"If you're not a top-10 pick, you're playing special teams," Stanford's David Shaw told the Associated Press in an article yesterday. "That's a question most scouts ask, 'Does he do anything on teams?' If you say no, they kind of roll their eyes."
With the blessing of the head coach, special teams coordinator Pete Alamar has about 98% of the roster to choose from, and that's part of what has made his special teams units so consistent and explosive. Last week's game against Washington was a perfect testament to their emphasis on special teams. The Huskies outgained Stanford, and had more first downs, yet the Cardinal still finished with a 31-28 victory.
The difference was Alamar's special teams, which included a 99 yard opening kickoff return taken to the house, as well as a 72 yard return later in the game.
In this Coach Speak video from Stanford, Alamar talks about his special teams philosophy, and how he goes about choosing personnel for the various positions.
There is some really good coaching content here.