T minus-9: Harbaugh 8/26

The Stanford football team held its final scrimmage of training camp in Stanford Stadium today, and The Bootleg was on hand to speak with coach Jim Harbaugh after its conclusion. Read on for a brief update on the scrimmage, as well as discussion of depth along the defensive line and a tidbit about the composition of the 2011 recruiting class.

How did it go today?
It went well. It was a good workout.

Any winners or losers or just a good day all around?
A lot of situations, a lot of good situations. There was some very good play. Coby Fleener looked like he was moving really well and had a couple big catches.

Even though Levine is a starter, the role of Fleener won't be minimized, right? He's still a big part of the offense?
Like I said yesterday, I still consider Zach Ertz and Fleener starters when we're in a two tight end set.

Any specific play catch your eye out there today?
It was strong again. The defense was strong and we made some plays offensively. There was a lot of give and take again. It's been the way the course of our scrimmages have gone this training camp. There's give and take, both sides of the ball are making plays and as the head coach that's something you like to see.

How does the depth along the defensive line look? With guys Fua and Masifilo in the starting unit you seem pretty solid there, but maybe there are a few question marks behind that. How have guys like Mauro, Gowan, and Stephens looked?
Terrence Stephens has had a very good camp. I've been happy with Terrence's progression and, staying with the nose guards, Gowan, and David Parry has been a really pleasant surprise this training camp. I've talked about it before but I think [Parry's] going to be a heck of a player here for us. Then Mauro… and Murphy has really shined lately. It seems like the light is coming on for Trent. Maruo has had a solid camp, Gardner has had a solid camp and fortunately our front line guys are playing extremely well.

Are Mauro, Murphy and Gardner all ends in the 3-4 or are they rush linebackers?
Well, they're so interchangeable depending on the down and distance and the package but you'd consider Mauro and Gardner guys with hands on the ground and Murphy can be a swing guy, he can play both.

How many plays do you run through in a scrimmage like this? How mapped out is it?
Today was a shorter one than we had like a week ago so it was slightly under 100 plays.

How was the energy out there today?
I thought it was better today. The one we had a week ago guys were kind of quiet and I thought in the stadium not quite as comfortable as they were today. It was louder today and they weren't as tentative as they were a week ago. A lot more communication and a lot more verbal energy.

A few weeks ago you talked about a "cardiac need" to develop a backup at the long-snapper position. How has that search been going behind Zach Nolan?
I think that we're going to develop the guys we have. Ben Gardner is the best candidate for the future. Andrew Fowler is the backup for this year so we're in great shape this year. The need comes in next year and we're going to have to really find the best one out there that we can get and can get into Stanford and we'll use a scholarship to do it.

So you'll bring in a scholarship long snapper for the 2011 class?
Yeah, I think that's going to have to happen.

You talked in the preseason about having a more attacking identity on the defense. As camp closes have you seen what you wanted to see from the defense as far as developing that type of identity?
Yes, and we have still things that have to be improved in really every phase of the team but I think it's ready to go.


Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)!


The Bootleg Top Stories