March 31, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The second of four weeks of spring football practices began for the Wyoming Cowboys with a morning practice on Monday. The Cowboys continued to install their offensive and defensive systems, as well as incorporating some special teams work into Monday's practice. Head coach Craig Bohl continued to be pleased with the play of the Cowboy defensive line and with the development of the running attack on offense. In response to questions from media following Monday's practice, Bohl also mentioned that he was pleased with the early development of the tight-end position in the Cowboy offense.
"As far as practice, we're in the middle of spring," said Bohl. "We're making progress -- like to probably see a little bit more progress out of our quarterbacks today. But as we continue to install things, they're heads are swimming a little bit.
"I think defensively, we're seeing some great efforts. As I've noted earlier, our defensive front is doing some good things, and today they were pretty disruptive.
"We continue to show some really good signs with our running game. I think we'll be on par there and have a good running game.
"We're not where we need to be in the kicking game yet. We worked on punt protection extensively at the first part of practice, and had way too many blocks, but that's to be expected as we're working a lot of guys in that rotation."
Bohl was asked if there were other areas of the team in addition to the defensive line and running game that had impressed him through the first week of spring drills.
"I think our tight-end position has been a little bit better than I thought," said Bohl. "I think we'll be okay there. Anytime you're adding the tight-end element into your game it will take a little while to develop (the previous Wyoming offense didn't incorporate a tight end). Now with that said, we're going to need more depth, and I think we'll accomplish that as we develop our program, but right now I think that (tight-end position) is a little bit ahead of schedule."
The Cowboy head coach was also asked to give an early evaluation on redshirt sophomore running back D.J. May, who returned to practice this spring after missing the 2013 season due to injury.
"I've really been pleased (with D.J. May)," said Bohl. "He's got a great feel for the game. He sees the field well -- Shaun (Wick) does as well -- but the thing that I've noticed is that when he (May) gets into the second level he is able to pull away from some defenders. What that's going to allow us is not every play is going to have to be blocked perfectly to get an eight-yard gain. I think we're going to get some big plays out of him."
Bohl was asked to expand on what he would like to see out of his quarterbacks now heading into the second week of spring ball.
"Taking care of the football a little bit more would be one thing," said Bohl. "We really don't need to be forcing the ball down field. If the throws are there take them. But once again, you're in spring football. You have a lot of different quarterbacks coming into play, and we're installing a lot of offense.
"But more teams lose on Saturday than win. What I mean by that is you need to minimize your mistakes and take care of the football. I think right now we're putting the ball up in the air a little bit too much and taking too many chances."
Bohl was requested to describe how new running backs coach Mike Bath came to join the Wyoming staff this year and what he brings to the Cowboy coaching staff.
"Coach (Brent) Vigen had worked with Coach (Mike) Bath several years ago, and the No. 1 thing we're looking at when we're hiring coaches is what is their value system," said Bohl. "Are they good people. Then the next thing is are they intelligent, and the third thing is can they communicate. Then you look at their area of expertise. Coach Bath has extensive experience on the offensive side of the football. He was an interim head coach, and played quarterback in a good league (at Miami of Ohio in the Mid-American Conference). He brings a great deal of energy and experience. What has been great too is he has experience in the power running game, experience that, while similar to ours, is a little bit different. And I think that type of new experience is helping us build the new Cowboy coaching staff. He has really been a great addition."
Bohl also commented after Monday's practice on the scheduling of spring practices and what he felt is best for his football student-athletes moving forward. This spring's practice schedule had already been slated for morning practices due to student-athletes having enrolled in spring classes during the fall semester, which was prior to Bohl's and his staff's arrival at Wyoming.
"We are locked in with our scheduling with morning practices (this spring), but these morning practices after this semester are going to be done," said Bohl. "I'm convinced it's a great schedule for coaches, but it's not the best thing for the student-athlete. You can try all kinds of different things, but after 30 years of coaching I'm convinced this is not the best thing for our young men."
The Pokes will return to the practice field on Wednesday, April 2 for an 8:15 a.m. practice in full pads. They will also practice Friday and Saturday this week.
The first 30 minutes of practices are open to the media and public and closed after the first 30 minutes. The Spring Game on Saturday, April 19 at 2 p.m. will be open to the media and public.
2014 University of Wyoming Football Spring Practice Schedule
Wednesday, March 26 - 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #1)
Friday, March 28 - 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #2)
Saturday, March 29 - 10 a.m. (First Padded Practice/Non-Tackle, Practice #3)
Monday, March 31 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #4)
Wednesday, April 2 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #5)
Friday, April 4 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #6)
Saturday, April 5 - Time is TBA (Scrimmage #1, Practice #7)
Monday, April 7 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #8)
Wednesday, April 9 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #9)
Friday, April 11 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #10)
Saturday, April 12 - Time is TBA (Scrimmage #2, Practice #11)
Monday, April 14 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #12)
Wednesday, April 16 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #13)
Friday, March 18 - 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #14)
Saturday, April 19 - 2 p.m. (Spring Game, Practice #15) Open to the Public