Aug 20, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - On Tuesday afternoon the Rams went out to Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium for their second scrimmage of fall camp.
Heading into the scrimmage Head Coach Jim McElwain said he was hoping to see some players solidify their spot on the depth chart.
"Scrimmage-wise, we got in about 111 plays not counting the special teams," McElwain said. "We had a lot of good special teams work which I was really happy about, and I thought "Kicker" (Jared Roberts) and "Punt Guy" (Hayden Hunt) did a good job with what they're supposed to do."
"Quarterback-wise all guys got reps with the ones," McElwain said of his first-team offense. "I don't think anyone stepped up statistically at all. Conner (Smith), from a statistical standpoint probably had the best day. At the same time it's about decisions when it's needed."
Smith completed 9-of-13 passes for 78 yards, while Grayson went 5-for-14 for 76 yards and a touchdown. On Grayson's first drive Jordon Vaden slipped behind the defense and was able to haul in a 25-yard touchdown.
Freshman Nick Stevens, who added himself into the quarterback battle after his performance in last Tuesday's scrimmage, completed six passes for 46 yards, including a three-yard touchdown pass to Jake Levin.
Another quarterback that McElwain has spoken highly of during spring is Fossil Ridge High School product Craig Leonard. Tuesday, Leonard completed 4-of-6 passes for 66 yards and hit Chris Robinson for a 47-yard touchdown.
"You know C.J. (Craig Leonard) had a good day," McElwain said. "He took the threes right down the field and made some plays with his feet. I thought that was good to see as well."
Defensively, Cory James led the Rams with six tackles (three solo) and two sacks. From the freshman class, Deonte Clyburn and Tyree Simmons both had three tackles. Simmons caused problems for quarterbacks and receivers as he also recorded four pass breakups.
Jake Schlager, a freshman from McCook, Neb., intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 26 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.
Fall Camp Notebook:
"Kicker": Jared Roberts, who McElwain often refers to as `Kicker,' connected on 7-of-8 field goal attempts on Tuesday. The junior kicker, who was named to the Lou Groza Award watch list in July, connected on field goals from 20, 37, 38, 41, 42 and 46 yards out. His long miss was from 56 yards and it had the distance, it was just pushed left.
New dad: Senior defensive lineman Eli Edwards scrimmaged on Tuesday afternoon after spending Monday night and Tuesday morning at the hospital with his wife Luisa. On Monday they welcomed the newest member of their family, a baby girl.
"I thought the offense played slow. They're the ones today that I thought looked like it was practice 17. I didn't like the pace in which they handled the different situations, which is something we need to get remedied. Some of that might have been some of the young guys not quite getting lined up fast enough and those guys need to grow up because they have to be ready to play. That's part of it as well."
"Defensively, I thought after the last three days they had maybe taken some steps back, but I think they played better today; I really did. I thought they were energized, I thought they played with detail. One of the drives that the No. 1 defense gave up, they gave up two big penalties, had chances to stop them; unforced errors, those are the things that hurt you and I think they'll see that and learn from it."
"I didn't think Nick (Stevens) the "Freshman Guy" was particularly sharp today, but he'll learn from it. Conner (Smith) did some good things; I thought he missed a couple throws that I think he's going to want back once he watches it on video."
"I feel like with the running backs, nobody really stepped up but I was really happy to see Kapri (Bibbs) step up and take on the blitz a couple times really well. I thought (Chris) Nwoke did some good things. We got a lot of things out it; we got some really good situational work that just happened to be played basically the format, we played like it was a game for a half, and then we did situations from there."
"I thought our communication offensively was not great from the sideline to the quarterbacks, we have to get that cleaned up. It was better last week, which shouldn't be the case this week. I thought we were a little slow getting some things in, but we're still kind of working on some signaling especially in the different pace type things we do. So those are all things we'll work on and get better this week. As we head in we'll have a real good practice tomorrow with corrections from this scrimmage. Tomorrow night, the next day and then going into Thursday we'll actually do some prep for some other teams that do some unique things on our schedule, that I want to make sure we get in before we start into prep for the first game. I know that guys are excited to kind of band together and yet we'll do a lot of good on good skills to make sure we're staying the speed of the game."
(on True Freshman)
"As I kind of watch it, I think some guys played slow, I thought some guys played with the "poor me's" but that's part of the maturations process with every young guy; so they've got to be able to see it on video and see what we're saying.
(on quarterbacks not making a move for starting job)
"I thought today, I was kind of happy with all of them from the standpoint of, they managed it. I think they did a good job of understanding taking care of the football.
(on quarterbacks playing the same or better)
"I think it's probably a little bit of both. What we're looking for is for someone to go 23 of 26 and those 26 were throw-away's to not take a sack. They've got to let the people around them make plays and distribute the ball."
(on determining his starters)
"I think we have some clarity. Now we'll see when we break it down and we'll sit down and watch it, offense and defense, we'll watch it as a staff and we'll watch it as a staff again. I think some things will be determined from there."
(on missed communication between quarterbacks and sidelines)
"It's nothing to get real alarmed about, like I said guys, I expect things to be perfect. That's what we strive to do, so we need to work on it so I'm glad some of the things came up."
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