FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Another sweltering day of heat in Fayetteville did not deter the Arkansas Razorback football team from their second practice of the season on Friday as the squad took the practice fields behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in helmets and jerseys. The Razorback newcomers took the field at 3 p.m. while the returning players joined the squad at 4 p.m. and practiced for two hours.
"I think that today’s practice was better than yesterdays," Razorback offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. "I think we had better effort and played harder."
After breaking down the film from Thursday’s first practice the Razorback coaches focused on several areas that could use improvement on Friday.
"I think that [practice] was pretty good," Petrino said. "I think that we improved in the first part of practice. I think that in the individual part we came out and did the things that we tried to work hard on and get better at. Our blitz pick up period was better. I thought we did some nice things as a team."
Arkansas’ newcomers practiced for an extra hour compared to their upperclassmen counterparts the past two days, but Petrino feels that they have yet to show their true abilities.
"I think that [the freshmen] are working hard," Petrino said. "It is hard for them the first two days because we go out for an hour with them before everyone else comes out. I actually think that they will show up a little more over the next couple of days because they are out doing drills. They definitely have talent."
The Razorbacks have 13 wide receivers on their preseason roster prompting the media in attendance to ask whether the Hogs might have too many players in that position.
"A lot of times it seems like you have a lot," Petrino said. "Then you get into camp and a guy gets a ding here and a ding there. With as much throwing as we do in practice it’s a good thing. They all get plenty of work and come off the field with a lot of reps. I don’t think right now it’s a hard thing, but when it comes to game time, that’s when they have to start working at who is going to get the time. At practice it’s a great thing because a lot of guys get a lot of reps."
Another question that came up was the health of senior wide receiver Lucas Miller who was recently cleared to participate after undergoing knee surgery.
"I think that Lucas looks good," Petrino said. "We have to give him a little time off at practice here and there, but I think that he looks good, he’s running good routes and catching the ball well. I think that we just have to be smart about that knee and give him some time off here and there. He did a real good job coming back from that injury."
The Razorbacks now prepare for their annual media day on Saturday morning before another two-hour session on Saturday afternoon. Saturday’s practice, scheduled for 3 p.m., will showcase the Razorbacks in shoulder pads for the first time since returning to the gridiron. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.