On the fifth day of fall camp, the Colorado State Rams finally got back to playing real football, or at least they were supposed to.
The team adorned full pads for the first time in the fall, which should have given a much different look than the “underwear” coach Mike Bobo said the team had been sporting the first few days of camp.
By the way, Bobo reacted in his post-practice press conference that lasted less than three minutes, he does not think the team has made the change just yet.
“First of all, I was a little bit disappointed in the effort of full pads today,” Bobo said. “Yesterday we were in shells and it was pretty much high tempo and we got after it. I don’t think we responded very well today. We got a long way to go as a football team.”
The coach liked the way his team came out energized as fall camp began, but he said he would reserve judgment to see how his team responded until the team hit practice six or seven when they were in full pads. By all indications, his judgment over how they would respond came a day early.
Turns out he was right in reserving that judgment.
“We are young in areas. Young age wise and young in experience,” Bobo said. “If we don’t buckle down and learn how to compete every day it’s gonna be a long season. We have to do a better job as coaches in getting our guys ready to play, and the players have got to do a better job in understanding that it’s their football team and understanding the challenge.”
Bobo’s frustration with his team was apparent, and even though it is only day five of fall camp, there was a sense of urgency in the coach after the practice.
The team is young and inexperienced. With the loss of Deonte Clyburn the team also lacks a bonafide on-field vocal leader. The coach is looking for that leadership to emerge. He’s looking for his team to compete and his younger guys to start developing. He is looking for guys who want to play football his way.
“We have a lot of new faces that we have got to get ready to play,” Bobo said. “We are gonna go through the growing pains this year. We have to make our minds if we are going to answer the bell every single day. That’s the only chance we are gonna have to go out there and compete this year as a football team.”
Bobo emphasized competition in spring ball and as fall camp started. His team had too many incoming players and not enough experience. They needed to compete to find eleven guys to put on the field, but also to build depth. Right now, he’s not seeing that competition out of his players, or the drive needed to form a competitive football team.
“At the end of the day, you got to get guys that love it, don’t just like it, love it,” Bobo said. “You put the ball down and say we are competing and they want to compete.”
General consensus among the players? It was not the worst practice they have ever seen.
Defensive lineman Jakob Buys and safety Jake Schlager both said that the team came out with the needed energy at some points during practice. Improvements were made. The consistency just was not there.
“Throughout practice, the intensity wasn’t there, the emotion wasn’t there,” Buys said. “It kind of felt like people were going through the motions at times. The thing is we can’t do that anymore.”
Buys is right by saying that. Bobo does not have the patience for that anymore.
“We got a bunch of guys satisfied with just saying that they are on scholarship,” Bobo said as he pointed to the sign hanging over the practice field that reads “never satisfied”.
“That’s why we are gonna recruit, that’s why we are gonna find guys who love football and that take pride in wearing the green and gold.” Bobo said. “I’ll be damned if we put guys out there that ain’t gonna play hard for the university.”
Tomorrow brings a new day for the team. They hit the field in full pads at 9a.m for practice number six. It just remains to be seen what Bobo thinks they will be wearing when they show up.
Collegian Sports Reporter Eric Wolf can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Eric_Wolf5