Pre-Duke Interview: Randy Hart

In limiting San Jose State to a 0.8 rushing average last weekend, Stanford's defensive front drew praise from observers. The Cardinal's defensive line coach Randy Hart was far from content, however. Earlier this week, The Bootleg caught up with Hart to discuss the SJSU game, as well as the defensive line's outlook moving forward.

The Bootleg: How would you asses your group's play against SJSU?
Randy Hart: Improving, we're a work in progress. We're certainly not as good as we want to be yet, but it's cliché and everything else, but that's kind of who we are right now, it was the first game.

TB: What were strengths and weaknesses you saw in the first game?
RH: I thought we had some decent effort at times, I think our guys used proper technique, using their hands, moving their feet. There were bits of good probably in every guy that got out there and the plus thing was that we got eight guys to play out there, and that was a good thing.

TB: You guys did only allow 0.8 yards per carry, that seems pretty solid, no?
RH: It was okay. Again, there were some passing yards taken off that, it would be nice if passing yardage came off passes, not off rushes. We're not going to change that today, certainly, but again, I think the score of the game dictated that they had to go to some of the throwing game, that probably affected that as well.

TB: What specifically is your line looking to improve upon, then? Is it more the little things?
RH: Everything. But they're all little things. The summation of the big is a lot of little things and that's what's going to help them be better players. If they move their feet, use their hands, eyes, and feet like we're trying to teach, with excitement, with purpose, I think we'll improve the whole show.

TB: At times last year, it seemed like the starters - Fua, Masifilo, and Bulcke never left the field. In the SJSU game, there were frequent substiutions. Why the change in mentality?
RH: We've got young players; we have one player with experience, that would be Matt. As a result, the others will grow up together, I'm sure there will be some separation and I'm sure we'll see some guys take some plays away. They already have, probably taken some plays away from guys because of the way we played.

TB: Aside from the three starters, were there any of the other guys that rotated in that impressed you?
RH: Henry Anderson earned himself some more time, certainly. Probably David Parry earned himself some more time. They all had their moments, and as a result, we'll try to keep moving them around, and knowing that we're going to be playing in warm weather the next couple of games, that's going to help us. That's going to do nothing but be good to us.

TB: How has Ben Gardner improved since he arrived here?
RH: He's improved tremendously. He came in as a 240-pound linebacker, he's a 270-pound defensive end now, so he's promoted himself too.

TB: Can you compare him to Brian Buclke?
RH: Very similar. Very similar. Bulcke was a linebacker when he came here as well. Very similar, they like to play football and they'll do anything for the team that they can to be a football player. Being a linebacker, they bring a tremendous amount of savvy to the field, they know what to do, they know what people behind them are doing, therefore, they're better players up front.

TB: What is Henry Anderson's best position?
RH: Probably as a defensive end, I imagine. I'd like to train him as a nose like we did in the spring because he can jump in there and help out as well depending one some of the defenses we need. You need a pair and a spare in there. With David Parry, Terrence Stephens and Henry, we feel like we can continue with the defense.

TB: What are you looking to improve with the defensive line moving forward?
RH: Overall performance - hands eyes feet, push up the field, make plays, help our secondary out, cut down on throwing launch times. If we can get after the QB, that would be fun. We just have to improve our entire package.

TB: Can you talk about the two young guys, Lance Callihan and Hayes, and what you've seen from them?
RH: They're young. You're exactly right, they're young, but they work hard. They're going to fine. Again, a cliché, but we're not doing brain surgery, we're playing football.

TB: They'll probably both redshirt this year?
RH: I would hope so, yes.

What was the rationale behind moving Kevin Anderson from defensive end to outside backer?
RH: We needed an outside rusher. We were a little thin out there, so as a result moved it out, and he's made for it.

Is he a guy where if he puts on weight, you'll move him back to end?
RH: He can do anything. He's a good football player that we saw at high school across the street, and he has not disappointed. He's going to be a good football player wherever he plays.

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