Football Spring Practice Begins
April 2, 2002
Quotes from Stanford head coach Buddy Teevens
Press Conference, April 2, 2002
'I'm anxious to get practice started. There seems to be a great deal of enthusiasm to finally get on the field and do some work. The coaching staff walked on the practice field the other day and you could just sense the excitement from the coaches. Just being out of the office, away from the board, off the tapes and being physically close to doing something was pretty exciting for them. We'll get started tomorrow (Wednesday) with 2:30 meetings and on the field at 4:00 p.m. The first two days will be helmets only. We will have limited contact on the third practice and have a limited scrimmage on the fourth day (Monday, April 8).
We'll do a lot of teaching off the bat, then work towards scrimmage situations. We'll have 15 total practices, including eight contact practices, four limited contact and three with no contact. We will conclude on April 27 with the Spring Game.'
How much of your offense and defense do you hope to get installed this spring?
'We will count heavily on the intelligence of our players to put in as much as we can. We will overload our players, if necessary, and count on their ability to retain information so that the next time we go through pre-season (this fall) it will not be new to them. It's fairly extensive both offensively and defensively. Certainly, we do not want to neglect the fundamentals, but we want to give them an opportunity to see everything we've talked about. It will also give us the opportunity as a staff to access what we can do and what we might hold on to for a period of time.'
What type of things do you want to accomplish this spring?
'Certainly grasping the offensive and defensive schemes. Also, we're going to be emphasizing special teams, PAT, field goal, punt protection and some other components. We also plan to establish a mindset and attitude of a relentless football team. The weather is beautiful and it is nice to practice out there. We hope they are excited to get a chance to show the staff who they are. This is the first opportunity for the coaching staff to begin to evaluate them. As we told all of them, we are not looking to the past but we are looking now and forward. If you have things to show and things to prove now is the time.'
Are there some players more than others who are going to have to learn more in a short amount of time?
'We will put a lot of responsibility in the quarterback's hands. They have a lot of different concepts to grasp and the more they can handle the better off they will be. We tried to keep some things similar but most of it is fairly new, like a foreign language. There will be some mistakes, but the big thing we are pushing is effort. Effort, consistency and performance is something we are really stressing.'
Are there any personnel moves planed?
'Jared Newberry was switched from fullback to a linebacker spot. He approached me about this and wanted a shot and I said sure. He has worked hard in drills and he is excited about it. I like the guys to be happy where they are and the key is to put people in positions that will contribute to the greatest success as a team.
We have guys that are trying to learn different positions. It is pretty open the first week, but most of the guys have settled in and there is not going to be significant changes. I think we have depth at most spots and we have guys coming in this fall that we are hoping can add to that depth. Right now we are in pretty good shape across the board.'
On the intelligence of a player vs. their skill level
'As long as the offense is well executed it can be successful in many different areas. The higher the talent level, the greater the explosive opportunity there might be. I have told our players that there are a lot of players at Stanford that could play at Florida. One of the key differences from the SEC is the overall team speed. We have some real fast guys, some fast guys and some guys who are looking to get faster. In terms of execution, as long as we execute cleanly and effectively it will be effective. '
Is this spring different than other spring seasons since this is your first at Stanford?
'Coming in, our players don't know our coaching style and our coaches don't know the player capabilities. We have to merge that very quickly and in doing so we also have to teach a system. That makes this spring an important one. To come in and transition will be very important.'
How much time have you spent with Chris Lewis?
'With NCAA rules, the time has been limited. He is very receptive and he likes to watch tape and learn. I think as a comfort level with him is knowing he has an opportunity to step forward. He seems relaxed with that, but also ready to learn and prove what he is capable of doing.'
How is spring practice going to be for you?
'Similar to other transition years I've had, it will be somewhat the same. I will try to be organized, but there is always that unknown. There is a learning curve and it is pretty steep the first couple of days. In terms of excitement, it is always the same. The fact that you are out there doing it again is the most enjoyable part of coaching. It should be a fun spring for all.'
On the assessment of the team
'Casey Moore is a very solid running back/fullback. He is physical but also has the ability to make cuts and make people miss. He strikes me as a tough individual, which is what we put value on. Kwame Harris is very athletic and has the potential to be as good as any lineman in the country. Kirk Chambers is a good offensive lineman who takes his job seriously as does Greg Schindler. Brett Pierce can not only block, but catch the ball. Ryan Wells has been solid and Teyo Johnson is very athletic and a big receiver who is confident to go up and make some big plays. Luke Powell is explosive and made a lot of big plays on special teams. That core looks good. We have places where we need to fill things in, like the running back spot. Kerry Carter will have a limited spring after having shoulder surgery. J.R. Lemon will be in a similar situation. We will be interested in taking a look at Kenneth Tolon and see what he can do as well as Justin Faust.'
What is the injury status heading into spring practice?
'In addition to Carter and Lemon, Luke Powell will be day-to-day with a groin strain. Brandon Royster has a groin strain as well. We will probably have to keep them out some, but they will be able to begin to learn the system so when they return they will be ready to go.'
Will Stanford train off-campus during the fall, as has been reported?
'No, we will be here at Stanford. We researched some facilities, but ultimately decided to stay on campus. This is not a bad place to be.'