PALO ALTO (CBS SF) – Stanford is ranked in the top ten following the Cardinal’s impressive 21-14 victory over then number two ranked USC.
“You think of Stanford over the years as a finesse team,”John Madden told the KCBS morning crew and Stanford head coach David Shaw, noting that Stanford’s image is changing.
“No question,” Shaw said. “We’ve been recruiting tough kids, smart kids, kids that like to play the football that most of us coaches grew up playing and watching, which is the fullback and tight end running the power play, and playing tough physical defense.”
Madden asked Shaw when the shift toward a more physical team began. “It started when Jim (Harbaugh) took over the Stanford Cardinal and wanted to make sure that, if nothing else, we were going to be a tough football team,” Shaw said. “If nothing else, everybody who played us was going to walk away with respect for us. That was the bare minimum.” Madden noted that recruiting has a lot to do with it.
“People think that if you’re really smart and get into Stanford, then you’re one type of player and maybe that physical tough guy doesn’t equate,” Madden said.
“They’re out there,” said Shaw “Tough, smart guys… We just have to hit all 50 states and Canada to find enough to bring in. And once we bring them in here, we practice very physically… We practice that way, which helps us play that way.” (7:35)
Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays during the NFL season.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)