Cowboys Begin Padded Practices Wednesday

Aug. 14, 2001

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The intensity level of Wyoming'sfall camp will raise a notch or two beginning Wednesday as the Cowboys beginpractice in full pads.

With Tuesday's two practices, the Cowboys finished their eighthworkout of the camp, and their head coach Vic Koenning couldn't be morepleased. "I've been very happy with the enthusiasm and the focus of thisfootball team," Koenning said following Tuesday's sessions. "I have notbeen around a group that plays with this kind of enthusiasm."

The Cowboys will practice twice in pads on Wednesday, then just onceon Thursday with two scheduled for Friday and Saturday. They will practicejust once on Sunday.

"As coaches we have to do a good job of keeping our horses fresh,"he said. "We are steadily identifying who our horses are, then making surewe keep them fresh and injury-free."

Koenning said that rather than scheduling several major scrimmagesduring camp, he and his staff have set a series of smaller ones. "We willhave smaller scrimmages several times during our camp," Koenning said. "Ineach of those we will include red zone work as well. This Sunday's singlepractice might feature a larger scrimmage, but the head coach said the majorscrum will probably come a week from Wednesday. "We'll have our top twounits decided following that practice," Koenning said.

Several areas have shown brightly thus far, according to the headcoach. He has been especially pleased with the receiver corps. "I believeour receivers are better now than at any time since I've been here,"Koenning said. "We have seven or eight who are doing extremely well. Wehave better receivers, and better depth." The head coach singled outScottie Vines for his play as well as veterans Brock Ralph, Ryan McGuffeyand Malcom Floyd. "Scottie has shown he can be an outstanding receiver. Heis out right now with a leg bruise, but he has made a difference for us whenhe's been out there. I'm also pleased with the way the tight end positionis coming along. Those guys are starting to really develop. In fact, weare four-deep at that position right now."

Koenning said he also was pleased with the secondary and thedefensive line, especially the depth located in each area. "We also havefour linebackers--Herman White, Jason Jones, Leo Caires and TylerGottschalk-- who have been smokin'," the head man said. "In the secondarywe knew we had a lot of guys who could play, and they are demonstratingthat. There is just so much more depth in the defensive line. The numbersare there, and if someone misses a practice or two because of injury, thereis another guy who can step in, and play well."

Wyoming's running backs have got to get better, which Koenning saidwas already starting to happen. "They are improving, but we are having toomany missed assignments. We have to cut down on those mental miscues."

Koenning said there were a number of freshmen battling for backuproles. "I can name between eight and say 10 of our new players who have anopportunity to see the field as true freshmen," he said. "Guys like IsaacMorales (o-line), Jeff Warren (center), Jacob Bonde (defensive end),Derrick Glasper (defensive tackle), C.R. Davis (running back), PhillipDrakes (running back) have been playing very well. We will be able to tellmore about them after we've been in pads for a couple of days.

"Right now, with few exceptions we are better than we were in thespring," he said.