Petrino made that clear Monday while at Chenal Country Club for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament that he certainly was not - even if he has just two full-time starters returning on the offensive line.
"Absolutely not, we are not tempering our expectations at all," Petrino said. "Before it is over with we will be a really good offensive front. We are bigger, more athletic and very youthful. Youth is not that bad sometimes.
"These guys had a good spring," Petrino added. "They went against a very good defensive front in the spring. I thought they got better as it went on. I am really looking forward to it and I know we will take it as a huge challenge. We have a great offensive line coach (Chris Klenakis) and good leadership from a couple of young sophomores who started every game for us last year. I know we will be a good offensive front."
"That's one thing that you never like to do as a coach," Petrino said. "I always believe in second chances and some guys third chances. But it just got to a situation where there were no more chances. It's hard on everybody. I tell the players all the time if one loses, we all lose. So we all took a hit on that. We wish him well and success in wherever he ends up going. But we really had to move on and go in a different direction."
Petrino said that the coaches may tinker with the offensive line a bit, but believe that have good players there in guys like redshirt senior Grant Freeman, true freshman Brey Cook and juco transfer Jason Peacock.
"We have some things we have got to tinker with, but it is too early to talk about that," Petrino said. "The thing we need to do right now with those guys is for them to continue to work like they have in the weight room, getting together after their workouts and get better.
"We are fortunate that Brey Cook was able to come to school in January," Petrino added. "We have a couple of more young, big, athletic guys that have joined the crew here over the summer and it will be fun to see how we look when we put the pads on – or get started on Aug. 4. I guess we don't get to put the pads on right away, but I think it will be a great challenge and tremendous competition for their spots. They know they are open and they competed during the spring.
"Freeman did a good job in the spring, Brey Cook did a good job and Peacock showed athletic and good of a player he can be when he learns what he is doing," Petrino continued. "He has been through the spring and that will help him a lot."
That offensive line will get some help with the move of junior Colton Miles-Nash back to tight end from defensive end, where he played as a sophomore.
"We made that move I guess when he came back from his short summer break," Petrino said. "I brought him in and talked to him. After spring, we all felt like we needed more punch in the running game from our tight ends. I think it will be a good competition between him and Chris Gragg and some of the other guys that did a good job during spring.
"There is no question when you look at the runs that Knile Davis is really good at – and what he performed at last year – we need to be able to sit the edge and get him on the perimeter and stretch it so he can cut back," Petrino added. "We really feel like Colton can do that."
It is a true measure of the depth on the defensive front that Miles-Nash could be moved.
"We have depth at both end and tackle," Petrino said. "I think the only guy that we have that might be able to play some end and some tackle for us would be D.D. Jones. He maybe has outgrown end. He hasn't been able to get his weight back down."
The coaches can't work out the players in the summer, but have gotten reports from strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltcamp.
"Our guys have had a good attitude and have worked extremely hard," Petrino said. "He really likes the condition that we are in."
At Louisville, Petrino had his team peaked and ready for the season opener against arch-rival Kentucky, but has a different philosophy at Arkansas.
"Last year we pushed things back," Petrino said. "What I mean by that is that we didn't start our heavy running until the third week in June. That allowed us to lift harder and get bigger and stronger. So we are on that same schedule and we feel like we are a very well-conditioned team that has good leadership and has worked extremely hard."
There will be a new quarterback taking over for Ryan Mallett this season with Tyler Wilson appearing to be the guy.
"Every year when you have a different quarterback, your personality on offense changes," Petrino said. "That one of the things that we have always prided ourselves on. The fact that we install our offense three different times and then it's our job to say this is what our quarterback does well. This is how you mold the offense around him.
"One thing that I really saw out of Tyler in the winter and the spring is he really wants to lead the football team and has really made a great effort at it," Petrino added. "He has really been a tremendous student of the game. I am cheering for him because of how much work, time and effort he has put in and how important it is to him."
Arkansas has had players all over watch lists and had 14 – more than any other SEC school – on the league's preseason team as selected by the coaches.
"What I say to the players is that is a credit to how you have played in the past and it does show that we have a lot of experience coming back and some talented young men," Petrino said. "I would rather have a lot of guys on watch lists and preseason teams and all-conference than not. What that should do is motivate us from now until the day we start practice. Then what it is all about is becoming a team and finding our chemistry and who is going to be the leaders and control the attitude of our team.
"We put all the watch lists and the individual awards aside and worry about how good a football team we are going to be, worry about winning games and then all that stuff takes care of itself at the end of the season," Petrino added.
Sources indicate that the only Arkansas signee not on campus yet that is expected to be a part of the 2011 roster is linebacker Robert Atiga.
Those same sources note that two others – Fayetteville tight end Demetrius Dean and Texas prep safety Jashaud Sims – are not expected to make it.
"I think we have everybody on campus right now with the exception of one guy," Petrino said. "Everybody else is on campus and ready to go and we expect that one other guy here as soon as he is done with his academic responsibilities at the institution that he is at."
"…I really like this recruiting class that is coming in this year, particularly on the defensive front and the offensive front," Petrino added later. "I think you are going to see some real good football players come out of that. That is huge for us."
Petrino likes where his program is headed, with big strides made on defense.
"I think the defensive line for us – the size, the speed and the power and strength that we are getting to where you need to be to win a championship on the defensive front," Petrino said.
Petrino says he has a three P system to get ready for the season.
"There's preparation, practice and then your performance," Petrino said. "We have to do a great job in our preparation, we have got to practice hard and physical and have great competition on the practice field between the offense and the defense and see improvement and become a better football team after practice."