April 12, 2012
By Stuart Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - With only two days before the team heads to Infinity Park in Glendale to showcase the new Ram squad, Head Coach Jim McElwain identified a lot of strengths he has noticed in only ten practices.
After a cloudy and rainy practice on Wednesday, McElwain identified the running backs and defensive backs as two areas he felt were strengths of CSU’s.
“We’ll have really good depth at that spot,” McElwain said of the running backs. “What that allows you to do is be fresh. It allows those guys to wear on some people in the fourth quarter.”
Chris Nwoke is the only returning running back who registered carries last season for the Rams. Donnell Alexander, a redshirt freshman out of Blue Springs, Mo., has also been seeing a lot of action during the spring campaign.
“I think that is a strength of our team,” McElwain said. “I think the safeties are too. When you look at our whole secondary, even though we have those young guys in there, I think there is some real talent there.”
Wednesday’s practice appeared to be one of the best all-around performances of the spring.
“That was a good practice today,” McElwain said. “We did three new different situational things. I thought they did really well.”
It was important for the Rams to get these “situational things” in before Friday’s practice in Glendale due to some field restrictions. It will also be good for CSU to have a grasp of these situations for Sunday’s scrimmage.
The first-year coach is really excited to see how the team performs on Friday.
“We’re kind of excited to see how we travel, see how the guys do in a new environment, all that kind of stuff,” McElwain said.
Friday’s practice is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and that will be open to the public. Another event the public can attend is Sunday’s scrimmage. The scrimmage will kick off at 12 p.m.
More post-practice comments from McElwain:
On Garrett Grayson: “He’s handled the competition well. He gets down on himself when he makes a mistake and that is something he has to learn that he needs to clap it off. The whole key to this is to go win the next play. Don’t worry about the last play, win the next play.”
On the teams focus this week: “One of the things they have done is they re-centered and realized you can’t let things affect what you are trying to accomplish as a team. I’m really proud at what they’ve done.”
On practice pace: “I think now they understand the expectations. Probably not only the expectations but the why. If you can drain your tank here in practice, still focus and play with good fundamentals and pay attention to detail, it helps you in the fourth quarter.”
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