Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Day one in the books|
MOSCOW, Idaho – They were “in their underwear” as head coach Robb Akey said, but the University of Idaho football team took the first step of the 2012 season in a helmets-only first day of practice on Thursday.
With the practice being a non-contact day, Akey said the focus was mainly fundamentals and technique.
“If we can play the game well and if we can execute the game well, then all those play calls and all those blitzes have a chance to work – if we can pay attention to the little things,” Akey said. “The little things will lead you to the big things.”
The sixth-year Vandal head coach also touched on the battle for the starting quarterback spot, which is on-going, and added that it won’t be decided any time soon.
“It’s got to separate itself, that’s the biggest thing,” Akey said. “We would hope that maybe after that second scrimmage that we might see some consistent separation. It’s up to us to get some of those things created. It’s not going to happen this week.”
Another noteworthy storyline of the day had nothing to do with who’s playing where, as the team debuted new-look headgear for the 2012 season in the form of black helmets. Senior corner and defensive team captain Aaron Grymes said the players found out for the first time on Wednesday and that now they need to earn them.
“We look at it like it’s a present from the coaches,” Grymes said. “Now we need to go show them that we deserve it and pay them back for it.”
With 28 more practices to go before Idaho opens its season on Thursday, Aug. 30, against Eastern Washington, Akey said there’s still a long way to go, but that he saw a lot of good things on the first day and that he was happy with the way the team came into the fall after very well-attended summer workouts.
“I thought they worked hard and I thought they played hard and I thought they worked hard to finish,” Akey said. “It’s a good first day and again, it’s only the first day.”
The Vandals will add shoulder pads for Saturday’s practice. Full pad practice starts on Monday, Aug. 6, while the team’s first fall scrimmage is at 2:30 p.m. (PT) on Tuesday in the Kibbie Dome.