Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cowboys show a little more fire

Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming players mix it up late in Thursday's practice.
By Richard Anderson

Boys will be boys.

Near the end of Thursday’s practice in the Indoor Practice Facility, and after Wyoming junior quarterback Dax Crum scrambled untouched for an 8-yard touchdown run, tempers flared between the Cowboys offensive and defensive line.

Coaches and players got in the middle (and for one unfortunate coach) on the bottom of the dog pile. A little wrestling and one major takedown was about all that came from it, although it once again fired up the troops.

It wasn’t exactly disappointing for Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen in the Cowboys ninth practice of the spring.

“They’re competitive,” Christensen said. “Hopefully, you have a whole team of competitive guys and that is going to happen once in a while. We’ll take care of that. Those things don’t carry over to the locker room. There’s a little bit of heat on the field and that is fine. That’s competitiveness.”

Actually, that kind of fire was music to Christensen’s ears, after a less than impressive performance on Tuesday.

“I thought it was a good practice, uptempo, upbeat,” Christensen said. “I thought the kids worked hard and gave a great effort. They were physical at times. It was good work today.”

Christensen was especially pleased coming off the rough Tuesday practice.

“I’m not here to make excuses, but I know one thing; we had a few days off and we came back and were not very good,” Christensen said. “We were better today and I was pleased with the way the kids came out, and I told them that. They came out with their minds right, they came out hard and executed their practice.”

The Cowboys practiced in shells on Thursday with no scrimmaging, although they were physical at times in situational offense versus defense drills.

“We went out and got more work done,” Christensen said. “It was physical in certain areas. We did a nice job of keeping guys healthy and we’ll go at it Saturday morning.”

The Wyoming coaching staff cut the last scrimmage (April 4) short because of injuries. That also led to no scrimmage on Thursday.

“We want to have a good scrimmage on Saturday morning,” Christensen said. “We can’t do that if we get more guys banged up.”

The Cowboys will scrimmage for about 85 plays on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. in the IPF.
“Numbers-wise we can’t (go more plays),” Christensen said. “We have to go with lowest that we can handle in a scrimmage. That’s what we have to base it on. We’re hoping to get in an 85-play scrimmage.”

Just what is Christensen looking for on Saturday?

“We’re looking to see which players are ready to compete at the highest level in the Mountain West Conference,” Christensen said. “After we evaluate the film, we’ll have each coach go through each of his players and tell me which ones are, which ones are close and which ones have a ways to go and what we have to do to get them there.”

Coaches galore
Also observing Thursday’s practice were several region and state high school football coaches who will be here for Friday’s coaching clinic.

The clinic will begin at 8 a.m. with registration of high school coaches. During the registration period from 8 to 9 a.m., coaches will be offered the opportunity to watch video of Cowboy practices. At 9 a.m. and running until noon, the Cowboy coaches will be available in question and answer sessions.

Following a break for lunch, high school coaching staffs will be invited to sit in on position meetings with UW coaches and players starting at 2:45 p.m. as they prepare for the afternoon’s practice that will begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday’s practice will focus on teaching techniques and will run for a little over an hour.

“We’re expecting at least 100 coaches in here Friday,” said Christensen. “It is a free clinic open to all high school coaches. They will have an opportunity to clinic with each member of our staff throughout the day. We will structure Friday’s practice so that the high school coaches can be out on the field with our staff and players learning the drills that we use to instruct our team. “It is also a great opportunity for us to get to know high school coaches in the area and build relationships with them. There are a lot of coaching clinics out there this time of year. We felt we wanted to make ours free of charge and open up our program to any area coaches who wanted to come and learn about how we do things.”

No comments: