Notes from Stanford practice

STANFORD, Calif. -- For most of Saturday's open scrimmage, the Stanford defense looked every bit the part of the dominant unit it has been all spring.

Which is why the it was strange to see coach David Shaw shout, "assume the position," and see the entire defense -- coaches included -- drop to the ground for a set of 20 pushups to end the day. The exercise was punishment for losing the day's final drill, a goal-line competition in which the offense reclaimed at least partial bragging rights heading in to the final week of spring practice.

"I'm technically the commissioner so I don't have to do pushups on either side, but it was nice to see," Shaw said. "The defense dominated Thursday … and it was nice to see the offense battle back (in the goal-line drill)."

The offense did it without running back Remound Wright, who has been suspended for the second half of spring practice for an undisclosed disciplinary reason. He will not play in the spring game on April 12.

Wright had received a significant amount of the first reps with the first-team offense, but with him out, Kelsey Young and Barry Sanders both capitalized on their opportunities. Young has made noticeable strides since converting back from wide receiver and appeared comfortable running inside and outside the tackles.

"You see [Young's] speed and explosiveness, he's hard to tackle," said Shaw, who added Sanders turned a couple runs that, "should have been minus to positive."

Another player who stood out was receiver Francis Owusu, who showcased good speed and physicality after the catch. Stanford lists Owusu at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, which gives him an inch and 10 pounds on his older brother Chris, who is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Burns in, Crower out: QB Evan Crower did not practice this week due to a deviated septum, which allowed Ryan Burns, who was suspended for the first session of spring practice, to see a lot of reps throughout the week and during Saturday's scrimmage.

"His first practice was absolutely horrendous and then today was functional, it was good," Shaw said of Burns. "And next week we expect him to take the rest of the steps and get to the point where he can be a serviceable quarterback mentality between the ears. Physically he has all the tools."

Shaw expects Crower to be back next week.


  • OL Thomas Oser suffered what Shaw described as a significant knee injury and will be back "at some point next year."

  • OL Brendon Austin did not practice Saturday with a minor ankle injury, but he is expected back next week

  • Pittsburg Steelers OG David DeCastro was in attendance.

  • In rained throughout the week in the Bay Area but the weather was close to perfect Saturday. "Except for a few clouds," Shaw said.