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Jay Norvell was pleased with Colorado State's execution and depth displayed in the first scrimmage of spring

Justin Michael Avatar
April 9, 2022

FORT COLLINS — Colorado State Football held its first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday and according to head coach Jay Norvell, the execution was pretty clean. 

While the Rams weren’t out there trying to reinvent the wheel — Norvell said they were really just trying to successfully run plays — he also told reporters afterwards that overall he felt that it was a good scrimmage. 

Typically there are quite a few penalties during the first scrimmage of spring ball but Norvell was actually pleasantly surprised with how few there were by the Rams on Saturday. 

He was also pleased with the two-minute drill, which after being implemented on Thursday, the Rams were able to come out and run well in a live scenario for the first time. 

“I was really pleased with how our quarterbacks handled that situation,” Norvell said. “Understanding how to stop the clock, getting the ball out of bounds, using timeouts and all of that.”

More than anything, Norvell was just glad to see that the repetition is paying off for the entire roster. The goal of spring ball has always been to emphasize the fundamentals and instill the right techniques on both sides of the ball. And after about three weeks of really drilling the same things repeatedly, while also splitting practice into two sessions to maximize individual reps, Norvell felt like the benefits were apparent, especially with the twos and threes. 

“Our whole method is that we’re trying to build depth and understanding throughout our football team. And competition,” Norvell said. “So with that part of it, I was pleased.”

Later on Norvell spoke more on the benefits of getting as many reps for the guys outside of the starting lineup as possible. As he explained, it’s really all about getting the backups enough time on the field that they will actually be able to improve. He explained that you learn by doing, and by making mistakes, and then seeing those mistakes on film. 

“We understand that there’s a method to practice and that’s why we do that,” Norvell said. “All those experiences build on each other.”

Norvell talked about the benefits of the players competing in live scenarios as well. Obviously, the goal is always to get in good work, but a lot of what the Rams do during the week is with their respective position groups. There isn’t a ton of 11-on-11 football happening, and when there is it’s not necessarily a full contact situation. 

This philosophy is good because it allows the roster to stay healthier. Last year the Rams were basically too beat up to even hold a spring game. The caveat, though, is that it makes it harder to gauge things like the pass-rush or how running backs are performing. In a scrimmage setting, when everyone is wearing full pads, the staff gets a better look at the backs, the play in the trenches, etc. 

“Practicing short-yardage scenarios, the goal-line, it’s hard to get that in practice unless you go live. And so we got all of those situations today,” Norvell said.

Next Up

The Rams will return to practice on Tuesday and Thursday morning on campus, before holding the second scrimmage of the spring on April 16. CSU will conclude the spring period with the annual Green & Gold game on April 23.

In between now and then the goal for the Rams is simple: to continue to improve.

“The way we practice — we do five weeks — we practice one day and then we watch film. We practice the next day and then we watch film. And we do that for five weeks,” Norvell said.

“It’s really like 15 games. You know, we’ve got all kinds of different situations and we learn from it. We spend a lot of time teaching off of what we do in film. And we get better. The whole key is to get better.”


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