FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Anticipation has run high in regards to the Arkansas offense this spring, but it was the Razorback defense that shined on Tuesday as the Hogs practiced for more than two hours in shorts and helmets.
Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt praised the defense for their early spring work. Nutt says the momentum of last season’s finish combined with the experienced players on that side of the ball has helped the Razorback defense get off to a flying start this spring.
“We expect the defense to be further ahead (at this point),” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “They are still not there, but you feel good about when you look at those faces they played some good ball the last few games of the season. You want to build off that. They are playing fast right now. There is some experience. Overall they are ahead.”
Nutt noted that the entire squad seemed a little bit slower on Tuesday, a day after the first full workout of the spring. Nonetheless, Nutt was pleased with the effort and progress he saw in the second of 15 spring workouts.
“We had another good teaching day,” Nutt said. “They were a little sore. They gave us a lot of energy yesterday. You really don’t notice every step they take until you go back and watch practice. You are proud of that. The key is can you do it every single day, when you are sore, when you are tired. We are starting to open up the playbook. We are throwing a lot at you. Make it stick and concentrate. We’ve had two good days to start.”
With the addition of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and quarterbacks coach Alex Wood, the Razorback offense will take on some different twists this fall. While Nutt understands getting all the adjustments in is a tall order for the spring, he is counting on his squad to step up to the challenge.
“We are trying to get it all in, it is a crash course,” Nutt said. “A lot of the running game and a lot of the patterns are similar. There is a carryover. But with the no huddle and some wrinkles here and there that requires a little different thinking and will require a little bit more time. They will get it.”
Arkansas will take Wednesday off before donning pads for the first time on Thursday. The Hogs will also work out on Friday and Saturday this week.