Up Close & Personal: Coby Fleener

Redshirt sophomore tight end Coby Fleener is in the mix for a lot of playing time this year for Stanford. Last year, he came off the bench for 13 catches and 176 yards. Now, he is fighting for time with senior Jim Dray, transfer Konrad Reuland and a host of freshmen recruits.

The tight end position could be as deep as we have seen for the Cardinal in years. That is all the more important with Coach Harbaugh's offense often requiring multiple tight end sets.

I caught up with Fleener after practice one day to talk about how things were going:

Q: It looks like you were getting a little extra stretching for you after practice, feeling it a little bit?
Camp will wear on you a little bit but Coach Turley keeps us going.

Q: How are thing going for you?
It is going well. Camp is camp. It is hard work and you expect that going into it. We are really pushing one another.

Q: You have a lot of competition at the tight end position between you, Jim Dray, Konrad Reuland and about a half dozen freshmen I think.
Yeah, we have picked up quite a few in the recruiting class. All of them are learning the offense really fast. They are all picking it up. Someday hopefully this year, but if not in the years to come, you will have some stud tight ends.

Q: What about this year, is Coby Fleener going to be our stud tight end?
That is what I am hoping for.

Q: How are the first two weeks of camp for you?
For me consistency has been an issue. I started off really strong and then struggled and now I am starting to get back into it really hard.

Q: Is the consistency about energy or results on the field, what is the problem that you see?
Being hard on myself and seeing the results that I want to see and not getting those, it is difficult. You want to hold yourself to a high standard and when you don't see that, it is tough. But now that we are getting into it more and more and more, it gets easier and easier.

Q: What is the next step as we go toward week three of camp, what is your next step to reach that consistency?
I would say making sure that every play is being finished almost beyond the whistle. Making those extra few steps to train yourself to be ready for the game.

Q: When you look at the offense as a whole, how do you see things coming together? With Andrew [Luck] at quarterback, Toby [Gerhart], a great offensive line, from a player perspective what do you think?
I am thoroughly impressed by the players on our team in general, offense and defense. It seems like every day I am watching the film and I am in awe of a certain player. But we have to make sure that it is not just a handful of guys. It needs to be every guy making those plays.

Q: When you line up at tight end, you are a little offset from the defensive line, but tell me about getting into scrums with the defensive lines. When I watch the defensive line in practice they amaze me.
The defensive line is something else. Going against guys like Erik Lorig, and all of our defensive ends, it is just making us better. Coach said after practice today, we really need to work against these defensive ends, because it is only going to make us better going against Washington State and the Pac-10 in the future.

Q: Halfway through camp, is there any focus yet on WSU or is it really just about putting in Stanford football?
Stanford football is the main focus, but I would say because of the versatility of our offense, behind the scenes there is always the inkling of Washington State.

Q: A certain play that might work against WSU, that type of thing?

Dave Fowkes is a longtime Stanford Cardinal fan. Born at Stanford hospital and raised on the Peninsula, he has been a football season ticket holder since 1981. In that span he has only missed three home games, but of course never a Big Game. Dave currently works in media both on the air and behind the scenes in advertising sales. He has covered sports on and off since 1992. Currently he works as a traffic, news and sports man on several Bay Area radio stations under a few different on-air aliases. Dave blends the passion of being a fan with the perspective of being a reporter in his stories. For more Stanford football coverage by Dave you can read the Stanford Football Examiner at www.stanfordfootballreport.com

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