April 11, 2013
By Stuart Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – On Thursday the Rams took to the practice field ready to improve after Head Coach Jim McElwain expressed his displeasure with last Tuesday’s practice.
McElwain said the team needed to come back and show improvement, as they had been doing before Tuesday’s practice, and Colorado State did just that.
“Much better practice today,” McElwain said. “Guys came out with a focus to get better and I didn’t think we took any steps back. I thought we got a little better situationally.”
Thursday was Conner Smith’s day to take reps with the first-team offense as Smith and Garrett Grayson alternate days with the top team. This means fans making the trip to Infinity Park for Friday’s practice will see Grayson operate with the first team.
“We are looking forward to see what they do tomorrow night in a road game,” McElwain said of the quarterbacks referencing tomorrow’s practice in Denver. “We are looking to see what they do in the scrimmage and then we’ll see they handle the spring game.”
McElwain said the battle for the starting quarterback spot is still even.
On Friday afternoon the Rams will make the hour-and-half bus ride down to Infinity Park for a practice in front of Denver fans. This is the second annual practice held in Glendale.
The Ram Town will open at 4 p.m. and practice will start around 5:30 p.m. The event, which is free to the public, has the second-year coach excited.
“There are a lot of things and a lot of bonuses,” McElwain said about Friday’s practice. “We’ve got a number of alums down in that area. Denver is an important market to us. We feel that this gives people the opportunity to go ahead take a look and see their Rams, and connect with former CSU graduates and people who are interested in football.”
Not only is this a good event to reach out to the 43,000-plus alumni in the area but the Rams will use this as a trial-run when it comes to traveling during the 2013 season.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity for us to teach some lessons on how we act, how we travel, and how we prepare in a different environment. Those are all things that’ll help you down the road.”
During Friday’s practice Ram fans will have an opportunity to purchase 2013 season tickets and official apparel. Food and beverages will be available.
Acting debut: On Thursday night McElwain made his acting debut in “Evil Dead: The Musical,” a performance put on by Colorado State’s award-winning theatre program. The second-year coach played himself and shut down a zombie as he attempted to earn a football scholarship.
Schedule release: On Thursday afternoon the Mountain West released the 2013 football schedule. Kickoff times and television coverage will be announced later in the spring but fans can find more information about Colorado State’s schedule here.
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 10 a.m., the Ram Town interactive area will open and two hours 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 click here.
More Quotes from McElwain:
(on Sunday’s closed scrimmage)
“It’s very much the same (as last Saturday’s scrimmage). We are going to tweak some of the situational things. Obviously, goal line is in now, we didn’t have that in, so if we do get it down in there tight we’ll get in big personnel. It will be the same format, same amount of plays. Then we’ll work some different combinations, both offensively and defensively, depending on their performance.”
“We are definitely going to look at the things we are reaching forward with that we didn’t do last year, both offensively and defensively. I want to get a good film review of that, just to see where we are at with the new things we’re doing.”
(on season-opener vs. CU moving from Saturday to Sunday)
“I think twofold, it is obviously a big opening day of college football on Saturday so Sunday possibly gives us an opportunity to steal some of that spotlight, from a nation standpoint. Hopefully it gives a lot of people who are maybe going to do something Saturday, gives them that Sunday to come in and watch the game.”
(on schedule and playing three home games in November)
“It’s going to be beautiful I heard in November. We are going to have great weather. We checked the Farmers Almanac and actually went forward on that, so we knew we were going to have a great November.
We’ll play the games when they come but right now our most important focus is getting better every day.
(on linebackers as a unit)
“I’ve seen a group of guys that have molded together and taken pride in the unit. Their communication with the front has been really, really good and that’s going to be a key to us.”
(on Tanner Hedstrom)
“Any time we don’t talk about him means we’re doing fantastic at that position. The guy is consistent and at that spot it’s a key.”
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