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Wednesday roundtable: Positional previews

At this past Saturday’s Cardinal & White Spring Game, the defense looked much more prepared than the offense despite large turnover at the positions, coaching changes and missing contributors on the defense and significant experience at the skill positions on the offense. With that in mind, we asked football writers Michael Peterson, Vihan Lakshman and David Cohn: What position grouping’s continued development will be the most critical in order for the Cardinal to be successful this season?

Defensive questions to be answered at Spring Game

It’s strange to think that the vaunted Stanford Cardinal defense that has been the driving force behind the success of the last two years might be the unit with the most questions moving forward into the new season. But with Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy — the heart and soul of the 2013 defense — graduating and Ed Reynolds leaving for the NFL Draft, there are many more questions than answers at the moment for the planners of the #PartyInTheBackfield.

Young, three other backs compete to replace Gaffney

Three hundred and thirty carries for 1,709 yards and 21 touchdowns.

That’s what the Stanford Cardinal will be looking to replace in its running game heading into 2014 with the departure of senior tailback Tyler Gaffney, presumably to the NFL. But don’t think for a second that having to do so is unfamiliar to the Cardinal by any means, given that it has seemingly had this exact problem twice in the last half-decade.

Gaffney leads Stanford showings at NFL Combine

Just a few months ago, senior running back Tyler Gaffney was pummeling his way to earning hard-earned yards against some of the most physical defensive fronts in the Pac-12, earning a reputation as a hard-nosed, sturdy back. At the 2014 NFL Combine over the weekend, however, the two-sport star turned quite a few heads around the country when he showed an ability to be fast and mobile in addition to his established skillset as a power back.

Eight Cardinal players invited to NFL Combine; new running backs, strength and conditioning coaches hired

The Stanford football team will be well-represented at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, with eight players receiving invitations to display their skills for scouts as potential draftees in the 2014 NFL Draft. Offensive tackle Cameron Fleming, running back Tyler Gaffney, fullback Ryan Hewitt, defensive end Josh Mauro, outside linebacker Trent Murphy, free safety Ed Reynolds,…