Monday, December 8, 2008

Sween: 'This guy fits my preference for offense'

Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming senior quarterback Karsten Sween is interviewd by channel 5 sports director Macradee Aegerter on Monday.

By Richard Anderson

The 2008 season was supposed to be Karsten Sween’s breakout year at quarterback. Then he didn’t get the job. When he got the job, he got hurt.

It wasn’t the year he had expected.

As it turned out, it wasn’t the year anyone expected, as the Cowboys went into the season talking bowl game, but finished 4-8.

Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn and his staff (sans Marty English) lost their jobs and Sween, like many Cowboys on the offensive end, were left in an indeterminate state, wondering what was going to happen.

Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen is now the Cowboys’ head coach and the more Sween thinks about it, the more he gets excited.

“I love the decision that they have made,” Sween said. “This guy fits my preference for offense, absolutely. In high school, that’s what I ran. My strengths are not running the ball or running the read-option. My strengths are my arm and getting the ball to your playmakers, letting them be in the best position offensively. This offense lets you do that. It is five wide and you can pick the defense apart.”

When Christensen was named the new head coach, bringing in his spread offense, Sween admitted a little spark was lit underneath him for his senior season.

“I’m going to work as hard as I can in the off-season,” he said. “The best thing I can do is just learn this offense whenever I get a chance to get his playbook. When you have five receivers, you have limited protection, you only have five offensive linemen and you have no running back for protection. You have to know where you’re hot routes are, you have to know when to attack the defense. It takes experience and a lot of studying and that is what I am going to do.”

Sween said he had already mentioned to someone that he was almost approaching his final season like he was a freshman. He said that Christensen is established and has enough accomplishments to where he didn’t need to question anything.

“He tells me what to do and I am going to do it 110 percent,” Sween said. “We’ll see where that takes me. I don’t really have any interjections of what I think should go down. Obviously, that senior leadership goes into effect where you take the initiative when people maybe lack in their effort. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do.”

Christensen met with the Cowboys Monday morning and talked to them about what his expectation level is for this football team and for the program.

“I just talked about how we are going to operate here from a discipline standpoint, what I expect them to do,” Christensen said. “We talked to them about what I expect them to do over the break, and when they come back what they can expect. We talked about the importance of recruiting. The biggest thing is we are going to be very, very structured, we’re going to be very disciplined, and the phrase they are probably going to be sick of hearing is an attention to detail in everything we do."

For the most part, Sween said the Cowboys are excited about the selection. If not, then he said some players will likely have to hit the road.

“I think Coach Christensen has shown us and told us what needs to happen,” Sween said. “I think everyone is buying into that. It will be a step-by-step process.”

Senior linebacker Westin Johnson said that Christensen is a winner and they’re excited that he is their coach.

“That’s what I signed up to do. I signed up to win, so I couldn’t ask anything more. I’m excited about what’s going to happen,” Johnson said.

Sween watched the Big 12 title game between Missouri and Oklahoma from a little different perspective than the normal college football fan.

“I looked at the game and thought, ‘What was the blitz, what was the adjustments, whether it was in the play or maybe a hot route or what we call a side adjustment to a blitz.’ It was fun to watch.”

The Big 12 tile game also got Sween to think about Wyoming’s personnel and what they could do in the new system.

“Last year, we only had a couple of receivers who were really a pro style, but I think we have a great freshman class that no one has seen yet, and a couple of guys who are very talented, very tall,” he said. “I think if they recruit well -- like he said, we need seven or eight receivers -- if we fill that spot well enough, hopefully we’ll get the job done next season.”

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