LAS VEGAS — There's a word on the minds of Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick and left tackle Charles Leno Jr., the two seniors selected to represent the Broncos football team this week for Mountain West media days at the Cosmopolitan resort.
"This team is going to have a lot of explosiveness," Southwick said Sunday after players from the league's 12 teams assembled for dinner. "There are a lot of things that go into it that we've identified as players, coaches. That's the word that we've got to find. ... We do a lot of things really well. If we can incorporate that back into our offense, we're going to be just fine."
The Broncos lacked the quick strike much of last season, when they scored 30.2 points per game - the worst output of the Chris Petersen era, as head coach (2006-present) or offensive coordinator (2001-05). The receivers averaged 11.0 yards per catch; Southwick averaged 7.36 yards per attempt.
Southwick and Leno expect those numbers to change this year after seeing signs of playmaking ability in spring ball and during player-run practices this summer.
Among those who could flourish: sophomore tailback Jay Ajayi, who averaged 6.7 yards per carry last season; senior wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn, who has impressed through the summer; and senior wide receiver Aaron Burks, who averaged 18.8 yards per catch last year. They're surrounded by veteran possession receivers Matt Miller, Kirby Moore and Gabe Linehan, and an offensive line expected to start three seniors.
"I just feel like the offensive line is going to be really good," said Leno, who enters his third year as a starter. "... For the offense, I feel like we're going to be extremely explosive this year. With this team, it's just going to be a whole other look - we're going to be way faster and stronger than we were last year. I feel like it's going to be new and improved Boise State."
The players have one week remaining in their summer workout program, which includes four days with strength and conditioning coach Tim Socha and three player-run practices per week. They get a week off before fall camp begins Aug. 5.
"We're coming together a little more as a team, which is positive to see," Southwick said. "I think we're getting our base. That's what summer is about - get that base with coach Socha to be ready for fall camp.
"... It's a really special time for us, with the coaches not there, to go back to the fundamentals, to get better together. We might not be getting the best coaching - coaching each other up - but it's a great time of year for us to really bond."
It's also a time to improve, although the progress can be difficult to assess. Not only are the coaches absent, but there's no video, either.
"I'm excited," Southwick said, "to get into camp and see if I made strides."
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat