MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Arkansas Razorback football team began AutoZone Liberty Bowl practices at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. on Monday. Assistant head coach Mike Summers spoke with media after practice.
On East Carolina’s defensive front:
"They turn a lot of their defense over to those front four guys. They are big, strong and fast. They are experienced players. They do a lot with those guys. They move around a lot. They are not going to stand in one spot and let you block them. It will be a real challenge for us. They are good football players and they are the strength of their defense. Our guys up front know that. We have watched a lot of film on them and they know it will be a challenge. We are taking it as a challenge and we are anxious to play the game."
On the development of the younger players:
"This has been such a great time for us. We had our practices with our varsity players but also spent a lot of time working with our younger linemen. Because of the position, it takes longer for offensive linemen to develop, to learn how to control their body and to use the blocking schemes and the techniques we teach. Having these extras practices has been invaluable for those guys. And they have done a great job with it. They have approached it with an enthusiasm that shows me that they want to be the type of players we thought they could be when we recruited them. I’m really encouraged by that and I’ve seen some great things from those guys."
On the physical bowl practices:
"We have gotten after our defense and they have gotten after us. To me, that has been a really encouraging part of the bowl season. We are seeing the offense and the defense get after each other. We put them in situations where the one defense and the one offense go against each other and there’s a lot of competition among those two units."