Aug. 10, 2013
By Max Lerner
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Today marked the first day in full pads for the Rams, and the intensity was brought from the very start of practice. It began with a surprise two-minute drill before the first period, a decision made by Head Coach Jim McElwain.
“That’s all really part of the chaos that we tried to create, to try and get their focus,” McElwain said. “I thought we had a slow start actually moving forward, I didn’t think our guys really hit the ground running, but boy I’ll tell you what, it really picked up there at the end of practice.”
Undergraduate student assistant coach and former all-pro NFL linebacker Joey Porter remarked to McElwain in amazement yesterday about how the Rams did 284 reps in practice. McElwain was pleased to hear such high praise from a guy of Porter’s caliber.
“That makes me feel real good, hearing something from a guy like that,” McElwain said.
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“Those guys have to realize how important they are to the team,” McElwain offered. “One thing I do know about kickers, is that their job is to put it through the uprights.”
For a year McElwain has had fun referring to Roberts simply as “Kicker,” and he now has followed suit bestowing a nickname upon Garcia, who hails from Basalt, Colo.
“We had a fun finish to practice with 'kicker' and 'The Basalt Bomber,' our new young kicker, taking some hacks at it, so it was a lot of fun,” McElwain said. “They both hit 'em from a long ways out. We try to put those guys in some of those situations where it isn't just them out there with a tee. They have to realize how important they are to the team.”
McElwain also came away impressed with how a lot of the younger guys have approached their first full week of college football.
“You know what I see, is a recruiting class that is focused, a recruiting class that is really doing good,” McElwain said.
McPeek Pays a Visit: A familiar face at Saturday's practice was former CSU quarterback M.J. McPeek. The Aurora, Colo., native started three games for the Rams as a senior in 2012, completing 55 percent of his passes and throwing for 552 yards and four touchdowns. McPeek competed for the CSU's club baseball team this past spring and is still pursuing a career in baseball this summer.
Sunday Schedule: The Rams will get their first break of the week from football action tomorrow. They will take part in a number of team activities, including the annual team photo at Hughes Stadium and a number of individual photo and video shoots in the morning. All the players will don their new uniforms for the first time, following Friday’s video unveiling.
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