By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
The Portales Rams didn’t throw the ball that much last year. Second-year Rams coach Andy Correll said that’s going to change.
“We’re throwing to spots, running crisp, clean routes, and still (retaining) the ability to go deep when we have to,” Correll said.
One year after shocking New Mexico Class 3A football with an appearance in the state championship game, Correll is implementing a short passing game to complement the Rams already formidable running game.
“I spent a little time talking to old friends, old coaches, some universities and so forth and really kind of asked them about short, controlled passing,” Correll said. “With the spread offense that we’re looking at running, we want to be able to get the ball out — they’re basically runs in the spread offense.”
The Rams joined the rest of the state in beginning two-a-day practices Monday morning, one day before the first day of school.
“I’m really excited,” senior quarterback Chris Mosier said. “I think we’ll be better this year. We’ve got people coming back who know what it takes to get to the final game.”
Mosier believes an improved passing game will keep defenses honest.
“If you pass the ball a lot, it opens up the run,” Mosier said. “Last year, we just ran and so it was harder.”
Correll maintains that the focus of the offense will still be the run.
“I still think we will be a run-dominance type team,” Correll said.
“But we’re still going to be able to spread it out a little bit better. We’re going to throw screens, throw short, controlled passes, so it’s a form of run, but it’s considered a pass.”
With the short passes and screen passes, the Ram offensive line is going to have to be a quick, athletic group, and that’s exactly what Correll says he has.
“We’re not big. We’ve got a little bit of size, but we’ve got kids with quick feet,” Correll said. “All eight of them worked really hard this summer, so we’ve got the kind of kids to run what we’re going to run.”
The Rams open their 2007 season Aug. 31 at home against Las Vegas Robertson in a rematch of last year’s state championship game.
“With the type of kids we have — the skill players that we have, we’ve got the kids that can really make some things happen,” Correll said.