Harbaugh And Fletcher Address Media At Pac-10 Media Day

July 24, 2008

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Los Angeles, Calif.- Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh and center Alex Fletcher adressed the media at Pac-10 media day on Thursday.

Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Opening Remarks: 'It is good to be here today with Alex [Fletcher]. I find my mood and demeanor gets better every day as we get closer to July 31 when we open camp. I'm ready get outside and coach. I feel something very special about our team as guys get in the best shape of their lives. The guy next to me is a tremendous leader with a great heart. A lot of hard work has been put in thus far. When you look at our team, the reason why I brought Alex is because that is the strength of our football team, our offensive line. We have four experienced lineman who have played in big games. We have three quarterbacks we feel we can win with. I will tell you right now I bet we could win with all three of them. It will be a heated competition. The neat thing about watching them compete in the spring, is that the guys see it, and the coaches can feel it. Every single snap is important to them. All three of them want to be the starting quarterback. It is truly the best thing for our football team to have that competition.'

On Jim Dray and Allen Smith: Jim hurt his knee last year in the TCU game about as bad as you can hurt it. He had two-to-three different surgeries and they thought about a year of recovery at the time. But as a testament to our trainers, doctors and the heart of Jim Dray, he was ahead of schedule and expected to return to action Sept. 1, and now he is ahead of that schedule. It is a real testament to his heart.

Allen Smith is progressing very well lately. He had a couple of setbacks in January and February. I anticipate Ben Muth will be our starting left tackle and we will see where Allen is when we get to our opener. There is a chance he could play this year, and a chance he could not.'

On beating USC last season: 'It was a great thrill winning down at the Coliseum. That being said, that is water under the bridge. 2008 is a whole new dynamic, new culture, new team of guys.'

Stanford C Alex Fletcher
On the other centers in the league: 'Playing guard last year, I like to look at all three interior positions on the line. I watch a lot of guys. I have watched Alex Mack, Max Unger and Juan Garcia. I have tremendous respect for them, they are all really good players.'

On the offensive line: 'In terms of the offensive line, when I came in we were the weakness of the team and now we are finally the strength. A lot of guys had to develop and get better. That is one of the best places to have strength, but you are one out of five and you are only as good as the guy next to you. We have worked together for a while now and that is huge because you know the difference between the way OSU runs its defense and the way USC runs its defense. It's a huge advantage.'

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