Two veteran players showed their poise Wednesday as the Eastern Washington football team neared the halfway point in spring drills.
For kicker/punter Jimmy Pavel, the challenge came from the elements, as a pleasant afternoon deteriorated into a blustery evening with wind gusts topping 20 miles per hour.
“There’s always a challenge involved in kicking,” Pavel said with a shrug after he was perfect on extra-point drills while some rivals were less than that. “But it’s our job to take that into account.”
Pavel, who is competing for both the punting and kicking duties, said that “everything is feeling good and I’m trying to get into midseason form.”
For junior quarterback Anthony Vitto, the challenge came from the coaches, who added more game-situation drills during 7-on-7s for Vitto and fellow quarterback Vernon Adams.
For Vitto, who looked strong throughout Wednesday’s practice, the learning curve is decidedly less steep than last week. He hit wide receiver Brandon Kaufman over the top for a long TD, then found Kaufman again on a slant pattern that was perfectly executed.
“I guess it’s getting into the film room understanding reads, identifying coverages and knowing you’re protected,” said Vitto, who will be in the weight room today ahead of Friday’s full scrimmage.
For good measure, he stayed after practice for some extra throws to an obliging Greg Herd.
“Today as a lot better day,” Vitto added. “I thought the offense look good; we we’re picking up blitzes and hitting our throws.”
Notes: The wind was a big challenge for punt returners, who watched several balls fly past them. … That wasn’t the case for RB Quincey Forte, who fielded punts in addition to his regular duties. … Friday’s scrimmage has been moved up to 3 p.m., although coach Beau Baldwin said the actual scrimmage portion won’t begin until about 3:45