MISSOULA — Right away, Montana's offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach noticed there was something his sophomore quarterback could work on.
Rosenbach thought Gresch Jensen's footwork in the pocket could be faster.
"It's just one of the things I noticed that I thought he could work on," Rosenbach said. "There'll be a lot more emphasis on that in fall camp, just because of the time. We'll have a lot more individual time and that type of stuff. It's been hard to get our footwork drills in."
Jensen's taken Rosenbach's advice to heart and has been making a conscious effort to focus on his feet.
"I'm still trying to work at it," Jensen said. "This summer's going to be big for progression too."
Jensen added that he's trying to hone it, whether he's throwing routes or going through cone drills.
Rosenbach sees the improvement.
"He takes what I'm telling him and translates it into what he's trying to do on the field," Rosenbach said. "His feet are getting more active and better."
The importance of footwork isn't just for Jensen. Rosenbach wants all of his quarterbacks aware of what their feet are doing.
"Footwork's important for a quarterback regardless of who it is," Rosenbach said. "I think everybody can be better at their footwork. ... You have to make a conscious effort to be more active with your feet. If your feet are more active and you're putting your feet in different positions then you're able to put yourself in position to throw the ball quicker and be more accurate."
Footwork isn't the only thing Jensen's been working on in the offseason.
He's in the process of learning an entirely new offensive language.
"You have to rewire your brain kinda," Jensen said of the new offensive schemes. "I'm doing the best I can. You always try to get better at certain things, whether it's footwork and learning the offense and terminology and how we used to do it versus how they call it now."
He added: "It's been interesting for me personally just trying to adjust to the system. It's very similar to what we've done with the terminology and the timing."
Rosenbach acknowledges that learning a new offense isn't something that can be done overnight.
"Any time you're putting new stuff in, there's a period of transition where you're just trying to get used to the terminology," Rosenbach said. "One of the harder things for (Jensen) probably is he has to understand how we call things compared to how they called them before. You gotta get over that stuff as fast as you can and move on."
Both Jensen and transfer quarterback Dalton Sneed have taken reps with the 1s during the first three weeks of spring practice. But on Wednesday, Jensen primarily lined up with the first team.
Jensen's coming off of a standout redshirt-freshman campaign that was arguably one of the best by a freshman quarterback in school history.
He racked up 2,531 yards passing and 203 net yards rushing in 10 games with 20 passing touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Jensen's 2,531-yard season was the 22nd-best season in Griz football history. And Jensen finished third in the Jerry Rice Award voting.
Sneed, at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, played in eight games last season and had 1,257 yards passing and seven touchdowns. He completed 63 percent of his passes and on the ground, he ran for 295 yards.
"They're good. In a situation like this, especially at the University of Montana, you have to work together," Rosenbach said of the two. "It doesn't mean you have to sit there and go, 'OK I'm going to be best buddies with this guy,' but at the same time you have to work together and compete against each other at the same time for the good of the team and that's what they're doing."
Jensen said he and Sneed are a little different in terms of how they lead — Jensen leads more by example, while Sneed is a bit more outgoing — but they're similar in several ways too.
"We're very detail oriented," Jensen said of Sneed. "He's a hard worker and I can really relate to that too. Just keep chipping away at things and just do the best we can do and compete our butts off. That's all you can do at the end of the day."
NOTES: Trase Le Texier, a redshirt sophomore, has worked out with the fullbacks and running backs for two practices now. He's listed as a tight end on the roster and was listed as a linebacker last season.
Friday's Griz football practice is closed to the public and the media. The next open practice is on Monday, April 2. That practice will be held at the River Bowl, weather permitting.