Aug. 11, 2001
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
While he was guarding hisoptimism, it was not hard to tell that Wyoming's Head Coach Vic Koenning waspleased with what he saw during his team's first two-a-day session ofpreseason camp.
The Cowboys went through a pair of crisp workouts on Saturdaywithout pads. The twice-per-day practices in shorts will extend throughTuesday. They will put the pads on for the first time during Wednesday'stwo-a-day schedule.
"We're bigger, we have more speed, we are more fundamentally sound,and I believe our focus is better," Koenning said Saturday. "But what Ilike most about our team is the competition we now have. We had 17offensive linemen out there today, 15 defensive line and 22 guys in thesecondary. Last season we started out with eight defensive linemen, and hadjust five for our last game with Colorado State.
"Without question that makes for a better practice situation,"Koenning continued. "Last year guys could take a play off here or therebecause there was nobody to push them. A guy can't do that now. We arehungrier. What I saw today was a team with better leadership and a teamwith more maturity. They've also been in the system long enough tounderstand what we want, what we believe it takes to be successful."
Koenning said it was evident with the veterans that they had workedhard during the summer conditioning period. "There is no doubt that thevast majority have put the time in to be better. We went through ourscripts today, and finished two minutes ahead of schedule. I expected thatthese early practices would be 10 or 15 minutes longer. I think that's thematurity and leadership coming through."
The head man said it was certainly much too early to get a solidread on the younger players, but he liked what he saw in terms of theirenthusiasm and willingness. "It's hard for the younger guys right now," hesaid. "They don't get a lot of reps so it's important for them to get itdone when they do get their opportunity. That also holds true for some ofthe second and third line guys. When they get their chance, they make adifference. The competition is there."