April 15, 2014
FORT COLLINS, Colo.--The Rams took the field Tuesday under sunny skies with Sunday's snow having given way to warmer temperatures. Coming off Saturday's crisp scrimmage at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, head coach Jim McElwain was pleased with the way his team came back focused for Tuesday's practice.
"We talked about it in today's team meeting before practice," McElwain said. "It doesn't matter who you're playing--you're playing against yourself and your ability to get yourself going and get better every day. That's got to be the focus, and I thought last Tuesday we didn't. We did, however, today and we ended up with a good finish in fourth-quarter drill. I thought both sides did some good things."
Last Tuesday's practice, which followed the first scrimmage of spring ball, was the lone session after which McElwain was displeased with his team's focus and performance. There was no such concern on this day, following the second scrimmage of spring.
"We were much better today," McElwain said. "I like the way these guys have been approaching it since the start of "Ram U" (strength and conditioning program). It's business-like, it's workman-like. They understand what they need to do and how they need to practice and they're coming out here and doing it. That's good to see. You're always going to have things you're going to work on, but just how they approach it has been very good."
CSU will practice twice more, Thursday and Friday, before Saturday's annual Green and Gold Spring Game. With just 15 practices available during the spring, it's imperative that the coaches and players pack as much teaching and learning into each session.
"There's a lot of preparation and things to still work on," McElwain said. "We're starting to hone in on some personnel groupings that we think are going to help us moving forward."
GREEN AND GOLD SPRING GAME: The Rams will hold their annual Green and Gold Spring Game on Saturday, April 19, at 11 a.m. The day begins for fans at 9 a.m. with a free pancake breakfast on the west concourse, followed at 10 a.m. by an egg hunt in the grass in the Ram Town area on the southeast grounds of the stadium.
McElwain is pleased with the progress of the team through its first 12 spring practices, and is beginning to look toward Saturday's Spring Game as a chance for the fans to see the team in action, and to put even more work on film to evaluate in the months between then and the start of preseason camp in August.
"It's another opportunity to play in the stadium in front of some people and see (for) some of the young guys, their approach as far as what the stage is going to be," McElwain explained. "Every time you have a chance to put yourself on film in a competitive situation, you can do nothing but learn. You can't ever get it back. You don't get the day back, so let's go ahead and make the best of it."
Another aspect of the Spring Game McElwain enjoys is the wide disparity in postgame meals served to the winning and losing "teams" as they are split into a Green squad and a Gold squad for the day.
"I love the fact that the team that doesn't come up on the winning end has to eat beanies and weenies off of paper plates," McElwain said with a smile. "The other guys are getting white table cloths, getting served a meal; I don't think it gets any better than that."
ROUND-UP: McElwain informed the media after Tuesday's practice that right tackle Jordan Finley, who signed with CSU in December as a junior-college transfer, will miss the remainder of spring ball because of an injury to his knee. Finley had been working with the first unit offensive line through the first two weeks of spring ball, and McElwain expects he will be ready for preseason camp in August...McElwain also said senior tight end Kivon Cartwright and junior linebacker Cory James will likely be held out of Saturday's Spring Game for precautionary reasons...Kapri Bibbs, who broke CSU's single-season rushing record with 1,741 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2013 en route to earning second-team Walter Camp All-America honors, will receive the Male College Athlete of the Year award from the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night at its annual banquet in Denver.
GET TO KNOW: Throughout the spring, CSURams.com is presenting a series of "Get to Know" videos featuring CSU players. Today's episode features senior linebacker Max Morgan.
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