Koenning Pleased with First Padded Practice

April 3, 2001

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Tuesday was a welcome day off forWyoming's football team after three straight spring training sessions,including its first "padded" workout of the spring on Monday.

The Cowboys will resume practice on Wednesday with their secondday in full gear.

"We really had three great days in a row," Head Coach Vic Koenningsaid on Tuesday. "If I had not have felt we were in great shape, wewouldn't have gone three straight days. But they did very well. There wasno drop-off in intensity, and they were very into it emotionally.

"Usually there is a bit of a drop-off when you go with your firstday in pads," Koenning said. "But I thought we looked much more like anexperienced team than we did last spring, and certainly at times during ourseason."

Koenning said he has been very pleased with spring training thusfar. He was extremely encouraged with the padded practice because moreindividuals contributed more in almost every position. "It was really aspirited practice," he said. "We had lots of great hits, and we had a lotmore guys contributing."

As has been the pattern during the non-contact days, the Cowboysspent a great deal of time on fundamentals during Monday's practice. Theydid, however, get after it during a "first-and-ten" team period. Accordingto Koenning the defense won the first-half of the drill, but the offensefinished well.

"One thing is quite apparent," Koenning said, "our defense hasbetter speed than it did a year ago. That's just not the first group,either, I thought the second unit demonstrated outstanding speed as well.Our backers flew around with flexibility and great motors. The defense iscoming along. I thought (Damon) Roark and (Chad) Beuhler, Tim Glynn andJosh Rollins were very active in the defensive front. I thought those guysre-directed better than we have in a long time. They really carried theirfundamentals the team period."

Koenning said he thought both Nate Scott and Derek Armah ran verywell at running back, and he liked what he saw from the receivers. "I thinkwe are going to have six or seven who are going to really help us," he said."The tight ends did some good things on Monday as well."

The head coach said the Cowboys would practice in pads on Wednesdaywith a lighter padded workout on Friday. He said Saturday's practice wouldbe split in half. The first half would focus on fundamental work, and thesecond half would be a scrimmage.