Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats’ first practice: Rodriguez “the effort coach” gets things going

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Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and his 2016 Wildcats football team begin their fall camp (YouTube video)
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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.

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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.

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