"It will give us a chance to see where we are at by this time," he said. "I think we've made progress. I like what I see. I think that we can be a physical football team."
While players continue to battle for first-team spots, backup roles are also vital for the Rams' success in 2002.
"We have to have some guys step up and be the number two or the number three. The thing we're trying to do is build depth. Maybe a young guy won't be the starter, but we need him to be a solid reserve."
Unlike a year ago, Colorado State has a returning starter at quarterback. Bradlee Van Pelt, who will be a junior when next season arrives, started the final nine games of 2001 and led the Rams to six victories including a win in the first-ever New Orleans Bowl.
"Bradley has improved a great deal. He is throwing the ball much better. You can see the difference that a year has made," said Lubick.
Lubick said Van Pelt will have plenty of passing targets despite the departure of graduated seniors Pete Rebstock, Dallas Davis and Jose Ochoa, all of whom finished among the team's receiving leaders last season.
Lubick said a bevy of youngsters has him optimistic that the team's receiving corps is on solid ground. Juniors Chris Pittman and Eric Hill have been reserves the past two years and are battling for starting spots. Tight end Joel Dreessen was honorable mention all-league last year as a freshman and returns as a starter. Adding another weapon to the team's receiving arsenal is Henri Childs, who led the team in rushing a year ago. He's seeing duty both as a rusher and pass catching specialist this spring.
Lubick said next week's schedule would include practices on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The Rams conclude with an annual intrasquad spring game April 20 at Hughes Stadium.