With a new starting quarterback and running back, the CSU Rams knew it would take time to get their complete form back. But after two consecutive less-than-stellar practices, head coach Steve Fairchild appears to be growing a little impatient with his offense.
The Rams took to the fields outside of Moby Arena Thursday afternoon, completing their second practice of the week. Fairchild said that his core of running backs looked better than on Tuesday’s practice, but explained the quarterbacks took a step back.
“We couldn’t hit anything at quarterback and that drags practice down,” the second year CSU head coach said. “We’ve got to get a lot sharper and fundamentally better to facilitate a practice.”
Fairchild, a former CSU quarterback, said he didn’t blame the offensive struggles on the recent departure of former practice squad quarterback Alex Kelly, but rather attributed them to a lack of toughness.
“I just don’t think we are tough enough,” he said. “You can’t compromise toughness and accuracy. Today we weren’t very tough and we weren’t very accurate”
Offensive coordinator Greg Peterson explained that the Rams have a lot of work to do before they are ready for the fall season. The second year CSU coordinator said that the team should be making more progress than when the new coaching staff arrived last season.
“We should be a year ahead,” he said. “We had new players everywhere last year, but now we have some veterans on offense coming back. With quarterbacks, runningbacks, even receivers it’s critical those guys understand and get better fundamentally so we can put them on the field and win next fall.”
Players like wide receiver Marquise Law are using spring practices an opportunity to establish their spot in the lineup during the fall. Law is returning from an injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2008 season and said that this spring, it is especially important to use the reps he receives and display his abilities.
“Now is a chance for me to show the coaches I can help the team,” the redshirt freshman said. “It gives me plenty of opportunities to show what I can do. If I mess up, I still have plenty of reps to come back in and make a big play.”
Fairchild shared Law’s sentiments, adding that he is still looking for talent to step up in the remaining weeks of spring ball.
“A lot of guys win spots and sometimes you find out who the playmakers are and build your scheme in that regard,” he said. “We are still looking for that offensively, looking for the guys who can make plays.”
Football beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.