So, what exactly is a passing-game coordinator?
LARAMIE -- Mike Grant didn't quit his day job.
His main responsibility is still developing and molding the Cowboys' mostly young and inexperienced receiving corps.
But he did add a new title this offseason -- offensive passing-game coordinator. Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl bestowed that upon him last February.
“He will coordinate an aggressive passing game within our offense," Bohl said in a press release. "Mike has been part of our system for many years now and has a great understanding of our personnel. He also has an excellent understanding of the Mountain West Conference and will be a valuable resource for our offensive coaching staff as we move Cowboy Football forward in 2021.”
Ok, so the main question is: What exactly does a passing-game coordinator do?
"Before, when I was just the wide receivers coach, I could suggest it and it might just be yay or nay depending on what the coordinator wants," Grant said, adding that new offensive coordinator Tim Polasek has been very receptive to different ideas during spring and fall camp. "Now, I have some say into, 'OK, I like this. Let's do this and see how it goes.' It's good. I absorb that responsibility and am excited about it."
It's no secret Wyoming's passing game has been less than efficient over the last three seasons. In 2020, without the services of an injured Sean Chambers, the Cowboys completed just 62 passes in six games. Also suffering from an injury of his own, Levi Williams passed for just 920 yards.
He tossed one touchdown pass.
Only Bowling Green and UMass finished the season with a single scoring strike.
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Bohl said during the offseason that "re-engineering" the Cowboys' passing attack was the first order of business once Polasek rolled into town.
"I tell you what, it was much needed," Grant said with a smile, adding that the staff watched hours of film together. "You know, all the bread-and-butters things (running game) that we've always done are still there, but it was much needed to really peel back with no egos. Let's just look at how we can all improve.
"We all felt in the room that it was necessary."
Grant, who was a quarterback at the University of Nebraska from 1988-92 and coached on the same staff in Lincoln with Bohl from 1995 to '96, said ideas were tossed around. There was plenty of self reflection.
Maybe some come-to-Jesus-moments, too?
"A little bit of that, yeah," he said. "When the meetings were over and done, they were done. We could still hang out. It wasn't a situation where we're carrying it outside the office or even outside the meeting. You know, the camaraderie that was built in the summer, we finally got to go back out and do some (football camps), all those things. All that stuff's really important because you need that when the bullets are flying."
Bohl and Co. aren't exactly sharing their restructured -- and simplified -- playbook. Who is starting under center Sept. 4 when Montana State pays a visit to Laramie? That's still yet to be determined, at least publicly.
If the spring game was any indication, a more balanced offense could be on the horizon in Laramie. Wyoming threw the ball a combined 40 times between the White and the Brown team. It added 56 rushing attempts.
We'll all see how that unfolds in nine days.
One thing that is certain is there's a renewed sense of urgency and energy within the program. Bohl emphatically admitted that. The players have all taken notice. So has Grant.
"It has," Grant said when asked if he's been reinvigorated. "(Former Nebraska head coach) Tom Osborne told me this a long time ago -- nobody likes anything lukewarm. So, whether you're in the middle of cold weather or the Mojave Desert, if somebody brings you something lukewarm, you're going to spit it out. Now, we're giving it to (the players) either red hot or cold-blooded. You're going to get it."
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players