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Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and his 2016 Wildcats football team begin their fall camp (YouTube video)
Information from ArizonaWildcats.com contributed to this report.
It’s too early for execution — this was Arizona’s first practice of the fall, after all. This early into fall camp the most important matter concerning Rich Rodriguez is effort.
“I was the effort coach today,” Rodriguez said. “My thing today wasn’t about scheme; it was all effort.”
“The enthusiasm was good, the effort was good. I think this team will have a little chip on their shoulder, and they should. I like their attitude after one practice. It’s going to be really competitive the next two and a half weeks for us.”
The season-opener against BYU in Glendale looms only 29 days away. Game Week, with all the execution and preparation geared toward the Cougars, is only really about three weeks away.
A good sign: The defense came to play, at least in the first workout. The defense earned the first victory of the season in practice, according to a scoring system kept by Rodriguez’s assistants.
“The defense had high energy all spring, and it continued today,” Rodriguez said. “They’re being aggressive. I don’t know who the guys are going to be on defense yet, but we have time to figure that out. It’s a new year and a fresh start for everybody.”
The offense reportedly still had its moments.
ArizonaWildcats.com listed the “Play of the Day” as Anu Solomon connecting with Trey Griffey, who caught the ball downfield near the sideline between two defenders and took off to the end zone.
Scooby Wright is up on Arizona’s Legends Wall at the practice fields now pic.twitter.com/t4CVBrrK1Z
Arizona OC Calvin Magee on frosh RB J.J. Taylor — 5-6, 155 and quick: "I absolutely, absolutely think he's going to be really good."
RichRod: "I think this team might have a little chip on their shoulder, and they should. We all do."
We're not allowed to get specific about scheme, but I will tell you this: Take everything you know about last year's defense and trash it
Rich Rodriguez says Keenan Walker is out for camp due to discipline and injury issues.
Kahi Neves wasn’t at practice today, as the freshman linebacker has to finish up some academic work. He’s expected back Saturday or Monday.
Newcomers at Arizona’s 1st practice tonight … Chacho Ulloa, Jarrius Wallace, Shawn Poindexter and Michael Eletise pic.twitter.com/dGVc6SgeSQ
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.