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Veteran CSU pass-catchers are embracing change, the Air Raid offense

Justin Michael Avatar
March 24, 2022

FORT COLLINS — Welcome to the Air Raid. 

Colorado State has a completely new philosophy on offense and although it might still be early in the process, the pass-catchers on the roster are absolutely loving the change. 

“There’s a difference,” wide receiver Ty McCullouch chuckled. “These guys love to throw and us, as receivers, love to do that. So we have no complaints… It’s pretty fun. I’m not gonna lie.”

McCullouch, now a senior, is no stranger to change. Jay Norvell is his third head coach, Matt Mumme is his fourth offensive coordinator and Chad Savage is technically his fifth wide receivers coach — at least if you count Alvis Whitted, who recruited McCullouch before taking a job with the Green Bay Packers under Matt Lafleur. 

While it would be easy for McCullouch to have negative feelings about the whole process — experiencing that much change can be challenging — with two years of eligibility remaining, ultimately his biggest focus is on winning. And according to the senior wide receiver, that’s exactly what this new coaching staff wants too. 

“(Norvell) expects everyone to be on their game,” McCullouch said, before explaining how he and Dante Wright can transition into the new system alongside the Nevada transfers. 

He did add that it was a little weird for everyone early on. After all, the 2021 Nevada team mollywhopped the Rams in the season finale. But ultimately it’s a business and the goal is to win. McCullouch and everyone else in the locker room know that the transfers can help them do it. 

“These guys are gonna help us win,” McCullouch said. 

When Norvell was introduced as CSU’s new head coach back in December, one of the things he emphasized was that the pass-catchers would need to get used to getting in a lot more reps during practice. The wide receivers, the tight ends and even the running backs all have to have effective hands in the Air Raid system, so throwing and catching is the biggest priority for the offense in practice. 

According to senior tight end Gary Williams, who broke out as a receiving threat for CSU last fall, the Rams threw far more on Day 1 under Norvell than they ever had in the past. 

“We definitely threw the ball more than we ever have, since I’ve been here, and I like that,” Williams said. 

It will be interesting to see what type of passing success the Rams have this fall. At this point it’s far too early to have much of an opinion on this team’s potential. The one thing we do know, though, is that there is a completely different energy surrounding the program and it seems to be contagious. 

“It went great today, man, just guys flying around having fun,” McCullouch said on Tuesday. “Just being back to what we do, you know? It feels good out here.”

Ram fans can next watch the team in action on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. All practices are open to the public and parking is free on campus over the weekend. We might still be four-plus months away from the regular season but it’s never too early to start daydreaming about the 2022 campaign.

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