Aug. 17, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -- - Head coach David Shaw points out the success of any team can be traced back to the play of the offensive line. For the last two seasons, Stanford's offensive line has been one of the top units in the nation, yielding just 13 sacks while paving the way for two of the top rushing marks in school history.
While Stanford quickly moves to fill three holes on its offensive line in the wake of graduation losses to All-America center Chase Beeler, left guard Andrew Phillips and right tackle Derek Hall, the Cardinal is comforted in knowing it returns All-America candidates David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin, who have combined to make 50 career starts over the last two seasons.
GoStanford.com recently caught up with right guard David DeCastro to get his thoughts on training camp, the upcoming season and eating habits of offensive linemen.
How does it feel to be back on the field?
"It feels great putting the pads on and playing football again. It's a nice feeling to get back into the groove of the routine and practice every day.
How do you feel about your new leadership role on the offensive line?
"It's definitely hard, because last year the seniors were the leaders and they did the talking and set the tone. The responsibility this year falls on Jonathan Martin and me to take on that leadership role. I think it just comes down to practice, you have to be perfect and know your role and do your job flawlessly so that you can coach up other guys."
How is the offensive line coming together with three new starters this season?
"People need to step up, they need to take those open spots and grab the bull by the horns. We're doing alright at this point but we still have a lot of work to do and the only way we're going to get better is to come out every day and get a little bit better."
What's it like having Jonathan Martin to help solidify the line?
"It's great to have him. He's a special athlete in the way he moves, he can bend really well. He's great to have on our team and we love him at left tackle. Jonathan puts a lot of pressure on himself to be perfect and be great and that's one of the traits of a true competitor and a great player."
What's it like blocking for a quarterback who is performs so well outside the pocket?
"It definitely helps when something breaks down in protection and Andrew can avoid a sack with his ability to run. Playing for a guy like that you want to do everything in your power to give him the best chance to be successful and every opportunity to do his job to the best of his ability."
Is Coach Shaw's training camp different from past seasons?
"He has a different demeanor but intensity-wise in practice nothing has really changed. We're still going hard and that's the key to reaching our goals this season."
Among the offensive linemen, who can put down the most food at the training table?
"I hate to be the self promoter but I think I could. I think a lot of people would tell you that.
Sam Cohn, Communications Assistant