We have an opportunity to erase what's happened in the past and build a more productive future. We're really excited about that opportunity."
"I doubt many people have a quarterback that is as good as Trent Edwards. I refer to Trent as the best quarterback that nobody has heard of. He's one of the most talented guys that I've had an opportunity to work with. He still has to improve his game, but I believe he's very committed to doing so."
"I like Anthony Kimble as a young man. I think he's very focused. Football is important to him. He'll try to be as good as a running back as he can be this year, and even better after that."
"I have a big job to do, and that's my focus. I take it real serious, because it's really important to me. And it's really exciting to me. I'm really excited about our opportunity to build a good football program at a tremendous school, but I know we have a lot of work to do."
"When you feel like one part of the team has to carry another, they end up playing worse. So, defensively we have to play well and offensively we have to play well. We just need to do what we need to do to be successful on each play."
"My bottom line is being successful and the only way to do that is by winning games. So, my pressure that I put on myself is greater than any other pressure put on myself by any other means. I look at the Stadium being more full than ever before as three things. First, they are excited about the newness of Stanford Stadium. Secondly, they are excited about the 2006 Stanford Football team, and third they are excited about what we accomplished and almost accomplished last year. I'm not going to look at [the new Stanford Stadium] as a pressure think, I think it's an exciting thing for us."
"We have to look at it as if we are playing a good team in the opener, so hopefully our training camp will be better than if we were playing a less competitive football team. We try to look at the positive aspect of it. We look at playing Oregon in the opener as an opportunity to have a great training camp and a lot of really good practices, because we open by playing a really good football team on the opener."
"I think it's better for the Pac-10 that everybody plays everybody."
"The biggest question is whether our young new players on defense and the replacements for last year's players can be competitive in the Pac-10."