FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas football team returned to practice Wednesday evening as the team worked out inside Walker Pavilion. Following the workout, UA offensive coordinator Garrick McGee spoke with the media:
On being named offensive coordinator:"We all knew that Paul (Petrino) at some point would move on. We thought it would be a head coaching job. Coach is a loyal guy and we’ve had a relationship for a long time. He’s been extremely loyal to me for years now. It feels good."
On communication at the bowl game and if Coach McGee will be on the field or in the box during the game:"We are in the process of talking about it now. I probably will end up on the field with the quarterbacks and that is something that is really important. The way the quarterback performs is important to anyone’s offense. You can see more than you think from the sideline when you understand the game plan and know the defensive structure you can see what you need to see from the sideline."
On filling the wide receivers coach position:"We just plan to get the right guy. We don’t want to rush, but we want to get the right guy. A guy that understands the way we go about our business, our philosophy of coaching and our philosophy of offense and that will fit in with our kids. We’ve got a really good group of wide receivers and need to get a guy who can get the best out of them."
On Wednesday’s practice:"I think it was pretty good. We didn’t finish the practice the way we wanted to, but I think they had fun. We wanted to get them out there tonight and have a quick, short practice and get ready to get after it in the morning. We are going to have a couple of really good work days coming up. We just wanted to get them back in the groove and get their timing back so they can wake up in the morning and be prepared to work."
On the program:"I think in the last two years we’ve come a long way. We’ve learned how to win, but there is a way for us to go because we have to win those huge games in these big environments against these nationally ranked teams. The Florida, Alabama and LSU games those are the people we are going to have to beat to accomplish our goals. Our goal is to win a national championship. To win a national championship you are going to have to go win against Alabama and you are going to have beat them late in the game and you have are really going to have to grow up and understand how to get it done."
On East Carolina:"They are a fantastic defense and they are well coached. Their defensive front is comparable to the ones we’ve played here in the SEC. They put a lot of pressure on you and they are big and strong. A lot of times when you watch film, it seems like it is going to be a 20-yard gain and it ends up being a two or three yard gain and those defenses are dangerous. They really understand their package and how to stop people. We’re going to have our hands full. We’re going to have to play an efficient game."
On play calling:"We put the game plan in together and it is definitely a staff operation. We watch the film together and we design the plays together understanding where we want to attack. We talk about it as a staff. My job will be leadership of the offensive players and getting them to perform at an extreme level on game day and communicating with our head coach. The key is going to be getting guys to perform at a high level."On being named offensive coordinator:"One thing that is important. The reason you do the job is important. You coach in college to really have relationships with the kids and see these guys go from 18-year-old kids to 21-year-old men and they are ready to go on with their life. That’s why I work in college football."