April 24, 2007
Defensive coordinator Scott Shafer says he's pleased with the progress of his defensive unit, but added that "Rome wasn't built in a day. We've given our guys a new defense, a new way of looking at things. I'm happy to see progress, but we've still got a ways to go." Shafer's comments came today after Stanford's 12th practice of the spring season. The Cardinal will conclude the spring with the annual Spring Football Game on Saturday, April 28 at Stanford Stadium.
Shafer, who spent the last two seasons building one of the nation's best defenses at Western Michigan, where his 2006 squad ranked 11th nationally, said it will take time for the Cardinal to get where it wants to go.
"With every scrimmage we've had, we get better," he said. "Baby steps. We've got guys playing new positions and we haven't been as fast as we'd like, but I really like the effort and enthusiasm. It will take time for us to read and react at the level we need.
"But, if we just keep pounding the rock, and control the controllables, we'll get to where we want to be," he said. "That's our motto," said Shafer.
Shafer led a Western Michigan defense a year ago that led the nation in interceptions and sacks, ranked sixth in run defense and seventh in turnover margin. He hopes to bring that same level of success to The Farm.
"We're still in the elementary stage of teaching our defense," he said. "We're at the ABC level; we haven't even put words to it yet. I am proud of how hard our players have worked. We go live a lot, which forces our guys to get mentally strong.
"We're making daily progress," said Shafer. "We need to stay steady and stay together and we'll get there."
The Cardinal will practice twice before the Spring Game. Stanford will take Wednesday off, but return to the Elliott Practice Field on Thursday (4:00-6:15 pm) and Friday (4:00-6:00 pm). The Spring Game on Saturday begins at 4:00 pm at Stanford Stadium.