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Spring questions: Washington

Spring practices end the retrospective glances at last season and begin the forward-looking process toward the next fall. Departed players need to be replaced, returning starters need to get better, and youngsters need to step up.

Though some teams have more issues than others, every team has specific issues that will be featured front and center. So we're looking at the main questions each Pac-12 team must address this spring.

Up next: Washington

1. So, who'll be the quarterback? This question almost certainly won't be resolved until fall camp, but that won't stop us from discussing it right now. Because incumbent Cyler Miles struggled through significant stretches of the 2014 season, this question is, after all, one of the leading thoughts on the minds of Husky fans this offseason. For the most part, Miles avoided interceptions last year, but he did run into some fumbling trouble, and he often failed to provide the cohesive glue that an offense demands from its quarterback. That's why a competition is opening up in Seattle. Strong-armed prospect K.J. Carta-Samuels comes off his redshirt season in an attempt to make a move, while fresh four-star recruit Jake Browning enrolled early to throw his name into the fray. Jeff Lindquist, who saw some action last year, is also still around. Coach Chris Petersen has promised that the best man will win.

2. How much of a free-for-all will the competition in the front seven be? Several studs populated Washington's defensive front seven in 2014, but six of them are gone. Only linebacker Travis Feeney remains from last year's starting crew. The Huskies must replace marquee bodies Danny Shelton, Hau'oli Kikaha, Shaq Thompson, and John Timu -- among others -- up front. This, of course, will be a massive replacement effort. Shelton brought serious block-gobbling ability to the middle of the defense, Kikaha was a true sack master, and Thompson was a turnover-forcing machine.

Washington's secondary, so young and inexperienced in 2014, has actually become the more battle-hardened portion of the defense. This marks a major role reversal, as several bodies will jockey for position in the front seven this spring. Look out for Elijah Qualls and Joe Mathis along the line. Senior Cory Littleton and a host of younger players will be in the mix with Feeney on the second level.

3. How will the offensive line begin its reloading process? Dexter Charles is returning at guard, but the rest of Washington's offensive front is undergoing major turnover this offseason. Coleman Shelton also brings returning experience to the table (at tackle), but beyond that, the Huskies will be scrambling to develop trusted bodies in their attempt to protect the team's 2015 starting quarterback. Spring practice may be worth watching just to catch a peek at Kaleb McGary, a 6-foot-7 offensive line specimen who switched over from the defensive side late last season. His progress may be vital to Washington's fortunes at this position group. The Huskies also expect a crew of freshmen reinforcements this summer, but the state of their offensive line is very much in question as spring ball approaches.