The practice week started for the Idaho Vandals this afternoon inside the Kibbie Dome. There were some interesting developments to share along with a little piece I put together after talking to quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith. Read on.
Most of the reps at quarterback on Tuesday were taken by Brian Reader and Logan Bushnell, the Nos. 2 and 3 quarterbacks on the depth chart. That’s not because Nathan Enderle is losing his grip on the top spot but because he took such a physical beating in Saturday’s win over Louisiana Tech.
“Just a little bit sore so they’re giving me kind of a day off and letting me recuperate a bit,” Enderle said. “(I) took some shots but it’s football.”
Jonathan Smith, the former Oregon State standout QB who now coaches his old position, was pleased that Enderle was able to block out some poor throws he made Saturday and play well late. The junior drove Idaho down the field twice for touchdown drives in the final 6 minutes in the 35-34 win.
“When we needed him to have it, he was able to lock himself in and he played well to finish that game,” Smith said. “You know, he had a couple opportunities to make some plays that he didn’t it. He was not as sharp but he was really good to finish it.”
Smith pointed to Enderle’s poise under extreme pressure from La. Tech’s front seven. One play in particular stuck out: During Enderle’s last throw of the game, the Bulldogs sent a blitz up the middle. But the QB was able to handle it.
Here’s how Smith described the situation: “The last one down to (Daniel) Hardy to the 1, he’s got the Mike linebacker right in his grill. He goes to step and throw, that ball is right on point. He’s really grown. He’s got some mental toughness now. He’s been through a lot and he’s a competitive, competitive kid.”
While Enderle has played very well with a few exceptions, Smith maintained that backup Brian Reader is a very viable option. Of course, Idaho coaches have made that clear by sending in Reader for the last drive against San Jose State with Idaho needing to score.
“I firmly believe, I watch some of these teams in our conference, I think Brian would start at some of these places,” Smith said. “I think he’s really good. He’s smart, he works hard. So if we had to play Brian, I would feel very confident.”
No new injuries to report. DT Michael Cosgrove was in gym clothes and sat out. But that was only for what Robb Akey called a “Coach Akey day of rest.” CB Aaron Grymes still has a hefty cast on his right hand. … Former H-back Eddie Williams has been signed to the Redskins’ active roster. He was on hand Saturday for the game; the Redskins had a bye last week.
One last note: For more Idaho/WAC updates, check out my Twitter page.