FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas football team was forced indoors for their Friday morning practice session thanks to the threat of weather in the Fayetteville area, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the Razorback players who came out ready to perform.
“Well, I liked the way that we came out here today,” Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. “I thought we came out fired up for practice and I thought that some groups really tried to take leadership and we gave great effort. We need to practice smarter and stay off the ground but some of that is created because they are trying to impress their coaches and play with good effort. We got a lot accomplished this morning. It would have been a normal Tuesday practice, that’s what we did how we would conduct a practice, we have to get used to that tempo.”
The Hogs, wearing full pads, began with their usual round of drills with each position group breaking off to work with their respective coaches. The quarterbacks and receivers teamed up to work on some timing plays and the defensive line spent considerable effort on their rush.
After finishing up with their drills, the team got together to work on the inside run while the quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs went to work on passing and coverage. The squad also worked its number one and two offenses and defenses hard before moving on to punting and eventually ending after roughly two hours with field goals.
Petrino spoke to the media after practice about some of the players and positions that he likes as the first game continues to creep closer. The first group he addressed was the freshmen class who has made considerable strides in their two weeks of practice.
“There’s been a lot been thrown at them, but I’m impressed with the group,” Petrino said. “They are competing for spots. It’s a group that has a lot of confidence and understands football pretty well and is very talented.”
He also spoke about his offensive line which could be a driving force for the Razorbacks throughout the 2008 season.
“I’ve been happy with the O-line,” Petrino said. “The first group feels comfortable with each other and we are still rotating Grayson in there at guard and he’s doing a nice job. I think Petrus came back and played better in the scrimmage than he has at practice so that was good. The second group is still coming around.”
Another hotly contested position for the Razorbacks is the backup to Casey Dick at quarterback and several Razorbacks are in the hunt.
“They are competing for it,” Petrino said. “The other day Tyler Wilson had a very good scrimmage. He was very impressive with the way he distributed the ball and with his accuracy. He’s still behind in the understanding of the offense. Nathan knows the offense better but is not throwing the ball as accurately as he did all spring so he needs to come out and play better tomorrow. Alex Mortensen has been doing a good job each time he has gone in. He operates the offense and really understands the running game and has an opportunity to move the team because he gets us out of bad plays.”
The Razorbacks continue with a Friday two-a-day session at 4 p.m. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.