FAYETTEVILLE -- Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney was not happy leaving the practice field Wednesday, but after letting the Arkansas offense hear about it that night, the Razorbacks came back much sharper Thursday in their second day in light shoulder pads.
"We were just sloppy everywhere [Wednesday]," Chaney said. "It was like we put pads on and started playing and we forgot all the details of our assignments.
"I wasn't real pleased with how we executed on Wednesday, but a lot better today. They responded pretty well to some harsh criticism from the coaching staff last night, and it was good to see a bunch of kids respond. So I was pleased with them today."
Quarterback Brandon Allen suggested the offense probably let the heat get to them Wednesday.
"We came out with the wrong mind-set of getting ready to work, and so our practice reflected that," he said. "We were slow, we had a lot of mental errors out there, a few dropped passes, a few missed blocks and missed assignments."
Offensive tackle Brey Cook said Thursday was a bounce-back day for the unit.
"We came through and were very physical," Cook said. "A much better day for us. Yesterday was the first day in pads and people were just kind of milling around and not really on their game, and today we were."
The Razorbacks can wear full pads for the first time today.
Big offensive plays in Thursday's workout, according to players and coaches in the interview room, were headlined by a 50-plus-yard touchdown run for tailback Korliss Marshall. Receiver Jared Cornelius and Kendrick Edwards also caught touchdown passes during team periods.
Damon "Duwop" Mitchell said he talked to fellow former quarterback AJ Derby to begin the process of understanding his move to receiver during the spring.
Derby moved to tight end just before Mitchell's switch.
"He was just like, 'If I'm going to do it then I've got to buy into it and attack it and try to get better every day,' " Mitchell said.
Receivers coach Michael Smith also helped ease his transition.
"There was some talk about going to safety as well, but wide receiver would be the easiest move because I knew the offense a lot better," Mitchell said.
"His attitude has really changed as far as buying into the whole wide receiver position," Smith said. "I'm excited about what's ahead of him. He's still green, but when you get an athlete like Duwop to come over to your position, it's only going to help."
Senior tackle Brey Cook was sporting a gash on the bridge of his nose Thursday.
"Deatrich Wise, man," Cook said. "Yesterday in a two-minute drill, just a pass-blocking drill, we kind of butted helmets and my helmet came down and busted it open.
"It looks nasty and I'm sure it'll keep getting worse, but it's part of the game."
Cook said he stayed in the drill.
"Of course," he said. "It looked cool. I had blood all over my face mask and stuff. Hopefully somebody got a good picture."
Tight end Jeremy Sprinkle notched a pancake block during a run play Thursday.
"It was just a draw play," Sprinkle said. "I lined up at fullback and I just made the right fit and everything and it just happened."
Sprinkle, a sophomore from White Hall, said he has surpassed 240 pounds and added strength to go with the weight.
Receivers Damon Mitchell and Jared Cornelius and cornerback D.J. Dean are fielding punts in practice, receivers coach Michael Smith said.
Running back Korliss Marshall and receiver Keon Hatcher, who returned kickoffs last season, are working there again, along with Cornelius, receiver Eric Hawkins, and defensive backs Jared Collins and Josh Liddell, Smith said.
NIU back out
Apparently Arkansas will not have to face standout Northern Illinois tailback Cameron Stingily when the teams meet Sept. 20 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
Stingily, a senior who rushed for 1,119 yards last season, was ruled out for the first four games this week by Coach Rod Carey. He did not disclose an injury for Stingily but Carey said he hoped the Huskies would get him back at some point this year.
The 6-1, 235-pound power back is expected to be replaced by a combination of 5-7, 189-pound Akeem Daniels, who missed last season with a foot injury, Jordan Huff (5-11, 217), Keith Harris Jr. (5-8, 193) and Joel Bouagnon (6-2, 222).
Sophomore Drew Morgan of Greenwood has earned praise from the coaches and is taking first- and second-team reps at two spots in the receiving corps.
"Out of all my guys right now, Drew is probably playing the best," receivers coach Michael Smith said. "I'm super ecstatic about the way Drew is catching the ball, the way he's competing."
Smith said Morgan added quickness during the offseason.
"I want to catch 20 or 30 balls as a sophomore, because last year not catching any motivated me," Morgan said.
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said Demetrius Wilson, Keon Hatcher, Cody Hollister and Jared Cornelius have joined Morgan in making key catches.
"Drew Morgan has probably made more than anybody, if we sat here today after day four," Chaney said. "Drew's had a wonderful camp."
Quarterback Brandon Allen said the Razorbacks have installed about 70 percent of their offense in the first four days.
"We're putting in quite a bit, but it's nothing we can't handle," Allen said. "Just by us getting all those plays in so soon, we'll be able to rep those plays and everything we need to be repped to be ready for Auburn."
Josh Williams is the second-heaviest linebacker listed on Arkansas' roster at 6-2, 240 pounds, and the sophomore transfer apparently brought some wallop with him from Dodge City (Kan.) College.
"On inside runs, he might have knocked a couple of fullbacks back and did a good job," linebacker Braylon Mitchell said Wednesday.
"He did a nice job butting some guys up and had some big hits, so I'm kind of excited to see how he does in a scrimmage situation," linebackers coach Randy Shannon said.
Williams is working at middle linebacker behind sophomore Brooks Ellis and at outside linebacker.
"He's got a long ways to go, he'll be the first to admit that," defensive coordinator Robb Smith said. "But he's flashed and he's working hard, and we're excited to see him as he keeps progressing."
Sports on 08/08/2014
Print Headline: Chaney’s concerns addressed