Shaw kicks off second spring practice session

Stanford began its second session of spring practices on Monday with a large number of position battles still unresolved. Head coach David Shaw, who spoke to the media after practice, was positive about the start of the session, but didn't give a lot of specifics on the battles for playing time.

The Cardinal has two more weeks of practice before its spring game on April 14 in San Francisco.

How was the first practice back?

David Shaw: Good. The energy was great. Guys I think missed football. It was good to see them come back and dive in. We started really early with our meetings this morning. Guys were attentive. We have a good group of motivated seniors that kind of took over today, that set the tempo, which was awesome.

What type of stuff do you try to get accomplished or installed in the second spring session, versus what you try to get in the first?

DS: They're more situational periods. The first session is a lot of teaching and a lot of pure competing, with our base offense and our base defense, and some third downs. This session, we'll do a lot of red zone, move the ball, some two-minute, short yardage, goal-line—a lot of these situational things. We're competing all the way through, but we're competing and teaching at the same time, whereas the first session was pure get after each other.

Are there any interesting position battles going on that you weren't expecting?

DS: I think the battle for playing time at the outside linebacker position is going to be fun to watch. Chase Thomas and Trent Murphy are playing on another level right now. It's exciting to see. I told them this morning we need it. Those two guys have to be dominant football players for us.

Can you talk about Stepfan Taylor's leadership role, about how he's assuming that a little more now? Is it more important this year, his role in particular?

DS: Yes, and partially because of the quarterback position and also partially because this is year number four. This is his third year as a starter. He's played a lot of football. He knows right now in his heart he's as good as any running back in the nation and he wants to prove that, day in and day out. He's the guy that never makes a mistake. He's the guy that does everything right, that picks up every pass protection. He doesn't do it with a lot of fanfare, he doesn't do it because he wants pats on the back—he does it because it's his job. He sets the tone for the offense right now.

How is Shayne Skov's rehab going?

DS: It's going well. He's about on course to be back full speed in training camp.

Do you have a plan on when you're going to make public what his punishment will be?

DS: Yes.

Can we know that?

DS: Not yet. We're concentrating on spring football right now. We'll deal with that afterwards.

Is there an upcoming benchmark for him physically, that will allow him to take the next step in what he's doing?

DS: There are a lot of little benchmarks, a lot of steps along the way. He's on course right now. He's running on treadmills, he's back lifting. … I want to make sure he's training the proper way because he's not rehabbing to be good, he's rehabbing to be great. He's rehabbing to be better than when he got hurt. For great players, that can be the only approach you ever take.

Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with (sign-up)!

The Bootleg Top Stories