Coach David Shaw, senior running back Stepfan Taylor and senior outside linebacker Chase Thomas represented Stanford at the Pac-12 football media day in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
The media opened up the press conference by asking Shaw to give an update on senior inside linebacker Shayne Skov’s rehabilitation.
“He’s not ready to play a football game yet, but he’s physically ready to do everything in the weight room and everything we will ask him to do,” Shaw said. “He won’t play the first game, but come that game against Duke, we believe he will be there.”
The one question directed toward Taylor was about feeling increased pressure for the upcoming season.
“I don’t feel the pressure. I feel we have to just go out there and play our best game, every game,” Taylor responded.
Thomas was asked how he felt about Stanford’s defensive front seven.
“I think the front seven are as good as anybody in the nation,” said Thomas. “We have all the linebackers returning and Shayne Skov.…It helps out with the same defense installed over the last three years, so it lets us play faster, more aggressively, and overall it makes us a better defense.”
The annual conference media poll picked the Cardinal to finish second in the Pac-12 North Division, the same place that Stanford finished in last season. Oregon was the predicted champion of the North Division and collected 732 points to edge out Stanford’s 533.
The conference media poll, however, has often been inaccurate in projecting Stanford’s performance. Despite being picked to finish eighth in the 1999-2000 season, the Cardinal wound up playing in the Rose Bowl.
In the Pac-12 South Division, USC came in first in the poll standings. The Trojans were also picked to win the Pac-12 Championship, earning 102 of the 123 total votes.