Midway through his second spring practice season with the CSU Rams, head coach Steve Fairchild is beginning to introduce a new look defensively.
The Rams took to the practice fields outside of Moby Arena for their first practice of the week Wednesday afternoon, and in the process worked on their 30-front defense. The 30-front, also known as the 3-4, features three down lineman and four linebackers.
Fairchild put the fresh defensive look to the test, pitting the first and second team defenses against the offense for a late practice, full contact scrimmage. The offense, led by quarterbacks Grant Stucker and Jon Eastman, got the best of the defense, winning 10-7.
Fairchild said that the 30-front needs some work, but was satisfied with what was accomplished during the late afternoon practice.
“It’s good for us defensively because it gives us flexibility and it’s good for us offensively because we face it in our conference some,” the former CSU quarterback said. “The first day out was a little sloppy and there was some good and bad on each side of the ball, but we did get some good work done.”
Wide receiver Dion Morton was happy to win a scrimmage offensively, explaining it was a nice change of pace. For the majority of the spring so far, the Rams’ defense has dominated the offense in head-to-head play.
“We didn’t have them dog us for one thing,” Morton, a senior next year, said. “It’s a good deal and any competition you can get out here is good. As long as you go 100 percent and give the effort you need to, you’ll get what you need to get out of it.”
Klint Kubiak, a safety, said that the 3-4 is a somewhat familiar look for the Rams, and explained it just needs a little work.
“We ran that some last year,” the senior leader said. “We’re just brushing up on it.”
Fairchild, using the new defensive look as an example, explained that while the football program is still not completely on track, he can see progress being made every practice.
“Our program is still behind by a long ways, we’re talking years here, but comparing it to last spring we’re obviously ahead,” he said. “There is a competitiveness and a toughness we still have to develop, but there is still some spring left. We’ll see.”
Play of the day-
Quarterback Jon Eastman found wide receiver Dion Morton on a deep post route, completing a 30-yard pass to the senior.
Wide Reciever Marquise Law sat out of practice with a thumb injury. Even though the freshman had his hand wrapped up in an ace bandage, Fairchild expects him to return to practicing by the end of the week.
Fairchild, unsatisfied with the progression of Eastman and Stucker at the quarterback position, hinted at possibly moving wide receiver T.J. Borcky back to quarterback. The sophomore started as a quarterback before moving to receiver midway through the 2008 season.
Fairchild also mentioned incoming recruit Nico Raineri as a possible contender for the starting quarterback position, even as a true freshman.