Aug. 5, 2005
Los Angeles/San Francisco, Calif - Stanford football head coach Walt Harris and Stanford players addressed the media during a pair of preseason press conferences in Los Angeles (August 2) and San Francisco (August 3) this week. Here's some of what Harris and Stanford outside linebacker Jon Alston had to say.
Los Angeles - August 2, 2005
Head Coach Walt Harris
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to coach at Stanford. We had a tough season last year. Football is more complicated than people think. There's a lot to do to get everyone on the same page. I like the players on our team. They care a great deal about football and about winning. Last year, Stanford lost five games by a total of 22 points. Our goal this year is to get back in position to win those games.
We are in a transition period now. It takes time to get everyone on the same page. It's a process we have to go through. But, there is a great leadership on this team, and we are a making great progress."
On Stanford's Quarterbacks
"I like the competition at the quarterback position. Both Trent Edwards and T.C. Ostrander started games last year and played a lot of football. They've had the summer to digest what we taught them last spring, and I'm excited to see them compete for the starting job. I think by naming a starter now, it takes away the competition, and I don't think that's good business. We won't go too long before we name a starter, however. I wasn't ready to name a starter during spring."
Outside Linebacker Jon Alston
"Some people have said that there is a lack of respect for our team, but I say you get respect when you earn it - and we haven't earned it. The last three years, we've won 10 games - that's not enough. We just didn't make plays to win games. This year, when we get those opportunities to win games, we've got to make the plays."
San Francisco - August 3, 2005
Head Coach Walt Harris
"We have a group of football players that don't like the position that they're in. We have a good senior class that I'm counting on for tremendous leadership. We have a long ways to go, but I like the attitude of our players. We're excited about the things that are happening at Stanford. We're excited about the fact that we are building a new football stadium, which in the long run is really going to help our program. It's obviously a huge commitment to football. We have a lot of work to do, and we can't wait to get started."
On Stanford's priorities for the 2005 season
"Football is a game where you have to find out what kind of shape we're in. We're playing on the road (to open the season) in a humid environment in Annapolis, Maryland, so we are going to have to be in great shape.
On Stanford's offense
"Offensively, we have to find a way to run the football. Our offensive line and running backs situations are very critical aspects to our game."
On Stanford's defense
"Defensively, we have to put guys in the right spots."
On Stanford's special teams
On special teams, we have to be good. For teams that have not been successful, that's where they have had the most problems. They get exposed athletically on their special teams."
On ways to break out of a losing mode
"The first thing you have to do is get the players to invest in the program. You do everything you can to motivate them and be committed. You really lean on your older players, especially the seniors, who have the greatest sense of urgency, because there are no more games in college after this season for them. Those guys are ready to go, and I'm going to lean on them a lot to lead our football team."