FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino, offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and defensive coordinator Willy Robinson met with members of the media at Paradise Valley Country Club Thursday afternoon at the Razorback Golf Scramble, outlining their final preparations before fall practice begins. Excitement was the word, as well as a willingness to get to work.
"We’re excited to get started," Coach Petrino said. "When you get to this point, you’ve got all of the planning done. The practice schedule is ready to go. You know what you want from the offense and defense. We’re ready to get on the practice field and get ready to work."
Each UA coach echoed the importance of making strides in the weight room over the summer months. Coach Petrino commented that they’ve heard good things from strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp and his staff.
"All the reports we get from the strength and conditioning staff are that our players have worked hard," Coach Petrino said. "Now it’s time to get to get on the practice field and come together as a team."
Coach McGee noted the squad will be receiving plenty of reps, along with competition from new Razorbacks.
"We spend a lot of time watching everything that happens on the practice field," Coach McGee said. "Our practice pace is an advantage for us. Everyone gets a lot of chances. These new guys are strong, fast and really competitive. They are ready to push the older guys we have on our team."
Coach Petrino and Coach McGee fielded questions regarding Arkansas’ standout quarterback, Ryan Mallett. UA’s offensive coordinator was quick to point out his expectations for the SEC’s returning passing leader.
"He’s going to need more reps to get himself in condition," Coach McGee said. "We’ve got to get his timing back and get him in rhythm. I expect (Ryan) to be out there the first day ready to roll."
Coach McGee stated he wasn’t worried about Mallett finding his stride quickly.
"Most of the time, when we put a run play in, it takes him three reps to get the mesh point down," Coach McGee said.
While eyes have been on the lauded Razorback offense, Coach Robinson couldn’t hide his readiness to begin fall practice with the defense.
"We’ve added more depth in our defensive front," Coach Robinson said. "We can’t wait to get rolling. We’ve got experience at the linebacker position. In the secondary we’ve grown up. Talking with our strength and conditioning staff, they’ve all really got the leadership part of it down."
The Razorbacks hit the field for the first time Thursday, Aug. 5, in preparation for the upcoming season. Coach Petrino recently announced that all outdoor practices from Aug. 5-18 and on Aug. 21 will be open to the public. However, practices held inside the Walker Pavilion will not be open to the public due to space constraints.