Vandals wrap up second day of football practice - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals wrap up second day of football practice

Courtesy: Idaho Athletics Courtesy: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho – The Vandals took the field for the second day of practice on Wednesday night, as the team continues to prepare for the 2017 season.

Quarterback play has been a strength at Idaho, both recently and historically.  Matt Linehan, a Second Team All-Sun Belt selection in 2016, returns for his senior season looking to close out his collegiate career in style.  The Idaho offense may have lost a handful of tremendously talented players from last year's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl-winning roster, but that's not to say the cupboards are bare.
"I'm very excited, this is a great group of guys," Linehan said.  "We did lose a decent amount of guys last year but we still have a good amount returning.  I think the most exciting part about is that we had a chance to do the whole offseason together and we understand how good we can be.  But it's up to us at this point."
Head coach Paul Petrino and his staff have also added some outstanding athletes at the wide receiver and tight end positions, giving the offense some extra weapons heading into the year.  New teammates will require something of an adjustment period, which means plenty of reps during camp.
"I think that's what camp's all about, getting everyone on the same page," continued Linehan.  "There's a ton of reps that we'll get this month.  A lot of guys get a chance, if they haven't had the reps before they get a chance now.  And a lot of those young guys that came in, that were either in spring ball or came in over the summer, get a chance to get thrown into the fire a little bit and see how it goes and see how we operate.  I think that's the best part about camp, being able to get all these reps and get to establish that consistency as we go."
Quarterbacks coach Charley Molnar expects that consistency to come, especially with the veteran Linehan leading the way.
"He has to come out to practice each and every day," Molnar said.  "It's gotta be really internalized by Matt to come out here and be not just the best quarterback for the Vandals but really one of the best quarterbacks in the country."

Individually, the senior quarterback is still putting in extra work on the side to continue to improve his game.
"A lot of things that are footwork-based, I worked a lot with coach Molnar and coach Petrino with that stuff," said Linehan.  "Coach Molnar has done a great job, in improving my footwork, I feel like I'm light-years ahead of where I was but I still have a lot of room to grow.  Even in my fifth year I have a lot of things that I can improve on."

With Linehan as the solidified number one, the group battling behind him includes junior A.J Woodin, sophomore Mason Petrino and a pair of freshmen in Dylan Lemle and Colton Richardson.  Even with a standout senior at quarterback, Molnar is keeping the rest of the unit ready.
"The backup quarterbacks have to prepare each and every day," said Molnar.  "They have to bring energy and enthusiasm and attentiveness.  But most importantly they have to prepare as if they're going to become the starter at some point in the very near future.  I like the way our guys prepare.  We could certainly be better, but these guys are learning and I think they're going to be pretty good down the road."
Idaho will practice at night for the remainder of the week before changing things up heading into week two of fall camp.  Stay in touch throughout fall camp as takes an in-depth look into Vandal Football.
Fans can stay up-to-date on all things Idaho football by following the team on Twitter, @VandalFootball, on Instagram, @VandalsFB, or on Facebook by searching Idaho Vandals Football.

For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit  Fans can also find Idaho on Twitter and Instagram, @Idaho_Vandals, or on Facebook by searching Idaho Vandals.

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