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ROSE BOWL GAME: MICHIGAN STATE v STANFORD


December 29, 2013


David Shaw


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Yeah, it's going to be not just running and flowing, but both defenses are very good and they're going to make it tough on both offenses.テつ Special teams is going to play a big part in field position.テつ Besides that I think it's going to be a fun game to watch.

Q.テつ When you talk about Stanford being in four consecutive bowl games (inaudible) what's been the key?
DAVID SHAW:テつ I think there are a lot of keys.テつ For us this being our fourth BCS game in a row, it starts with people.テつ I think we've got great coaches that understand Stanford and understand the game of football.テつ You have to understand both.テつ But I also think it comes down to the kids that we have.テつ Flying these young men from around the nation who were nationally recruited, kids that fit Stanford University on the football field and in the classroom, finding tough kids and smart kids.テつ But I give a lot of credit to these seniors, the kids that came in four or five years ago wanting to establish something at Stanford.テつ There have been peaks and valleys in Stanford football.テつ The goal was to build something that could stay, and those guys are a big part of that.

Q.テつ (Inaudible) has an NFL element to it in the schemes that you're coaching.
DAVID SHAW:テつ Oh, very purposely, absolutely.テつ NFL football is different than college football for the most part, but both of them have the same basic ideas.テつ If you can run the ball and stop the run, you have a chance to win every week.テつ On defense if you don't give up a lot of big plays, that helps, also.テつ But I think it helps us in recruiting.テつ You can show the transition between the NFL‑‑ playing in college and going to the NFL.テつ We've got guys that keep the same technique and run similar schemes, coaches on our staff that have a lot of NFL experience.

Q.テつ How many coaches do you have like that?
DAVID SHAW:テつ Right now there's three of us with a few guys that are around the program, one being my dad, with a lot of NFL experience, also Ron Lynn with our player personnel, because it's not just about playing football but it's about that mentality that it takes to go from this level to the next level.テつ On top of that, walking out with a Stanford degree, it's hard to pass up that opportunity.

Q.テつ How do you apply the NFL principles to the Pac‑12 where you have such a variety of offenses, particularly Oregon?テつ They seem to be the yin to your yang, they seem to have all the bells and whistles.
DAVID SHAW: テつWell, it's hard.テつ Oregon does a phenomenal job, especially on our offensive side, actually both sides of the ball, really good.テつ For us defensively you've got to slow them down and you have to stop the run, and people think that Oregon does all these other things.テつ Oregon is a running football team.テつ If you can slow them down running the ball you have a chance.テつ And then you've got to stop the pass, which is still tough against those guys.テつ For us our entire philosophy is it starts with running the ball and stopping the run.

Q.テつ And I guess the defense has to be versatile and flexible enough to handle all these different types of offenses?
DAVID SHAW:テつ Absolutely, and I would say in the last three years honestly the biggest difference in our team has been the athleticism of our secondary.テつ We've been good up front for years, but Wayne Lyons is coming along, our two safeties, one of the best safety combinations in the nation, use with a coming in and playing nickel for us, those guys are making the difference between being a good defense and a great defense.テつ You look at Michigan State and it's extremely similar.テつ They're tough up front.テつ Those guys play great.テつ If you can stop the pass and play good with your front seven, you've got a chance to win every week.

Q.テつ These are 300‑pound guys.テつ Was that a purposeful thing or is that just what you had?
DAVID SHAW:テつ A little bit of both.テつ Really started with Greg Roman when he was at Stanford three years ago, really using more of our backup linemen to play tight end just to get bigger bodies.テつ They're used to doing those combinations.テつ In years past we've gone back and forth between (inaudible) and those big jumbo tight ends, also.テつ I mean, it's no secret.テつ We're not trying to trick anybody.テつ They're listed in the program who they are.テつ They're offensive linemen, so we put them in there just to be effective in the running game and also to help us in the pass, as well.

Q.テつ Talk about the advantage of having been here before for your football team.
DAVID SHAW:テつ You know, honestly it's just during the week, just the guys understanding what happens during the week and not being surprised by anything.テつ But come game day it doesn't matter.テつ It's going to be a football game whether you've been here before or never been here before.テつ It's going to be a great environment, very similar to games that they've played in against Michigan and Ohio State.テつ It's going to be a big, loud environment, similar to games that we've played in with a lot of fanfare, Oregon, Arizona State.テつ Yeah, that experience only lasts until game day.テつ Game day is going to be very even.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
DAVID SHAW:テつ Well, we tweak our offense every week for game plan wise.テつ But we have to run the ball.テつ We run the ball.テつ That's who we are.テつ That's what we do.テつ We will throw the ball, as well, but we want to be a 60‑40 run team.テつ That's just who we are right now.テつ And the fact that they're extremely good against the run gives us pause to a certain degree, just to make sure that we're doing the right things running the ball.テつ But we have to run the ball.テつ That's just who we are, and same thing with Michigan State.テつ We're really good against the run, but they're going to run the ball, also.テつ It's just part of who these teams are.

Q.テつ Is it hard to figure out (inaudible)?
DAVID SHAW:テつ Oh, yeah.テつ It's an outstanding scheme.テつ You see that 4‑3 alignment and the alignment doesn't change until the ball snaps and then the guys are moving laterally, they're coming at you, they're crossing, they're moving from the outside, from the inside, then it's these two guys, then just one guy.テつ It gives you a lot to think about, but for the most part we've tweaked some of our rules, but we give our guys a lot of rules and then we work those rules.テつ That's the only way you can play.テつ You can't try to anticipate everything.テつ You have to trust your guys and trust your technique and go play.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Well, the biggest challenges always are things that make you good.テつ Obviously, one of our biggest challenges is our academic standards, and we don't lower our academic standards.テつ Every year we're going to have a tough time finding those 15 to 20 guys that can get into school and play our caliber of football.テつ At the same time it narrows our scope.テつ Every year we can find those great players that are great students, every year we bring in great kids and we can do that consistently over time, you take the peaks and valleys out of Stanford football.テつ There will be years where you have a great recruiting class and you don't have another great recruiting class for years.テつ I think we've had really good recruiting classes honestly for six years in a row.テつ I think we've got the people here that know how to play the game of football, know how to do well in school and know how to hopefully maintain a high level of performance on game day.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Honestly that's the easier part, to recruit tough kids.テつ You don't make kids tough, you recruit tough kids.テつ That's the bottom line.テつ That shows up on game day.テつ That shows up in the classroom.テつ It shows up after school when these young men are successful.テつ Toughness is the underlying factor because they don't falter when games get tough.テつ They don't falter when life gets tough.テつ They're tough, intelligent kids that can be successful.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ You know, I'm not one to just hold on to the tradition for tradition's sake necessarily, but I'm a West Coast kid, and New Year's Day for me has always included the Rose Bowl, and it's always been Big Ten against Pac‑10, or Pac‑8, Pac‑10, Pac‑12.テつ That part is really cool, so you have our best against their best.テつ Schools that don't see each other a lot, don't play each other a lot, have a chance to look forward to coming out to Southern California, playing in the granddaddy of them all, that tradition is really special.テつ I think it's one of the things throughout the year you can always count on.テつ You can always count on the Rose Bowl being the Rose Bowl.テつ A lot of games have changed venues and changed sponsorships and all those things.テつ This is one that's been consistent, and I think the people at the Rose Bowl believe that it's special and treat it as such.テつ The hospitality is phenomenal, and people live the Rose Bowl 364 days a year until the next Rose Bowl.テつ I think that shows in what happens this entire week.

Q.テつ How about the playoffs?
DAVID SHAW:テつ Absolutely we're looking forward to it, and not because we might or might not have been included this year.テつ As a football team we're looking forward to it because at the end of the season in every sport you want to feel like you have a chance to earn that, you want to have a chance‑‑ having been through a tough time, you want to take the best teams and put them in a pool and say, okay, whoever survives is the winner.テつ Does it make the season long?テつ Absolutely.テつ But at the same time we want everybody to have that sense of satisfaction, that a true national champion has been crowned.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ I think college football, being a likeness to a certain degree, my dad was a college football coach, I've been around it my whole life.テつ Everything goes in cycles.テつ There was a time when the Big Ten was on top and the Pac‑10 was down.テつ There were times when the SEC has been on top.テつ There were times when the SEC was down.テつ Everybody wants to forget about those times, but I think they go in cycles.テつ I don't pay too much attention to it.テつ I'll tell you right now watching that Big Ten Championship Game, Michigan State and Ohio State can play with anybody in the country.テつ There's no question about it.テつ I think the top teams in every conference can play with anybody in the country.
You look at one conference as a whole, a few years from now it might be flip‑flopped, you never know.テつ I don't put too much credence into it because I watched the Big Ten Championship Game and I saw two great football teams.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Well, we've never changed our philosophy.テつ We've had some coaches leave us.テつ I think Pat brought some things to us that we obviously kept and stayed and helped us get to where we are now.テつ But I think we also tried to de‑emphasize the individual, individual players, individual coaches.テつ We have a philosophy that we stick with, and we have I call it‑‑ we owe each other.テつ We owe each other every single week to do our best, and if something needs to be changed then we change it.テつ If a guy leaves us we pat him on the back and we bring somebody else in and keep going.テつ For us it's a mentality of knowing we're going to lose seniors, we're going to lose a coach here and there, but for us who we are does not change.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)テつ What do you think is going to happen next year with the playoffs?
DAVID SHAW:テつ You know, my philosophy, and I don't know if people like it or don't like it, but my philosophy is we're still going to concentrate on the Rose Bowl.テつ We're still going to concentrate on our conference.テつ If we can win our conference again, that would be great.テつ If we get invited to the playoffs, that would be great.テつ But once again, that's another thing that's outside of our purview to a certain extent.テつ There's going to be a committee and I'm looking forward to it.テつ That's going to be great.テつ But for us just to have that as a goal, I don't believe that helps us.テつ I think what helps us is still concentrating on our conference, trying to survive our conference again, which is the toughest conference to play in in the nation, and once you get to the end of the season, if you get invited to a playoff, great.テつ If you don't and you're just going to the old Rose Bowl, let's gear up, let's go do it.
For us we just concentrate on us and concentrate on our conference.

Q.テつ Next year the Rose Bowl hosts (inaudible)?
DAVID SHAW:テつ Yeah, probably.テつ Probably.テつ I think we all get a little uneasy whenever that happens, especially this school more than any other, because it is so special.テつ It is so different.テつ I think the tradition is one of those that's a better tradition in college football.テつ But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ I think the biggest thing is mentality wise I believe we're very similar.テつ Play great defense, run the ball, make big plays in the passing game, be smart on special teams, play field position.テつ To me the fact that we have to that in common with Michigan State is really cool, but to me that was the way I was brought up in this profession.テつ There are other places or other teams that don't necessarily put things in that order.テつ There are things that are flashier, things that are more exciting honestly, there are things that create more stats than that, but we don't get enamored with that.テつ We pride ourselves on doing things that win football games.テつ We play field position, run the ball, control the clock, get first downs, get in the red zone and try and score more touchdowns than field goals.テつ That's worked for us the last several years and I know that's worked for Michigan State, as well.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Schematically it's different.テつ The mentality is the same.テつ It's tough to prepare for because it's a great scheme and they have great personnel.テつ To me that's the trick of having a great defense.テつ You can run any scheme you want.テつ If your personnel doesn't fit it then it doesn't work for you.
Our scheme is different than Michigan State's, but our personnel fits our scheme just like Michigan State's.テつ They've got big guys, physical guys up front.テつ They've got guys in the secondary that can run and can cover, so what they do fits their guys perfectly.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ I think Oregon was tough defensively but they were much different than these guys.テつ This is one of the best units we've seen in a few years.テつ It's going to take every minute of the preparation we can muster to get ready for them.

Q.テつ I think it was back in August (inaudible) exceeded the expectations.テつ What have you seen in his growth throughout the season?
DAVID SHAW:テつ I've seen him prepare like an older player, which I think was one of the best things about him was he started to prepare like David Yankey, to truly study and have great questions for Mike Bloomgren about who they're playing and how we're going to do this.テつ He's worked extremely hard, so when you have a guy that prepares and works extremely hard and is blessed with unbelievable physical tools, you've got a great player.
Offensive linemen are hard to give national awards to sometimes because you don't have stats to go along with them, and until people know his name it's hard for him to win a lot of awards.テつ But I'd be surprised to see that there are many left tackles better than he is in the nation.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Yeah, and we haven't had to help them.テつ We haven't had to jerry‑rig our protections.テつ We just let him block, we let him play.テつ I think he's done a phenomenal job.テつ When it's all said and done I think he's going to be one of the best linemen in the nation.テつ I think he's one of the best linemen in the nation right now.テつ It's just he isn't a household name.テつ He hasn't gotten that cache right now nationally, but the people that watch football and study football, NFL scouts, etcetera, those people know, and he's going to be a special one.

Q.テつ What are your impressions of Calhoun?
DAVID SHAW:テつ Very athletic, very physical, the initial move is not always the one that gets you.テつ It's the secondary move, and that's the sign of a really good player.テつ A lot of guys can beat you with their first move and get to the football, but with this guy you'd better watch out for that counter move because he'll get to the quarterback.テつ He can run plays down the field, you see high effort.テつ We have a lot of respect for him going into this game.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ You know, it's flexibility, too, always trying to make sure you're getting more flexible with stretching and really working a lot of biometric and dynamic movements because when you're that tall in order to access your power you need to be able to bend.テつ He's done a great job all year of being able to do that.

Q.テつ I want to ask you about Sam Gardner.テつ His role as a team leader, as a guy (inaudible)?
DAVID SHAW:テつ There's no question.テつ Guys are putting his number on their arms and on their tape, etcetera, because he's meant so much to this team, not so much this year but the years leading up to this year.テつ He's been such a great captain, such a great team leader.テつ We're going to dress him for this game even though he won't play but just to get him back in his uniform with the rest of the team I think is going to be phenomenal.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ I think it's going to be physical.テつ I think it's going to be old school football.テつ When you used to watch the Rose Bowl years ago, you saw two teams cram it up there running the ball, and the team that could make some plays from the passing game and find a way to create field position on special teams is going to be the team that has an edge.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ That's a great question because it's really a combination of both.テつ These guys schematically, they don't look like they do a lot of things but there's a lot of subtlety to what they do defensively.テつ For us it's a lot of scheming, but at some point, a guy's got to block, a guy's to tackle, a guy's got to get open, a guy's to make throws and make catches in order to be successful.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Bowl preps are always fun because you're able to go back and rest some of the older guys.テつ One of the things we did was ones on ones and did good guys on good guys and got back to getting physical, got back to we're going to play against a real big, physical, tough defense so let's make sure that both sides get to work against a big, physical, tough offense also.テつ We get heated a couple times, got a little physical, just to give ourselves a reminder of what we're getting ready for.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ I think during the course of the week, yeah, especially the older guys knowing what to expect, knowing the rhythm, oh, this is the day we do this, this is the day we do that.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Just watching the young man play.テつ He's one of those guys that's really getting stronger as the game goes on.テつ He's been such a physical presence for us.テつ That Oregon game I think was just phenomenal what he did there, 45 carries.テつ You know, I'm excited all year about giving him more opportunities.テつ But there's still that balance between letting Ty Montgomery and (inaudible) have opportunities as well as well as the development of our quarterbacks.テつ And we've been back to running the ball, absolutely, but we need to be able to throw the ball in order to play the game we want to play.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ Absolutely.テつ It's just great.テつ People laugh at me.テつ I think I have the best job in America.テつ I love my job.テつ I love where I am.テつ I love where this team is.テつ I love where this team is going.テつ All the attention I think is great.テつ I think it's fun to look at.テつ I don't look at it as a burden at all.テつ I think it just gives more attention to the program, but I look at being here for a while.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ I think it's being a head coach but mostly being the head coach at Stanford.テつ Every day walking into work, that feeling of I love where I am going to work, I love who I'm working with, I love the young men I'm working with, these are young men that are going to be successful in football and out of football.テつ I love writing recommendations for business school and graduate school and job applications.テつ I think that's really cool.テつ We've got a couple more guys that are leaving that are not going to play football at the next level, they're starting out with six‑figure salaries.テつ This is what college is all about.テつ You're supposed to be getting these young men ready for life.テつ They're walking away from great football experiences, four BCS games in a row and becoming businessmen right away, those two things going hand in hand I think is really phenomenal.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DAVID SHAW:テつ I'll tell you what, he's one of the smartest football players I've ever been around.テつ He studies the game.テつ He studies schemes.テつ He studies players.テつ He has great anticipation, and he's a high‑effort guy.テつ You see the plays that he's made in the past is not just because he throws guys down on the ground.テつ Last year in the Rose Bowl to make that big goal‑line stand, just crossing (inaudible) at the last 2nd and taking a sack will for a loss, game after game, his entire career, he's made those plays.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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