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August 18, 2012Author's note: This interview was conducted during Stanford's last media period of availability, after practice on Thursday August 16.
Cardinal Sports Report: You're now a week and a half into camp, how would you size up the progress of the offense so far?
Pep Hamilton: I think we're starting to develop the toughness that we need to play our style of football once the season starts. But with so many young players there are still a few too many mistakes and we have to do a great job in the film room to get those corrected and make sure our guys can execute on the field.
CSR: With the receivers, everyone knows what Ty Montgomery can do, but it seems like Kodi Whitfield has been getting consistent praise. What have you seen from him and how can he fit into the mix this season?
PH: Well Ty Montgomery and Drew Terrell, they're our most consistent guys, and Jamal-Rashad Patterson has done a tremendous job up until this point in camp, but it was encouraging to see that Kodi Whitfield as well as Michael Rector before he was hurt, they came out and they were able to grasp what we had exposed them to just as far as our playbook and go out and play fast and make plays. So it's our job as coaches to put them in position to make plays and those guys showed that they have the ability to win versus man coverage.
CSR: How is that third tight end coming along? Between Luke Kaumatule, Davis Dudchock, and Jemari Roberts, has one of those guys started to stand out at all or is still pretty even?
PH: I think it's pretty even at this point, but our third tight end could possibly be an offensive lineman as well just in a tight end jersey. We feel like we have good depth at that position and we feel like our two starters, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo are two of the best in the country.
CSR: Speaking of the offensive line, I know Peat was out with an injury, but what is the status of some of the youngsters along the offensive line?
PH: I think we've really added some quality depth to our offensive line positions. The guy that in my opinion has probably made the most progress over the course of camp is the big fella inside, Joshua Garnett. Josh Garnett is a big, powerful, athletic young man that has a toughness about him that you die for in a power running team. Andrus before he got hurt, he showed some good things. He should be a really good pass protector as well as being a guy that can down block in the run game and then Kyle Murphy, he actually got a ton of reps with the ones (on Thursday) in practice, he did a pretty good job. They're living up the bill so far. We'll see where we are in a couple weeks when it's time to go out and play a game and see if those guys can break a lineup.
CSR: Would you see one of those guys if they weren't one of the starting five? Would you burn a redshirt to use one of those guys in a jumbo package?
PH: Of course. Of course we're going to put our best five linemen out there, but in the case of how we mix our personnel groupings, we'll put our best seven offensive linemen out on the field in our hulk personnel. We're going to put the best guys on the field and if that means a young guy burns a redshirt, so be it. We want to give ourselves a chance to win ballgames.
CSR: At quarterback, I know you guys don't want to rotate, but when you have a Dallas Lloyd or a Kevin Hogan that maybe brings a different element, could you see using one of those guys in an alternate formation?
PH: Yeah, that's definitely a possibility. After losing Tyler Gaffney we feel like we still have a place in our offense for a wildcat package as well as some of our quarterback driven run game. So if those guys can handle the mental load we would definitely consider putting them in there.
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