San Jose Mercury News (MCT
POSTED: 4:20 p.m. HST, Dec 17, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 4:21 p.m. HST, Dec 17, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. >> Coach David Shaw has made peace with reports about him possibly jumping to the NFL or another college. But he also reiterated Monday he's staying at Stanford.
According to ESPN, the Houston Texans are interested in the Cardinal coach, who is preparing fifth-ranked Stanford for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Shaw, 41, accepts that he can't stamp out the rumors as long as the team keeps winning.
"Last year, it bothered me a little bit, but this year it doesn't bother me," Shaw said as Stanford resumed practice after a week break for final exams. "It's a testament to being a really good college football program."
Stanford (11-2) is the only school to reach a BCS bowl in the last four years. The school also has won consecutive Pac-12 championships and will play No. 4 Michigan State (12-1) in the Rose Bowl.
"It doesn't matter what I say, the rumors aren't going to stop," Shaw added. "It's very flattering. It says a lot about what we do here, the fact we have success, and the fact we're constantly putting guys in the NFL."
The former Stanford receiver followed his father, Willie Shaw, into the coaching profession, working as an NFL assistant at Baltimore, Oakland and Philadelphia.
While working in the pros, Shaw entertained thoughts of advancing to the top of the NFL coaching ranks.
"If I am going to start doing something, I am going to see if I can be as good as I can be and go as high as I can go," he said.
--Junior receiver Jordan Pratt walked on to the football team in 2011 after an eight-year minor league baseball career. He had his biggest day at Stanford in the Pac-12 title game Dec. 7 by gaining 56 yards on three catches.
He also had four catches for 47 yards against Cal and earned his first career start this fall in a game at Oregon State.
"This spring everything really slowed down for me," Pratt said Monday. "The blocking really came to me. Instead of having to think about what I had to do, I got the play and I know what I am supposed to do."
-- How much can the Cardinal offense improve in the next two weeks before the Rose Bowl? Shaw said anyone asking is missing the point.
"People keeping looking at statistics, and I don't care about statistics," he said.
The coach said his team hasn't compiled glossy numbers because it has had good field position and big leads much of the season.
"Instead of 80-yard scoring drives, we've had 60-yard scoring drives," he said, crediting kickoff returner Ty Montgomery for giving the Cardinal a big advantage in field position.
Also, with big leads, "we're not trying to get stats; we're trying to run the clock out," Shaw added.
--After some rough patches, quarterback Kevin Hogan had one of his best performances with 277 yards passing and one touchdown in Stanford's 38-14 victory over Arizona State in the Pac-12 title game. Pratt, for one, has noticed a renewed self belief for Hogan.
"He's tough to read sometimes," Pratt said. "He's so stoic and consistent." But "you could see a little more confidence at the end of the season."