FORT COLLINS — Freddie Banks and Colorado State’s defense started from scratch when spring camp began March 22 as CSU’s new coordinator began laying the foundations for his 4-2 scheme -5.
Although the conclusion of Spring Football is fast approaching, it’s not like Banks believes his unit has mastered the entire playbook or the ins and outs of each formation.
However, achieving such on just 15 practices proves virtually impossible for a program tasked with learning new patterns – and was never the goal of the former Montana State Coordinator, for begin.
Banks hoped the Rams could eventually leave the spring ball with a solid understanding of his core philosophies. And it looks like the coach has managed to hammer his foundation.
“Our fundamentals have improved a lot,” said the defensive coordinator. “That was the most important thing about the spring ball. You see guys getting better every day and understanding their job. I wouldn’t say we’re at top level football yet. But that’s where we should get to fall camp. I don’t think becoming a master would take 15 practices. But we are on a good pace. We have a good starting base that will lead us to become experts.
As Banks alluded to –– who orchestrated FCS’ No. 6 scoring defense in 2021 –– CSU defenders have seemingly set themselves on the right path to becoming adept masterminds inside its system. . Jay Norvell’s first pass at the helm rolls.
Still, before building on the final weeks of summer, CSU has an opportunity to conclusively connect the dots of spring by taking the field at Canvas Stadium for its annual Green & Gold game on Saturday.
When the Rams do it at 1 p.m. this weekend, Banks’ goals are simple.
“To see our guys sustain their execution and sustain the fundamentals and their technique for a long period of time is the goal,” Banks said confidently. “We haven’t seen that yet. We had scrums where the guys took 40 shots. Now some guys are going to take 50-60 shots. It won’t be anything out of the ordinary. We handle basic stuff. We are not trying to cheat our attack or our game plan. We just get reps in our business and want to see the individuals maintain performance.
In light of the diligent collective efforts to grow during the previous stages of the spring, CSU defenders believe they will be able to display a good knowledge of Banks’ system while performing at a high level.
Given the tangible progress between the first scrimmage of the spring and the second last Saturday, fifth-year linebacker Dequan Jackson and his fellow defensemen are particularly confident in producing said result.
“Everything with the defense definitely improved in the second scrum,” Jackson said. “So there you have it, this is the finished product. We are confident in the basic games we perform every day. So I don’t think there should be a lot of mental errors. Not even with the 1s, 2s, 3s. This will be a great opportunity for the defense to see our hard work pay off. And I think we have a great staff for this playbook. It will pay off in the long run, and you’re starting to see it right now. It’s a good choice for us.
Offensive coordinator Matt Mumme’s team undeniably held an advantage over the CSU defense going into spring camp. With eight former Nevada players on CSU’s offense, many of Mumme’s contributors entered the court against a defense that was yet to be grounded.
Even on Saturday, excelling against Mumme’s happy offense might not materialize seamlessly — given the point-scoring potential that CSU’s offense demonstrated throughout Spring Ball.
Nevertheless, banks and society are grateful to compete against a powerful opposite side of the pigskin every day. While it can be grueling at times, the better CSU’s offense performs, the better the Rams’ defense can get.
“We do a bunch of 7-on-7 reps, and that’s the best passing attack we’ll see,” Banks said. “We play against the best receivers, the best quarterbacks every day. You better be ready to go with every snap of your fingers. So that was a huge plus for us.
Spring Game Details
Saturday’s scrimmage concludes the Rams’ 2022 spring training. Action will begin inside Canvas Stadium at 1 p.m. and will be free to spectators once doors open at 11:30 a.m. No tickets are required for the fans.
As for the format of the contest, CSU’s first stringers will form one team while the Rams’ reserves will form the other. The substitutes will start Saturday’s scrimmage up 21-0 as the CSU starters reach the goal of building a comeback victory.
Norvell titled the game “1s against the world”.