April 20, 2009

Q and A with Coach Drevno

When Coach Chris Dalman announced his resignation in early 2009 he left a big void at the unit that was the Stanford Cardinal's best in 2008. Coach Harbaugh wasted little time in hiring Greg Roman from the ranks of the NFL and moving Coach Tom Drevno from tight ends coach to the offensive line.

With the coaches on the road for the spring evaluation period we caught up with coach Drevno for a short recap of spring.

How do you think the spring went?
The spring went really well, we threw a lot of different types of schemes at them in terms of what we are doing offensively and they did a nice job of learning it and executing it. And going against a defense with a lot of different looks. So it was really a great spring in terms of learning. And we had some younger guys there like Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro and we got so many reps in every practice we just go better.

So I thought overall the spring was one of the better spring we've had here. And then with out two-way players it just makes it better.

Redshirt freshman David DeCastro was named a starter before spring drill began, what has he shown you to earn that nod and how did his spring go?
One is he is 305 pounds and he bends very well. He is a very flexible player, which is huge in being able to come off the ball and run block, the ability to lower your pads and things. He is an athletic guy, very quick footed, moves well in space. It's hard to find offensive lineman like that where they are explosive. He had a good spring, he's got tremendous upside at Stanford and has a chance to have a really good career here.

He's just a big athletic guy who can move people off the ball, which sometimes that is hard to find.

He proved his toughness battling an ankle sprain in Session II but not missing practice time.
He's a very competitive guy, he comes from Bellevue High School in Washington. And they have won a lot of championships there. He loves to compete, a true competitor. And he is starting to understand, that being healthy at the offensive line position is a luxury. When you feel like you are 100%, that is not going to happen. The way that we practice and how physical our spring was, he started to understand that he had to push himself through and you can see the toughness coming out in him more and getting it to a new level. He's a tough guy.

How did Chase Beeler perform at the center position, replacing Alex Fletcher?
Beeler played as a true fresham at Oklahoma, a Southern kid that loves football and he did a very nice job filling in for Fletch last year. Fletcher is one-of-a-kind, he is a vocal guy that is a tremendous team leader and he is a loss for us. But I believe Beeler will step in and do a good job for us.

And Bert McBride, the second team center, he did a nice job. We feel really solid at that position.

How did the tandem of Greg Roman and yourself operate this spring? How did the dynamic of dual OL coaches work?
I think it is the best thing that could've happened for Cardinal football. We were all saddened to see Coach Dalman leave, the great person he is and a good football coach and the tremendous tradition he left here. But with Greg and his expertise, his 13 years of coaching the the National Football League. He has worked with some tremendous offensive line coaches - Tony Wise, Jim McNally, Paul Boudreau -you know he has been around some great guys.

And it is so great to be able to split the line - the right side goes with him, the left side goes with me and we just teach those fundamentals. And everybody is getting coached. And there are four eyes watching during the drills. And it had worked out really, really well.

Greg is just a great coach and brings a lot to the program and has made me a better football coach, made the players better players. And the whole coaching staff a better coaching staff, he brings such professionalism and a wealth of experience it has really helped us.

Will you employ the same zone-blocking scheme that was used last season under Dalman?
We are doing some zone, some more down schemes. Things that come downhill at you, those are some of the different things we are doing. We are not truly just zone, we've kind of just expanded some of our down schemes and some of out iso schemes. Just being creative in those areas.

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