Building Toughness

Colorado conducted a 1-hour, 72-play scrimmage at their practice fields on Friday morning. Inside, notes from what offensive line coach Jeff Grimes had to say after the scrimmage.

Friday's scrimmage was closed to all but invited guests. The media was asked not to report on any aspect of the scrimmage.

Jeff Grimes, who also carries the mantle of the team's assistant head coach, spoke to the press following Friday's practice. Grimes was taking over head coach Dan Hawkins' usual post-practice media duties because Hawkins had to be in Denver for an annual CU-CSU luncheon.

The offensive line coach said what he's said since he got to Boulder prior to spring ball — he wants his offensive linemen to set the tone for the team in terms of toughness.

Grimes showed a little color when he said, "You can't expect the little skinny guys wearing sweat bands and bicep bands and all that stuff to lead the charge into battle. So it starts with us. And then, ultimately, I think our team will only be as tough as the offensive line. Because the defensive line will only be tough if they're used to someone hitting them in the mouth every day."

Grimes said the unit is on track to be as tough as he wants them to be, but they're not there yet.

• Senior Tyler Polumbus continues to show good leadership this camp.

"He was probably the strongest leader, the strongest personality on our offense right now," Grimes said. "He's willing to take that role." Grimes also indicated junior center Daniel Sanders as someone who's got a strong grasp of the offense and has shown good leadership the past two weeks.

• Grimes also said coaches have realized the team has been sluggish the past several practices after a crisp first 2 weeks of fall camp. He said it's typical for a team to start to lose its legs at this point in camp. However, Grimes warned the coaches really need to get the players' attention in the coming practices.

The team will practice twice Saturday and once Sunday, before taking Monday — the first day of classes — off from football. The weekend practices won't be as physical as the first couple weeks of camp. The idea is to let the players gather themselves physically, and be ready to go next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the attitude needs to be amped up.

"We've got to have all our focus on beating Colorado State, and that means extra preparation, extra film work," he said. "We're not just out here practicing, we're preparing to go to battle next week."

• The Buffs will begin a new pre-game tradition prior to the Sept. 15 home game vs. Florida State. Approximately two hours before kickoff, the team will arrive at Folsom Stadium in their team buses. They'll be let out of the buses just east of the ticket booths outside of Folsom, on Colorado Ave. The team will then walk up the street and to the plaza outside Folsom, touch the bronze statue of Ralphie, then walk into the stadium and to their locker room.

Coaches want as many fans as possible at the pre-game walk to greet the players.

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