Aug. 31, 2004
"The season is here, and we are very anxious to get it underway. We've progressed as a group in the preseason and were anxious to get the season underway against San Jose State this Saturday."
On Quarterback Trent Edwards
"I believe he is ready to go. He had a very positive off-season, has put on probably about 15-18 pounds and matured physically. With a greater degree of confidence, he seems to be seeing the field better this year and his accuracy has improved as well."
On Trent Edwards' Mobility
"If you have a guy that's willing to tuck the football and go, it opens up the game for you. We've been protecting him better, but we have encouraged him to take advantage of opportunities if he sees them."
On The Expected Look Of The Team Heading Into The Season Opener
"Operationally, the team appears much sharper. Numerically, we have greater depth at all positions. It's young depth, but they are people that are going to play. You'll see a variety of new players on both sides of the ball and especially on special teams."
On The Crowded Receiver Position
"We can play two, three, or four receiver sets and there are several guys that can play at one of those positions. They're all playing well, and they will all get an opportunity. There will be different roles that we will ask each of them to play within the frame of the offense. We feel like we have a number of starters and who plays depends on the situation."
On The Emergence Of Free Safety Brandon Harrison And Defensive Tackle Julian Jenkins
"They both had very strong preseason performances, and they both have physically matured. Julian has put on some weight and is a gifted athlete. Brandon's experience as a true freshman coupled with his work in spring practices helped him immensely."
On The "Unknowns" Heading Into The Season-Opener Versus San Jose State
"The opening game is always a little bit of an adventure. San Jose State has a lot of new faces both on offense and defense. The defensive coordinator is new, so they'll have a new look defensively. It's nice to start (the season) when everyone else starts, because we're all going through the same things. I think it should be a very competitive ballgame. We expect that they'll try to establish the run. At quarterback, they have two competitors at the spot in Adam Tafralis and Dale Rogers. We anticipate that Tafralis probably moves around and Rogers is a guy that throws the ball a lot. At receiver, they have some experience and some speed, which is what San Jose State is known for. On the defensive side of the football, it's kind of anybody's game. They return a number of guys. Sean McNamara and Ezekiel Staples are guys we remember that have impressed us. Staples was a fullback last year and now he's a linebacker, so he's obviously a good football player. Safety Josh Powell was injured last year, but he's an outstanding player. We anticipate a great deal of pressure coming from them on defense, given the coordinator's background."
On The Depth Of Stanford's Offensive Line
"We'll use the guys we need to use. Mikal Brewer has had an outstanding camp for us, and David Beall is a guy that can play on the left and right. Tim Mattran can also snap the ball. It feels like we have some depth on the offensive line for the first time since I've been here. We have some untested people, but we're ready to go if any bumps or bruises occur. The mindset is to get our best five linemen on the field at the same time."
On Inside Linebacker Kevin Schimmelmann
"He's a very dedicated player. He started as a safety, then grew into an outside linebacker, and then grew into an interior position player. He's a very reliable, intelligent guy and is very tough. He loves to play the game. He's a quiet leader, leading by action rather than words. He is very dependable and has the ability to run well, tracking down people from sideline-to-sideline."
On The Type Of Offense That Can Be Expected From Stanford
"It will be a multiple offense. We'd like to have the ability to run the football and establish the run, so offensive development in the front is critical. (Running backs) Coach Jay Boulware has helped the running backs develop field vision and an understanding of the schemes up front. Once the run is established, it opens up possibilities with play-action. In terms of passing, I feel like we have the ability to hit all the different zones. The receiving crew has performed well this preseason. There's more numbers and more competition at that spot. We need to establish the run, and I feel we have the ability to do that."
On Downfield Passing
"Most things surround the offensive line. They need to pass protect effectively and help production on the ground to open up play-action possibilities. We want to get the ball out of the hands of the quarterback as quickly as possible, and I think that through our development we'll see more downfield opportunities."
On The Progress Of Wide Receiver Evan Moore
"I think the transition back to football from basketball may have left him a little rusty, but he worked very hard during the off-season and progressed well during the spring. He's very passionate about football and basketball, and taking advantage of his skills has served him well."
On The Difference In Team Attitude This Season As Opposed To Last Year
"We're more mature. We have tremendous senior leadership, and I see guys not just talking but acting. The mentoring that's going on has really helped our younger players. We're more competitive at all of our positions, and that's a credit to our older guys and how they've helped out. There's a greater confidence in having done things over time."
On The Rivalry Between Stanford And San Jose State
"Obviously, proximity has a lot to do with it. Our players and their players cross paths on occasion. You know they're going to play hard. You know they have a lot of great athletes and are well coached. We've got to come out and play a solid game all the way around in order to win. We need to do things effectively and consistently in order to achieve success."
On "Spreading The Defense" From An Offensive Standpoint
"From an offensive standpoint, J.R. Lemon has demonstrated explosiveness and an ability to break tackles. Kenny Tolon has demonstrated that as well, and David Marrero has great quickness and speed. Mark Bradford has displayed an ability to catch the ball. The key is to take advantage of the skills that each of those guys has so the defense can't lock down on just one player. A number of guys have demonstrated those abilities and that allows us to spread it around a little."