Koenning Pleased with Opening Practice of Spring Training

March 31, 2001

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Wyoming's second-year head coach,Vic Koenning, could not have been more pleased with his squad's firstpractice of spring training Saturday.

The Cowboys' unusually long practice (two hours and 45 minutes) wasspirited and focused on fundamentals, according to the head man. "We spentjust 20 minutes on team and 20 minutes on seven-on-seven," he said. "Theremainder of the practice involved fundamental work. We had 33 periodswhich is the longest practice these guys have had. But we felt it wasnecessary to do that. We won't go that long from here on out.

"The practice was high in intensity, high in energy," Koenningcontinued. " I am really pleased with the attitude of these kids. It wasthe way it ought to be, and that's in sharp contrast to some of thepractices we had a year ago. That's a great credit to these players.Remember, they have looked forward to this for a long time. It was a verylong winter waiting for this time to come."

Koenning said that if the Cowboys can continue the attitude he sawon Saturday, spring training will be extremely profitable. "Everyone did agood job of lining up properly, and getting their work done," he said. "Weare going to get a great deal done during this very important period if wecan come out with the mental focus, and intensity we had today."

The Cowboys were able to spend the entire practice outdoors after aFriday night spring snowstorm threatened to chase them indoors. "I reallywant to thank our athletics department ground crew," Koenning said, "becausethey got out there early and got our practice fields ready for us. We wereable to do a lot more today because we were able to go outside."

Koenning said it was impossible for him to talk about individualsfollowing the first practice. "It's way too early," he said, "to begintalking about that. But I sure liked what I saw from our defense--lots ofguys flying around--and what I saw at tight end. We certainly have todevelop that position, but I think we are getting closer to developing it.

"I thought Casey (Bramlet) had a pretty good first day atquarterback. He was very effective early, but the wind came up and botheredhe and the other quarterbacks a little bit late in practice."

In a departure from the original schedule, the Cowboys will returnto the field on Sunday to take advantage of the outstanding weather that ispredicted. Like Saturday's workout, it will be without pads, but accordingto Koenning will be shorter in length. "It's supposed to be a real niceday, so we will take advantage of it," he said. "We won't spend as muchtime on the field, but since we have video of today's workout, we'll spend alittle more time watching tape."

Monday will be the Cowboys' first padded practice of springtraining.