Pac-10 Q&A: Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, Part II

Second part of a two-part Q&A with Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh as the Cardinal begin spring practices this week.

See Part I here.

Here's a silly question: How do you replace Toby Gerhart?

Jim Harbaugh: Well, you can't really replace his production with one guy. It's going to have to be done in tandem or maybe with a trio. I don't think one guy can do that. Right now our runners to do that are Stepfan Taylor, Jeremy Stewart, Tyler Gaffney. And we've got some younger backs. Usua Amanam, who was injured and redshirted last year, along with Anthony Wilkerson coming in; Michael Spanos and Andrew Stutz and Ricky Seale. So we'll have some guy competing to be the lead guys and contributors.

With quarterback Andrew Luck and his receiving corps back, do you anticipate becoming a pass-first team?

JH: A pass-first team? I think we'll pass more.

What are some other concerns you have?

JH: No real concerns right now. We're addressing everything and leaving no stone unturned in terms of finding guys on our team and helping them improve their game or become reborn in their game, reinventing themselves in the game, reinventing themselves at a position. That's where the focus is right now. Getting individual players evaluated, getting guys to play together as a team. But mostly to find out who can contribute in more ways than they did last year or even new ways. And for guys who weren't in the picture last year, finding ways for them to get on the field and contribute. So it's about new guys contributing and guys like Andrew Luck contributing more.

Give me some guys who weren't starters last year who you expect to step up this spring?

JH: You could go through the whole roster. Everybody has a license to do that. I don't have any predictions after Day 1. Everybody's got that opportunity right now.

Do you think USC's 2009 slip and Pete Carroll's departure means the Pac-10 is up for grabs?

JH: I think the Pac-10 was up for grabs last year.

What are your expectations for 2010 for your team?

JH: What's important now for us is evaluating players and finding our identity as a football team in the areas of defense, offense and special teams. That's the expectations because that's what's important now.

Another successful year at Stanford will mean more speculation about you and other jobs: Can you reassure Stanford fans that you'll be around for a while?

JH: Absolutely.

A one-word answer?

JH: Absolutely. Stanford supporters should feel assured. There's no other place that I'd rather be.