The Arkansas football team practiced for the first time this spring in pads during its Friday workout, which was held inside the Walker Pavilion.
“We had fun out here today,” said UA head coach Bobby Petrino. “I liked the practice and thought we had a lot of enthusiasm for the first day in pads. They flew around and they are much more physical than they were a year ago on both sides of the ball. Our execution isn’t where it needs to be yet, but they have the willingness to work hard and take coaching. They are working hard in the classroom so we’ll continue to get better. We’re getting better and that’s what it is really all about.”
The Razorbacks continue practice tomorrow at 10 a.m. and are scheduled to use a portion of the workout to scrimmage.
“Tomorrow is really to see how we execute,” said Petrino. “It is not going to be a deal where we are scheming a bunch of stuff. It is really about what we are doing individually. Playing our techniques and our fundamentals and executing the passing game. I’d like to see us pass protect better. I think our defensive front is guys with a lot of experience. In the first two days without pads they definitely had the advantage. Today, I think it evened out a little.”
Entering the spring, Arkansas listed both Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson at the top of the depth chart at quarterback.
“The first thing Ryan is doing well is he is leading,” said Petrino. “He does a great job of executing the way a quarterback needs to from the huddle to the line of scrimmage to get the ball snapped. He understands what we are doing. He wasn’t throwing as accurate today as he needs to or as he was the first two days. He still has a long way to go, but I do like the way he is working at it.”
Wilson was sidelined for much of the 2008 season and received a medical hardship. He did see time in two games against Alabama and Texas.
“I like what I’ve seen from Tyler,” said Petrino. “He’s learned to calm down a little bit and relax. He’s starting to be more confident each day. He’s a guy that can really pull the string and throw the ball and get it out of his hand quickly. He hurries sometimes, but he’s way ahead of last year simply executing underneath the center and taking drops and making handoffs.”
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