The scrimmage: David Shaw

Danser was out, but leads at LG

Stanford's first open practice of 2011 fall camp didn't provide firm answers to any of the Card's lingering camp questions, but it did allow an opportunity for roughly 1,000 loyal Stanford fans to finally get a look at the 2011 squad. Following the scrimmage, The Bootleg was on hand to get reaction from several players and coaches, including David Shaw.

Some impressions of the scrimmage? What did you think?
David Shaw: I thought we played fast as a team. We played fast, we played hard, we played to and through the whistle, once a little bit late, but besides that I think we played our style of football and it was good to see.

What didn't you like?
DS: There were still a couple of penalties, a movement penalty before the play, offsides, there were a couple blocking downfield when the ball was in the air that the officials didn't call. These are all things that we covered. We know we can't afford to go backwards; we can't penalize ourselves.

No Kevin Danser out there today. Is he alright, what's going on with him?
DS: Yeah, he was dehydrated the other day, it was purely precautionary. He's going to be fine, and he's still in a great battle, he's actually leading the battle to be the starting left guard right now.

You moved David Yankey over there. Was that just for today, or is he in that mix as well?
DS: [Matt] Bentler's back healthy, Yankey, we're going to give all those guys a chance to go in there and compete. Yankey did a good job today.

The fact that Nottingham was second in line, was that indicative of his position on the totem poll?
DS: I'm not ready to say who's second. It's indicative of the rise that he's had in the last week, the last week and a half of practice. He's done really well. Robbie Picazo came and he played his butt off today, also. So we still have a tough decision there. Josh Nunes, he stepped on a foot the other day and he should be healthy in the week coming up, so we'll get him a lot of reps and then make a decision sometime before San Jose State.

Alex Debniak wasn't out here today. Is he banged up?
DS: Yeah, he had a hamstring. He didn't pull it. Once again, we have a great training staff. When we get something that's close, we pull the guy out because we can't miss a guy like him for four weeks.

You probably can't make too many judgments just looking on the sidelines, but who looked good, especially among the younger guys?
DS: I thought Ty Montgomery did a really good job, I really did. I thought James Vaughters, amongst the young guys, played physical today. He started off a little slow, trying to learn the scheme, but the last week of practice has been really good for James. Wayne Lyons has been playing like a vet since he stepped on campus. So of the young guys, I thought that was a pretty good showing. And then the two freshmen quarterbacks came in and moved the team down the field. That was exciting to see. The good thing is, I'm rambling on, but the running backs, all the way down through our freshmen running backs played really well. So it's good to know that we have the kind of depth to move through the season.

Impressions of Luck today?
DS: He's the same every day. He's the same, he's consistent, he manages the game, and what I love about him is that he gets to a situation like this and doesn't say hey, I have to throw the ball every down. Doesn't care about the stats, he doesn't care about his run/pass ratio, he wants to manage the game, get us in the right play, and then execute the play. He's a great leader for us.

How would you size up the fullback competition at this point?
DS: We have three guys that can do different things at that position, and it's really fun to see. Ryan Hewitt, we always call him Mr. Versatility because he can lead up and do things in the flat as he showed today. He can get out and catch a couple of balls. Lee Ward has done a great job coming downhill, being a physical presence for us. Geoff Meinken, at 255 pounds, plays that position close to what Owen [Marecic] does in the lead category, leading downhill. He's not quite Owen Marecic just yet, but it's nice that we have those three guys that can all do different things from that position.

Was Ward the one that was on crutches at the end?
DS: Yeah, he tweaked his knee, and I'm not sure…the doctors are going to check him out and we'll see how he is.

Right tackle, Cameron Fleming started out there, is he in the lead, or is it still neck and neck with those three guys (Fleming, Tyler Mabry and David Yankey)?
DS: It was his turn today. We've been doing a three-man rotation, and it just so happened that his turn fell today. We'll come back, the next time we practice is Tuesday, and I think it's Mabry's turn on Tuesday.

You're not going to practice [Monday]?
DS: Day off [Monday]. Meetings only.

Was that the big applause at the end of the session?
DS: Yes, that was it. There were few tears shed as well.

It seemed like the second-team defense did a pretty good job against the run. Was that a product of the defense or the offense or some of both?
DS: I give a lot of credit to our backups, I hate to call them backups, but to the second defensive line and second linebacking core. They did a really good job squeezing holes and we really weren't able to knock them back like we wanted to. We'll look on film and see why that is, but I give all those guys credit. There was a lot of effort by the two's today because they knew they were playing against the one offense.

Why not play the first-team defense against the first-team offense? Is that a recipe for injuries?
DS: We've been banging, going ones against ones non-stop since we put the pads on. And as we get close to game day, we want to go live, but we didn't want to go ones against ones. All over in the college football in the last ten days, that's all you hear about, different guys getting hurt, and we thought it would be best to go ones versus twos.

Are you going to have another open practice soon?
DS: We will. We will have another half-open practice Thursday, starting at 3:30. We'll start a little bit early, it'll be closed, and then we'll come outside and it will be open from 3:30 on.

Why not open more practices, David? Why not two a week?
DS: That's a great question, and it actually came up during the Pac-12 meetings. I talked to all the other coaches in our conference, and you'd be surprised, more of them are going to closed practices.

I understand that, I'm just wondering from a media standpoint why not open it up? Everyone wants to see you guys play.
DS: You guys want to come in the meetings, too, I know, but the thing is, what happens in today's world is this is a news-now world. Anybody with a cameraphone can take a picture of a play that you're working on or a personnel group that you're working on and within 10 seconds it's on the Internet. That's part of it, the other part of it is, we like having a closed practice, we like when it's quiet, we like when the guys can focus on what we're doing, but I also like opening practices, I like when we get fans out there, people out there, because I think it adds to the energy, but I don't think we want to do that every single day.

Can you talk about the turnout today, and the energy it brought?
DS: The turnout was great. I tell our guys, we're not going to do this all time, but when we do this, to take advantage of it, because this game was made to be played in front of people. It's a fun and exciting and physical and crashing and booming and balls flying through the air. It's fun, you hear the reaction from the crowd and it adds to the energy. The few times that we do this I want to feed off of that energy and know that it's going to happen positive for us in our home games and negative for us in the road games, but to use both of them for added energy.

Did either of your punters step up today?
DS: I think they both did. We're still looking for a little consistency from both of them. It's still neck-and-neck right now.


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