March 20, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
After an outstanding winter conditioning program,Wyoming opened its fourth spring training under Head Coach Joe Glenn on Monday in the warm and friendly confines of War Memorial Fieldhouse.
Although it was the first official day of spring, three inches of snow chased the Cowboys indoors for their opening practice of the training period. As with each Glenn spring, the focus was on learning, fundamentals, staying healthy, and getting ready for the season opener on Sept. 2, against Utah State.
Specifically on their first day, the Pokes began working on installation of their "bread and butter" offenses and defenses as well as punt protection. They practiced without pads on Monday.
"We have a lot of the same goals we have every spring," Glenn said Monday. "We want to install, and fine tune on both sides of the ball. "We want to work on fundamentals, and we want to stay healthy."
The Cowboys will have two major scrimmages during the training period, April 1, at 1 p.m., and April 13th at 7 p.m. That scrimmage will be the spring finale. Both will be conducted in War Memorial Stadium.
"I couldn't be more pleased with our winter conditioning," Glenn said. "Scott Bennett (Director of Strength and Conditioning) and company were iron horses in helping our players. Our players bought into it, and improved physically thanks to great work ethic and enthusiasm. I think they are in prime shape for spring training.
"We have 164 days and a wakeup for our opener," he continued. "Our whole focus is on winning a game. It's a new team, but we have to shed those losses. We have to work very hard this spring on protecting the ball. I think we have a good football team, but we will be playing a lot of good teams, especially in our league. We have to improve in league play."
Spring training also will involve the identification of personnel to replace some very key individuals. For the first time in five seasons, Wyoming does not have an experienced quarterback going into the spring. The Cowboys have exhausted their supply of Bramlet brothers. Gone is Corey who directed the Cowboy attack for two seasons after replacing his brother Casey two years ago.
Also gone is one of the most exciting and prolific receivers in Wyoming history, wide receiver Jovon Bouknight. The offense also will miss center Drew Severn, and tight end John Wadkowski, who have exhausted their eligibility.
Defensively, the Cowboy coaching staff will be utilizing spring training to find replacements for end John Flora, nosetackle Dusty Hoffschneider, safety Ron Rockett and corners Derrick Martin and Terrance Butler.
"The quarterback position should be a battle during spring ball," Glenn said. "We have four guys on scholarship who really want a shot at the job. We have to identify in a hurry who can help us, and decide how we will divide the reps.
"Center also is a focal point for us. Although four starters, including three seniors, are back in that offensive line, the key guy is the center position, and he will be an underclassman.
"Our philosophy of spring training won't change. We won't scheme for scrimmages, and we won't try to beat Wyoming. It's not a time to play games, it's a time to learn. The key to our spring will be finding replacements for those who have graduated."
Wednesday the Cowboys will practice one more time without pads. They will close out their first week of training with padded practices both Friday and Saturday.