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Stanford begins spring practice with familiar task

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 24, 2014 at 11:05 pm •  Published: February 24, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford is back on the field for spring practice and ready to face a familiar challenge.

With a blue sky and a setting sun providing a colorful California backdrop, the two-time defending Pac-12 champions began the first half of its split spring practice schedule Monday. The theme is practically an annual tradition: replacing several starters headed to the NFL and coaches who have moved on to other jobs.

Cardinal coach David Shaw's task in 2014 will be slightly different than previous retooling efforts. Most of the departures are on the defensive side, including top assistant and defensive mastermind Derek Mason, who left to become Vanderbilt's head coach.