Oct. 6, 2004
Junior center Brian Head is featured in the seventh installment of a weekly column of player reports that lets Cardinal Commitment readers in on the thoughts of Stanford football players. The Cardinal plays its first road game of the season versus Notre Dame in a contest to be televised nationally by NBC at Notre Dame Stadium this Saturday, October 9 (1:30 pm, EST; 11:30 am, PDT).
CC: Heading into the first road game of the season, what's the attitude of the team?
BH: We're very confident and looking forward to getting out on the road. If we're going to have a good season, we have to win on the road and there's no better place to start than at Notre Dame.
CC: How is the team preparing for the season's first game in a hostile environment?
BH: Well, we knew that the USC game could be hostile because they travel so well. We all know what we're doing and we're all sound in our assignments, so we just have to speak up and make sure that we can hear each other.
CC: Does going up against former head coach Tyrone Willingham make this game any more important?
BH: I think about all of our opponents in pretty much the same way, regardless of who's coaching them. To me, it doesn't make much of a difference that we're playing against coach Willingham. I just want to go out there and beat them in their house.
CC: You missed part of last season due to injury. How have you rebounded from the setback?
BH: I missed out on a lot of the winter stuff as well but got back to it in the spring. During this summer, I really hit the weights hard and got my conditioning back to normal. I really don't feel like the injury is slowing me down at all.
CC: You are the only junior and the oldest player on the offensive line. Do you see yourself as a leader of that unit?
BH: With the five guys working together, we don't really need an individual leader. Being the center, I have to make calls and get everybody going in the right direction. But when it comes do doing your job, all of us know what we have to do individually and I think that it is working very well so far.
CC: The running game has been very strong this season. Is there something that the offensive line is doing schematically, or are you guys just getting the job done?
BH: On J.R. Lemon's 58-yard touchdown run against Washington, we got a great block from our tackle Jon Cochran who ended up blocking the safety. If you watch the tape, you can see Josiah Vinson charging down the field and knocking his own helmet off with a block. As long as everyone is doing their jobs, our running game will be just fine, and J.R. and Kenneth Tolon are going to be thankful.
CC: What kind of influence has offensive line coach Steve Morton had on your play?
BH: Coach Morton is great. He lets us have time to goof around but lets us know when it's time to work. We don't take too much time off, because we're always going. I think he's made a huge difference bringing up the young offensive linemen, and he's an asset to the team.
CC: You state that you pattern your game after former Stanford guard and current San Francisco 49er Eric Heitmann. What kind of example did he set for you when you were a young player?
BH: When I first got to Stanford, he was a senior and part of a really dominant offensive line. He was a great person, willing to help out anyone on the team. He's a great player and once he got on a block, you couldn't get him off. If I could play like one guy, Eric Heitmann would be the one.
CC: What kind of team goals have you set for this season?
BH: The first goal is to get to a bowl game, and I feel like we're well on our way to that. We only have one loss, and we feel like we have a very good shot to make it to a major bowl game.