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: What about the offensive line. You are looking at four returning starters and the wild card is the right tackle. People make the assumption that the battle going into camp will be between Derek Hall and James McGillicuddy. Is that a fair?
There are a lot of different options. McGillicuddy, Hall and (Tyler) Mabry will all have a chance to win that position. Some of the incoming freshmen will have a chance to win that position. And if we feel that the best five ends up being an interior player moved out to tackle and the next best interior player playing inside then we will do that. We certainly like one of those guys to step up and play at the level that we need them to play at. If not though, we can reshuffle the deck and move a (David) DeCastro out to tackle and have the next best interior player step in at guard. We’ll see how it all adds up. This is something we have to stay on top of. Any time you rob Peter to pay Paul, you have to make sure you are not weakening yourself instead of strengthening yourself when the final bill comes in. Hopefully someone steps up and takes the position. That will happen over the summer. Right now there is no clear cut line and that is fine. If we all remember last year, Chris Marinelli started the first game at left guard, and he ended up being an All-American right tackle.
Q: What about the incoming freshmen, barring an incredible rash of injury, do you think there is room for them to get some playing time this year?
That will be interesting, Dave. When you look at them, you say wow, this is what they are supposed to look like. We’ll see. They are going to have to earn that on the field. Physically they look like what you want them to look like. We will see how they handle training camp. We’ll see the handle it once we get into two-a-days. We’ll see how they learn, how consistent they are. We’ll see how they maintain a certain level without dropping off. And we’ll see if they hit any of that mythical freshmen wall, we’ll see how they handle that. It will be interested to see this year. I think it will be more of a product of what the upper classmen do as opposed to what they do.
Q: Looking at the running game, Coach Drevno called him the best run blocker you have, yet Owen Marecic will be playing some defense. How will you work the run game with Marecic going both ways? What will the competition be for Owen’s backup which will be part time starter if Owen is going both ways?
Owen is definitely going to have a gigantic role for us on offense. Owen is our fullback. However the other players whether it is another tight end, another fullback type of player, or whether we decide to take a 310-pound type of guy and line him up at fullback ala the Fridge. We’ll see how it all mixes and matches. There will be some three wide receivers in there. There will be some two and three tight end formations. One tight end, an H-back, a fullback, there are so many possibilities for personnel it is just like moving pieces around on a chess board. If Owen were to get injured, God forbid, what would we do? Well, we better be ready for that because that kind of thing happens. Owen is one of our leaders on offense and one of our team leaders. He’ll be taking on a huge roll at fullback this year. He did not play a tremendous amount at fullback this spring, but he did play some and it is pretty natural for him.
Q: What about the offense as a whole? Toby is gone, Andrew Luck is a year older, is it a safe assumption to say that Stanford is going to throw the ball a little bit more or is it wait and see what happens?
Let’s wait and see what happens. We don’t like to tip our hat on anything. Andrew Luck is a special player. He is our leader on the field. He is like a coach on the field at this point. Andrew is going to have a huge hand in any success we have this year. Our goal is always to be as balanced as possible.
GREG ROMAN PART 1
GREG ROMAN PART 2
GREG ROMAN PART 3
GREG ROMAN PART 4