Comments From The Coach

Aug. 22, 2002

The following are exerpts from a recent press conference with Stanford University first year football coach Buddy Teevens and the Bay Area Media. The Cardinal opens the 2002 season on September 7 at Boston College.

On the team:

'Improving in all facets of the game is really what the goal is right now. There is a great deal of enthusiasm and the guys are excited. We have some new things on campus with the weight and locker room facilities, and the guys really seem to respond well right now.'

On the team taking in the new information:

'They are getting things and just hearing them talk it seems to be a bit of a recall. We are relying on that. Over a two-week time, we are basically putting a greater percentage of our offense and defense in the first couple of days. We are relying on their ability to digest and also to recall, which allows us to accelerate the process. We can then do more at an earlier stage.'

On how long it takes to establish an offense:

'It depends on how readily the guys are able to grasp the material. If you have guys that see things well and the big picture of what you are trying to do, the learning process is much quicker.'

On the process being season-long or ready by the first game:

'Because you have to adjust with every opponent you play, it is an ongoing process. We will start with instilling the main things and them implementing the week's game plan.'

On the No. 2 quarterback:

'We don't know yet. Kyle Matter has done a nice job in the off-season and has worked really hard and seems confident. Ryan Eklund has done well, and both seem confident in what they are doing. We did not have much time with them in the spring, but they seem more comfortable. I told them the other day that the guy that executes will be playing. I really believe that Trent Edwards and David Lofton are learning very quickly. I am very impressed with their progression. The best guy will play. They have to be able to run the offense.'

On how much pressure is on Chris Lewis:

'Any time you throw the ball and as a quarterback, you are going to have a lot of responsibility. He is the type of guy that it does not seem to affect him one way or another. I am very impressed with what he did last year, by stepping in after in injury. That is a great quality to have, where nothing seems to rattle him. He is calm, cool, relaxed and confident. We rested him this spring, he worked hard this summer with the receivers and I am excited to see what he does this fall.'

On coaching at Stanford:

'You are surrounded by success at Stanford. You have to do an exceptional job at recruiting and identify the strong student athletes. We have something to offer that other schools do not, a combination of athletes and academics at the highest level. The opportunity to have success here is as great as anywhere else. Our guys are students first and then athletes, but they still have the idea of playing in the NFL and that is the combination that we want.'

On being comfortable at Stanford and the Bay Area:

'I think having gone to Dartmouth and coached at Dartmouth, I am in a similar situation in terms of academics. It was a lot of fun to be at Illinois and Florida to see how they operated. Now at Stanford, I have found that they operate at that same high level with strong academics and a passion for sports ...'

On the most surprising thing for Stanford fans this season:

'I guess I would say that we are going to use our imagination and really open things up. We will play within the abilities of our players and really get them involved.'

On what you expect the defense to achieve:

'The biggest thing is rapid maturity. We have guys that have not set foot on the varsity field and they have to play like they have. We can make a big deal that they don't have experience, but what I told the guys is that it is the same game that they have played for a long time. It is nothing new to them and we have to do in with that mindset that they are ready to go. We have to establish their confidence level. Colin Branch will be asked to help the guys in the backfield and Matt Leonard needs to be consistent for us up front.'

On the linebackers:

'We have a lot of new guys. Brian Gaffney, David Bergeron and Michael Craven will all see time and have tremendous athletic talent. Jon Alston is also in the mix. They all run very well and they are just learning their reads, but they have the skills.'

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