Stanford football coach Greg Roman carries the title of Associate head coach and assistant coach in charge of the offense, tight ends and tackles. That should keep him busy this year. There is a bumper crop of tight ends to work with, competition at the right tackle position and an offense that should be able to put up some points with sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck at the helm. July is vacation time for the coaching staff, but Coach Roman was nice enough to take some time out from his vacation to chat with me about Stanford football on the phone.
Q: How is the offseason going for you?
I think we have had a really good offseason. Our team is hungry and it shows everyday. I think there was a point in time last year where we made the turn as a team during games where we really started to gain some confidence. If something went wrong there was a real sense that yeah, we are going to be okay, move on to the next play as opposed to hear we go again. I think that has really carried over to the offseason. The guys are working really hard. We have been doing the same as a staff. It has been a very productive offseason.
Q: You guys have made one change in the offseason in terms of coaching, how is the addition of Coach Pep Hamilton going and getting everyone on to the same page?
It is going well. Anytime you bring in a new coach you are going to get some new ideas, maybe a new way to look at things and kind of merge that with the existing philosophy. Bringing Pep on has been a very positive thing. Obviously we are going to miss Willie Taggart and we wish him the best of success at Western Kentucky. But moving forward, bringing Pep on is going to bring in some new ideas. Maybe the infusion of that will diversify us a little bit so we are hard to put a finger on for opponents. Anytime you bring a new coach on, there is a trade off that takes place. We lose a good one but you bring in a really good one. Bringing Pep on may give us a few new concepts in our passing game, a new set of eyes on things. That is a good thing.
Q: How is it working with you in charge of the run game, Coach Shaw has the passing game, Coach Hamilton I am told has a focus on the red zone, how does that all come together? What is the process like? How is the working relationship?
I think we have a great working relationship. Anytime you bring a group of people together, the first thing you have to do is establish a framework of how you are going to get things done. We have a really talented staff. I think everybody has been involved in different aspects of football in their careers. So just saying, ‘you are only involved in this and I don’t want to hear what you have to say about that.’ That is not very productive. Everyone has a free voice to make any observation they see. Football is football. I think we have coached all different aspects of things. I have coached quarterbacks, I have coached running backs, I have coached offensive line, tight ends, etc. Dave (Shaw) has been involved in different aspects of things as well as Tim (Drevno) and Pep. To me that is a great resource. We talked about that a little bit last year. We have to tap into that. I think everyone observes everything and brings all ideas to the table. Then in each area someone is going to be a lead person in that area. Everyone else is there to kind of support that research and those ideas and develop those ideas. If someone has an idea and brings it forward, everybody kind of thinks about where that idea fits and then tries to develop that idea. Then the developed idea is brought to the table and we try to put it in its place and see if it will really work for us. If we think it might be worth a shot, or worth investing our time and players, then we will practice it and teach it to the players and see where it sits for us. It may or may not last but those are the decisions you have to make when you have all these different ideas coming forward, if you try everyone one of them it kind of goes like that old saying, ‘if you don’t stand for something, you don’t stand for anything.’ We probably do more than other teams. That is a lot of fun for us. Our mission statement is winning. That is our prime directive. Everybody that is involved checks their egos at the door. We have one goal and that is to be the best we can possibly be for Stanford University. We have a great working relationship. These guys are fun. Coach Harbaugh is a lot of fun to work with because he is not afraid to tow that line
Q: I keep hearing all the freshmen talk about the big adjustment is looking at the playbook as they come in. How big is that playbook in terms of number of pages or number of plays or just inches on the binder?
We definitely do not give the players the full playbook all at once. When they come to training camp, they will get a playbook that is done by installation, much like Bill Walsh would install. So the master playbook is gigantic. You can make a playbook as big or small as you want. We do a lot. We do practice a lot of things. We try to compartmentalize things as much as possible so players can learn it as efficiently as possible. It is pretty big. When we talk to high school athletes, or once they sign their letter of intent, we explain to them, okay, this is what you have to be ready for, these are the adjustments, and this is what college football is going to be like for you. Certainly one bullet point in there is the volume of football you are going to have to learn. I think that can be really eye opening for them.
GREG ROMAN PART 1
GREG ROMAN PART 2
GREG ROMAN PART 3
GREG ROMAN PART 4