March 29, 2013
By Stuart Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – After having Thursday off the Rams returned to practice Friday feeling refreshed and ready to improve on the two previous practices.
The team donned shoulder pads for the first time this spring and moved off the turf and onto the grass as intensity was noticeably higher.
Friday’s practice, which lasted just under two hours, featured the sound of pads popping. The wide receivers and defensive backs worked more together in one-on-one drills while linebackers and running backs participated in thud drills.
At the end of the day, Head Coach Jim McElwain was very excited with what he saw.
“For the first day of pads I thought the tempo was good,” McElwain said. “We got some really good things done and we got some good competition drills that we kind of added.”
Encouraged appeared to be McElwain’s word of the day as he continued to speak highly of Friday’s practice and the first week of spring practices.
“I’m encouraged,” McElwain said. “I really think we’ve come a long ways. Now, we have a long ways to go but I’m very encouraged. We’ve got some good guys out here.”
Last season, after the first week of spring ball, the second-year coach wasn’t quick to point out any positive but this season he has seen a lot of things he likes.
“The things I like the best are that guys understand how to compete in every drill. They aren’t taking snaps off and it looks like guys are encouraging each other. In other words, if guys are kind of slowing down a bit, we’ve got guys picking them up saying ‘that’s not how we do it. That’s not the Ram way.’ That is really what we’re looking for.”
The Rams will be back on the field Saturday morning for their second practice in pads. McElwain is anxious to see how the team responds from a tough practice Friday.
“The key is how we respond tomorrow after we come back from a pretty physical practice today,” McElwain said.
Refs: A common fixture at practice last season were local officials, as the coaching staff wanted to keep penalties down during the season. An officiating crew came out to practice for the first time this spring on Friday.
Familiar faces: Future Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Denver Broncos standout Brian Dawkins stopped by practice to check out the Rams on Friday.
Former Colorado State cornerback Andre Strode.
Also watching spring practice was former Rams quarterback and current Adams State quarterbacks coach Justin Holland.
Infinity Park Practice: For the second consecutive year Jim McElwain and the Rams will travel down to Denver for a public practice. With more than 43,000 alumni living in the area, the Bold New Era has made an emphasis on connecting with that group of Rams.
Colorado State will practice at Infinity Park in Glendale on Friday, April 12 starting at 5:45 p.m. The practice is free and Ram Town interactive area will open at 5 p.m. Ram fans can purchase 2013 season tickets and official apparel. Food and beverages will be available.
2013 Spring Game: The Rams will conclude their second spring camp under McElwain on Saturday, April 20 as fans are invited to attend the annual Green vs. Gold game.
Starting at 11 a.m. Ram Town interactive area will open and only an hour later the spring game will kick off. Admission is free and fans will have an opportunity to purchase 2013 season tickets and take pictures with CAM the Ram and cheerleaders.
For more information about both events click here.
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