Vandals start the gridiron grind

MOSCOW, Idaho - In a word, grind. That is the mantra of the Idaho Vandals as they gear up for the 2013 football season.

"I know what we're teaching. We're teaching it hard," said coach Paul Petrino after a high-powered opening to fall camp on the SprinTurf Field by the Kibbie Dome. "We've been saying it since the day we got here. We're trying to make the players believe we're going to be what we call grinders - guys that work hard every day; get up and go to work and improve every single day."

That mentality leads to the next step: Showtime.

"We define showtime as preparation, practice and performance," Petrino added. "Those are probably the two biggest words we keep going over and over and over."

With day one of fall camp in the books, Petrino was headed for a long night of film to evaluate what the drills really looked like.

"It's never as bad or never as good when you go in and watch it on tape," Petrino said. "You just look at it one play at a time. You are looking for assignment and alignment and get off on every play. We're going to be great technically sound football players and understand the fundamentals, which allows us to play the game fast."

Not only are the practice sessions at a break-neck pace, there is speed in the individuals on the field - particularly, Petrino noted, in the influx of newcomers who caught the attention of coaches and fans alike.

"There are a lot of new fast guys," he said. "That's a good thing to see."
While there were some assignment busts that rankled the first-year head coach, he was pleased with the overall effort and the tempo of the practice.

"Guys were flying around," he said. "Overall, I thought the effort was good."

But, there were those execution errors: "We have a long way to go."
Practices continue this week at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with a 6 p.m. session Thursday and a 10 a.m. scrimmage Saturday. Idaho opens the season Aug. 31 at North Texas.