Stubbe: We worked a lot by ourselves on footwork, just working on our run plays, pass plays, pass sets, and a lot of stuff like that that we haven't normally done. Every Tuesday and Thursday we got together and did that stuff. On Thursdays we would even work with the D-line on pass sets. It was a big change from what we've done in the past.
CN: The momentum you built towards the end of spring practice had to help the offensive line's outlook.
Stubbe: The whole spring we all stayed healthy and had everybody. It was the same guy next to you, which was a nice change. In the last two years, especially on my side, I've had a new guy next to me all the time. It will be nice just to have one person and get to know the guy. It's been nice to have that this summer and so far in camp.
CN: What about off the field, how did this group come together?
Stubbe: We met up throughout the summer to talk about what we wanted to do. We want to be a more productive O-line, compared to in the past when we had trouble running the ball or pass protecting. We take that all on our shoulders and took it to heart. We knew we needed to have a great summer and get after it and I think we did.
CN: Talk about the physical mentality that new offensive coordinator and line coach Barney Cotton has instilled.
Stubbe: You can definitely see that in a bunch of guys who weren't as physical before. Now they're getting after it and getting aggressive. That's all he talks about. He also talks about loafing and slacking. You may mess up a play and, OK, he can fix that. But if you're out there slacking and loafing, that's when he'll really get all over you. He really preaches that and that's what we need.
CN: How much confidence has Coach Cotton helped this group gain?
Stubbe: We feel a lot more positive, which is another thing Barney has talked to us about. Last year there were some great players on the O-line, but we just didn't get it done up front. That was unfortunate, considering the group that we had. This year it will be a little different set of guys. I think we'll be ready if we can just keep everyone healthy. I think everyone will stay even more confident if we don't have to rotate guys around and give them new spots. It makes it rough on an O-lineman if you're going from one side to the other.
CN: You were one of the position leaders of the line this summer. What did you think of Coach Dan McCarney's approach with naming unit leaders instead of captains coming out of the spring?
Stubbe: After the season we had, he wanted to see who was going to emerge and be a leader. That's what he was waiting for. It was the right decision. It enabled the team to find out who the real leaders were after a heartbreak season like last year.
CN: So when Mac names captains in a few weeks will you be one of them?
Stubbe: Obviously it would be an honor. It would be awesome to do that after playing here for so long. I came in here and was like 200 pounds. It's pretty crazy. I've come so far. It would be awesome to be a captain.