Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hendricks filling in as needed

Sophomore linebacker Brian Hendricks

By Richard Anderson

Brian Hendricks began working his way into the lineup as a redshirt freshman last season. As a sophomore, he is expected to be one of the top linebackers for the Wyoming Cowboys this season.

With the Wyoming defense a little banged up, especially with the likes of Gabe Knapton and Jimmy DeAndrea likely out for the spring season with knee injuries, Hendricks will be on the field a lot.

Probably more than a lot.

On Saturday in the second scrimmage of the spring, Hendricks likely felt that he was not only a starter, but on the second team – all at the same time.

“We had a few guys nicked up, so we had to jump in with the twos and get some extra reps,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks understandably looked tired after the 85-play scrimmage in the Indoor Practice facility. A smile on his face, however, indicated that he didn’t really seem to mind.

His 16 tackles on the day led the Wyoming defense – partially due to his talent, but also due to the fact that he played a little more than in a normal scrimmage.

“Coach (Marty) English, before the scrimmage, told us to not feel bad about things and just hustle to the ball and that’s what we did,” Hendricks said.

Hustle is the name of the game for all Cowboys and the new Wyoming offense under head coach Dave Christensen certainly has the defense on its toes.

“With this new offense, it’s no huddle with a quick pace,” Hendricks said. “And when you’re at 7,220, you’re going to be breathing hard. You just have to look after yourself and get going.”

Utah has a similar offense, but for the most part, it is an offense that the cowboys won’t see a lot of – other than in practice.

“Seeing it every day, it is totally different from last year’s offense,” he said. “It’s quicker, it’s a no huddle. It’s a little different, but we’ll get used to it.”

Despite injuries and illnesses that have several Cowboy defenders on the sidelines, Hendricks is excited about the defense under English, who moved from linebackers coach under Joe Glenn to defensive coordinator under Christensen.

“I think we just hustled, we just flew around to the ball,” Hendricks said. “Again, everyone is hurt and we decided to just rotate two deep and kept going, kept finishing the plays.”

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