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Houston Nutt Press Conference – Season Review

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Houston Nutt Press Conference – Season Review

Opening Comments…

“If you look back over the year, I’m really proud of our football team. I’m really proud of our seniors and that goes back to our first game. Being in the dressing room after that very first game was a heartbreaker because of all we put into that game and we wanted to win the very first game. We wanted to beat Southern Cal. Southern Cal just won the Rose Bowl and they beat Michigan pretty handily. To come back and win 10 straight, I’m proud because of the character. I’m proud because of the not giving up. That is a lesson they will take with them for the rest of their lives. I would have loved to win the Capital One Bowl. We had every intention and we practiced well. I thought we prepared very well.”

“USC, the Rose Bowl Champions; LSU, the Sugar Bowl Champions; Wisconsin, the Capital One Bowl Champions. Florida, they are playing for the national title. And we were in every ball game. A kick, a catch, one more tackle, Michael Grant on the kickoff team.”

“There are so many things to be enthused about, to be excited about. My biggest job right now, when I leave here, I’m getting on a plane and I’m going to see Jamaal Anderson. I have to go see Marcus Harrison. I’m trying to get in contact with Peyton Hillis. We had a great talk in Orlando. (I’ll see) Marcus Monk on Saturday. I’ve got appointments to see each of these guys because they have a chance to take that leap into the NFL. We don’t want them to go and we are trying to get them every bit of truthful information that we have. That’s the biggest job I have to do right now. I can’t loose Chris Houston. Chris Houston covered from the moment we walked on the field Aug. 1 and hasn’t stopped. I can’t lose Marcus Monk. He’s a great football player, a great person. He didn’t have his best game (against Wisconsin). He was sick during the Capital One Bowl. He has tremendous character and made a lot of big plays for us. Jamaal Anderson led the SEC in sacks. All these guys have a chance and they are being talked to. So I have to go talk to them.”

“If you are a first rounder, it’s hard. I have to encourage them to go. If they are early picks in the first round, that’s hard to fight. It’s hard to stop. I’m hearing a lot of positive. As far as exact rounds, I don’t know. I know that (the players) trust me and I’m going to be very honest and give them the best information that I have.”

On injuries going into spring practice…

“I think everybody will be pretty much okay for the spring. Chip Gregory, I think he’ll be limited contact. I think he will get to go through fundamentals. Michael Grant will probably be out for the spring. I think (Freddie Fairchild) will be limited, you wouldn’t scrimmage him but you could go through fundamentals with him as well.”

On members of the junior class not entering the draft and staying with Arkansas…

“It’s very important. They will be tremendous leaders for us and the back bone of our team. They need to be here with us. It’s a quick turnaround. We were recruiting (Jamaal Anderson’s) teammate and Danny (Nutt) said to me ‘we probably need to think about giving (Anderson) a scholarship too’. Thank goodness we went back and gave him a scholarship. (Anderson has) real character, (he is) a real player.”

On the passing game against Wisconsin…

“I was disappointed. I know we are better then that. If you tell me we were going to hold Wisconsin to minus five yards rushing, we are going to win that game. We won the stat sheet but we don’t go by that. I don’t know how we lost that ball game. You got to make a field goal; you got to make a catch to keep the chains going. You can’t have three and outs. We were right there from being 13-1 in my mind.”

On the quarterbacks and the receivers…

“We need to get better. The quarterbacks and the receivers need to get better. They have to be play makers. That’s a point we will put a lot of emphasis on. I thought Cedric Washington and Robert Johnson really competed hard.”

“(Maturity) has something to do with (the quarterbacks). We are going to put a lot on our quarterback. Not that he has to be Superman every play because you have Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. It’s great to have two 1,000-yard rushers but as we all know, you have to be able to throw the ball too. That was our intention but what won ball games for us was giving the ball to Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. That’s what we do best.”

On the quarterbacks going into the spring…

“Put them out there and let’s go. Put them out there and let’s see who is going to come to the top. Let’s see who is going to create some separation.”

On the passing game…

“We spent a lot of time on it. We spent a lot of time on throwing, catching timing. It’s a good stepping stone for the spring. You’re that far ahead, 20 or so practices ahead of the game going into the spring. I really feel like Marques Wade and Carlton Salters, really keep your eyes on those guys. I really think they will come on and help us.”



Sports Category : Football