Aug. 11, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -- - Stanford senior tight end Coby Fleener gained national recognition with his record setting performance in Stanford's 40-12 victory in the 2011 Orange Bowl. His combination of speed, strength and athleticism make the Mackey Award candidate one of the premier tight ends in the nation heading into the 2011 season.
In this edition of Training Camp Insider, Coby talks about the Cardinal's talented tight end trio, his memorable performance in the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl and his new hairstyle.
How good does it feel to be back on the football field again?
"It feels great being out here with the guys and being able to put in work that you know is helping you in game-type situations. It's harder to see in the weight room how it translates to the field and out here you can really feel whether it's the timing or the different steps you take to become a better team. There's a lot more that we can do out here on the field to help us prepare to win games than we could do in the weight room and we're excited to be back out here."
What's it like being a part of an exceptional group of tight ends?
"It's exciting to have guys come along, and it's not just the older guys, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo, but also Davis Dudchock and Brandon Gottfried and a new freshman Matt Kasner who everyone's really excited about. It's exciting to be part of a group that's going to factor into the offense this year more than it has in the past."
What's something that fans should know about Ertz and Toilolo?
"Levine just got his first tattoo, a tribal sleeve, and Zach already has one so I'm the only one out of us who doesn't have one. I won't be getting one any time soon, you can make sure my mom sees this."
What's it like having three power forwards in the first-team tight end rotation?
"I know that Zach (6'6") and Levine (6'8") played high school basketball so we're debating whether we should challenge our women's team to a pickup game. I don't know if we can stretch it to the men's team yet but I think it would be fun to get out on the court with those guys when the season's over."
Have you set any personal goals for the season?
"Not specifically. We just want to win games and we're not concerned with individual statistics. You don't want to drop any balls and you don't want to miss assignments, but those are just the minimum of what we expect from ourselves."
What effect did your performance in the 2011 Orange Bowl have on you?
"I got a lot of attention for that game but it was really the offensive line giving Andrew (Luck) time to throw the ball, Andrew finding me open and the other guys, whether the other tight ends or the wide receivers, taking care of their responsibilities to enable us to be successful in that game."
What is it like playing with Andrew Luck?
"It's an unbelievable honor to play with a guy like Andrew. It's really a once in a lifetime experience. It's not only his physical ability but also the mental aspect of his game that allows him to perform so well and he makes us look good out there."
By the look of your mug shot, you seem to be sporting a new hairstyle this season.
"Yeah, some of the guys on the team got a hold of that and really enjoyed it. I obviously didn't get to see the picture and proof it after it was taken. I thought it looked like I was wearing a wig and I wouldn't mind an opportunity to take it again, but I'm not worried about it."
Talk a little bit about the transition from Coach Harbaugh to Coach Shaw.
"They have different personalities but the offense is very similar and we're trying to keep a lot of the schemes the same. The biggest thing is the difference in their personalities; they're both going to work their butts off and you'll see that Coach Shaw can be just as fiery as Coach Harbaugh but he's naturally more subdued. He's going to work as hard as he can to help us win games and we respect that about him."