Football Hot Routes

The Buddy Teevens era lacked both hot routes and the reporting of Daniel Novinson, who today brings some big news for Spring Ball and beyond. Coincidence? He thinks not.

The Injury Bug:

Slaying Goliath is hard enough with two healthy ankles.

Unfortunately for Stanford Football, injuries will keep many familiar faces from participating in some or all of spring ball.

Second-year head coach Jim Harbaugh said the injured players include offensive tackle Chris Marinelli (shoulder), defensive tackle Ekom Udofia (ankle), tight end Jim Dray, linebacker Pat Maynor and running back Anthony Kimble. As Udofia's and Kimble's injuries are not as severe, Harbaugh was hopeful that the pair would only miss the first few days of spring practice, which begins with a helmets-only workout on Feb. 26.

Split Spring:

Speaking of spring ball, the tentative practice schedule was released to the media at today's National Letter of Intent press conference.

Most notable is that the 15 practice days are not crammed into three weeks, like at most other schools, but are instead spaced out over nearly seven weeks. Nine practices will occur between Feb. 26 and Mar. 10. Then, after a 24-day break, the last six practices will start on April 3, capped by an April 12 Spring Game.

Harbaugh gave several reasons for the unconventional schedule.

Coaches will have more time to evaluate the first half of spring ball before the second half. Similarly, if a player injured during the first nine practices can recuperate within a few weeks, he'll still be able to practice in the last six sessions.

Finally, the quarter system at Stanford makes fitting all the practices in before winter finals and spring break impossible. Not starting spring ball until spring quarter would push those sessions into junior recruiting, which would stretch the coaching staff too thin.

"There's just so many ways we're winning here," Harbaugh said.

Though the schedule is subject to change, the current practice dates are:

  • Feb. 26 (helmets only)
  • Feb. 27 (helmets only)
  • Feb. 29
  • Mar. 1
  • Mar. 3
  • Mar. 5
  • Mar. 7
  • Mar. 8
  • Mar. 10
  • Apr. 3 (helmets only)
  • Apr. 5
  • Apr. 6
  • Apr. 8
  • Apr. 10
  • Apr. 12 (Spring Game)

Times have not been finalized.

Black is sooo 2007:

Jim Harbaugh's decision to sport a black Stanford vest at the press conference was ironic, given his input on the team's uniforms next season.

In: Cardinal and White. Out: black. Plenty of fans have been clamoring for the move, and Jim Harbaugh apparently agreed.

"They'll be throwback Cardinal and White," he said. "I just felt I wanted the school colors in the uniform."

Perhaps his new wife set down her foot on the black fashion faux-pas. If so, we can all be thankful.

Etc.:

Speaking of Jim Harbaugh's wedding, guess when he learned that Michigan was pursuing Scott Shafer? That's right: his honeymoon. Tough timing there.

Harbaugh also got off the funniest line of the day, saying that the rain on his wedding day were tears from all the men on this planet, now that his wife was off the market.

And sure, the look former boss and future newlywed Mike Eubanks' face was partly relief that the 2008 class had been inked. (Okay, I suppose the word is "tonered" in this day and age.) But I'm a college student, so I know that visage also signified absolute fatigue. Sure enough, the Man (in both the Establishment and the hip senses of the word) himself said he'd been up since 2:30 a.m., warming up the fax machine, I'd like to think. But someone needs to make sure Mr. E gets his sleep. 


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