Cowboys To Open Spring Drills

March 26, 2004

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Joe Glenn officially kicks off his second season at Wyoming Saturday when his Cowboys begin football spring training.

The practice is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the practice fields northeast of War Memorial Stadium, the first of 15 scheduled dates. Two major scrimmages are set for April 17, and April 24. The second scrimmage will be the Spring game at the Wyoming Soccer Stadium (War Memorial Stadium will not be used this spring due to construction.). That practice will begin at 1 p.m.

Glenn welcomes 40 lettermen from last year's team, including 16 on offense, 22 on defense, and two on special teams. Seven starters return on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

"We're heading into spring ball with every job open," Glenn said prior to his team's opening practice. "There is going to be some excellent competition. We would like to come out of spring ball with most jobs solidified.

"We certainly feel a lot better going into this spring than we did a year ago. We obviously know the kids much better. That's more important than anything. Knowing what they can handle, and what they can't handle, and who fits into what scheme. We are starting with guys we know have already done it. We are eons beyond where we were, and I think that equates to a better football team. I think we have more focus, and we feel more comfortable in our skin.

"We lost some really good football players from last season," Glenn continued. "We lost our quarterback (Casey Bramlet) who was so much a part of this program for the last five seasons. We lost a couple of outstanding receivers (Malcolm Floyd, Ryan McGuffey). Gone are some outstanding playmakers on defense, guys like Tyler Gottschalk and Chris Dixon.

"But we have some very good players returning to this program. We have guys here who are playmakers, and who really care about this program. As with any spring, we have some unanswered questions. That is why we have spring ball, to answer those questions. Our success depends on how we continue to improve. We really did a great job with the winter program. But guys, who I call heir apparents, have got to come through for us. It all starts with the quarterback position. But, after that, the most concern I have is in the offensive line. How much better have we gotten, and how much depth can we create."

Glenn indicated that junior Corey Bramlet (Wheatland, Wyo.) will head into the spring as Wyoming's number one quarterback. "He's the one who received all of the back-up snaps a season ago. But behind him there are four other guys who want to be the starter."

There will be jobs open this spring that have not been open for awhile. Certainly the quarterback position is one. Casey Bramlet was a four-year starter. There will be some individuals who need to step up at the receiver position as well. Tailback should be a very good battle between at least four hopefuls.

"We like the guys we have on defense," Glenn said. "So many of them, guys like Zack Morris (senior noseguard), Randy Tscharner (senior linebacker), Guy Tuell (senior linebacker) and Jay McNeal (senior safety), made such huge strides last year. We expect the same from them this year. We will work on some wrinkles, and maybe tinker with some guys here and there. But we have a lot of guys back who played critical roles for us last season."

As he did last spring, Glenn will limit the contact work during his training period. "It's not going to be a meatgrinder," he said. "We won't all-out tackle in any of our practices. To me the emphasis of springball needs to be on fundamentals, and individual drills. It needs to be a time to teach schemes. The beauty of spring football is that you don't have a game coming up on Saturday against CSU. You become a better player, and you learn your system again. It's your chance to get better.

The Cowboys will practice Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday during the training period.