Perfect weather welcomes McNeese State on first day of spring drills + Melvin Jones at LSU Camp

By McNeese SID Matthew Bonnette

LAKE CHARLES – Sunshine, cool weather and a mild breezed welcomed the 2014 McNeese State Cowboys back into Cowboy Stadium for the start of spring practice, and with the perfect weather came an energetic and enthusiastic squad that's looking to build on its 10-win campaign from last season.

"I thought it was a good day," said head coach Matt Viator, a finalist for last year's Eddie Robinson Award as the Football Championship Subdivision's top coach.  "It was great weather.  The energy was good.  I thought the guys did a nice job of getting back into routine.

"All-in-all I thought it was a great day for the first practice and we were able to accomplish what we wanted."

The 1 hour, 45 minute workout in shorts, shirt and helmets ended with the offense going up against the defense in team drills with the quarterback position being the one with most eyes glazing upon.

"Competition is what we want," said Viator.  "You get better with competition and we're having a lot of that, which is good."

The Cowboys will start a new quarterback under center this season after school record holder Cody Stroud graduated following last season.  Junior Tyler Bolfing, sophomore Will Briscoe, and redshirt freshmen Grant Ashcraft and Joe Lissard will compete for the nod as the spring wears on and during fall camp.

Tuesday was more of a "get back into the flow" of things for the Cowboys.

"This first week we'll have a lot of installation," said Viator.  "There are a lot of re-teaching things.  Re-teaching drills, re-teaching plays, schemes on defense.  There are some new players out here but what we're looking for is the energy, the effort, the attitude, and if we have that, then we'll progress the way we want."

The players will slip on the shoulder pads for the first time on Friday and will go in full gear on Saturday.

The first scrimmage of the spring will be held on Saturday, March 29 at 3 p.m.  The second scrimmage will follow on April 5 at 9:45 a.m. while the spring game is slated for 1 p.m. on April 12.  All scrimmages will be held in Cowboy Stadium.