Glenn pleased with Cowboys after ten practices

Updated: August 13, 2003, 11:16 PM ET

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- They've won only five games in three seasons and are picked to bottom out the conference again this year, but coach Joe Glenn likes the look of his Cowboys early in the preseason.

"I can tell you this, these kids have a great attitude, they are hungry and want to win, and they take coaching very well," Glenn said Wednesday. "Our coaches have been putting the pedal to the metal, charging hard, and the kids have responded. I think we have made a lot of progress."

Glenn was particularly impressed with strides made in the secondary and parts of the kicking game, which he was concerned with heading into the season.

"We worried about the secondary, especially after a couple of veterans left the team," he said. "But we have had some veterans really come through to help us."

Glenn said cornerbacks Chris Dixon and Leonard Jones and safeties Jay McNeal, Jacque Finn and Tom Vincent have taken charge and helped newcomers adjust to practice.

"The secondary has been a lot stronger than we thought it would be. I know Mike (Breske) feels good about the tempo," Glenn said.

Sophomores Deric Yaussi and Scott Parker are battling for a spot as starting place kicker. Yaussi is considered the front-runner, but Glenn said the competition is close.

"If we had to play tomorrow, Deric would be our guy," he said. "He has made 84 percent of his kicks, and Scott has converted on 75 percent of his. The kicking game has been solid. We just haven't done it for real yet."

Kickoff chores will be handled by punter Luke Donovan, who was having an outstanding camp, Glenn said.

The situation has also improved at tight end, another area of concern. Juniors Aaron Robbins and Marshall Schaap are both healthy again while junior Chris Cox has shown marked improvement.

"I think everybody knows I'm never not going to be optimistic," Glenn said. "But I'm pleased where we are. (Casey) Bramlet is so ready. I have a great deal of confidence in him.

"Our receivers, like (Ryan) McGuffey and (Malcolm) Floyd have shown they are big time guys. We are working to get eight solid guys up front in that offensive line, and feed good about where they are."

Glenn said the defensive line was also healthy and improving, but he remained frustrated by injuries keeping starters out of practice.

"Nothing serious, just the kind of things that keep a guy out of practice," he said. "It's nobody's fault, it just happens."

A scrimmage will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at War Memorial Stadium. Thursday's practice has been moved to 3:30 p.m. so Glenn can attend the Front Range Kickoff Luncheon in Denver.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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