"Don't ask me about any names yet," Haynes said Friday evening. "I'm still learning and I won't be able to handle any questions like that."
Haynes said he's also busy learning the language that has been used in the Arkansas defense. He said he knows enough to tell that the scheme that's been run at Arkansas "is very similar" to what the defense ran at Ohio State the last seven seasons.
"It is (very similar)," he said. "I just have to learn the different terminology. It's me learning right now. Learning that and learning the players. I don't see any big changes that need to be made, just some fine tuning. What they have here was not broke. We just have to make it better."
Senior free safety Tramain Thomas noticed one point of emphasis early in Friday's workout.
"I think we are going to have some tackling drills every day," Thomas said. "That's something he's told us we will do. I think it's about fundamentals. We had a tackling drill at the start of the practice today."
Asked if that was something new in the practice schedule, linebackers coach Reggie Johnson smiled before giving a short answer.
"Maybe," Johnson said. "Maybe."
Johnson mentioned there was already a relationship with Haynes.
"I've known Paul," Johnson said. "He's a good guy. He was at Louisville right before I got there so we weren't together. But we ran into each other a lot on the recruiting trail and at the convention. We've talked and we have a lot of the same friends. Like I said, he's a good guy."
Thomas said there had been plenty of time to discuss things with Haynes in meetings this week. He said the new defensive coordinator "was a good guy. Everyone wants to play well for him in this game. We want to get it started for him the right way in his first game here. We can tell he knows his stuff."
The practice Friday was about getting the rust knocked off after finals, not Kansas State prep.
"We have not talked much about K-State yet," Thomas said. "We worked on our fundamentals. We've been lifting and running this week when we weren't in tests. So we were in shape for today's workout. We just were out there trying to clean some things up.
"I thought it felt good. It felt good with Coach Haynes out there. We had some one-on-one time and I'm trying to learn things from him."
Haynes said there is going to be a learning process before he'll give his new players much different.
"I want to know what they know," he said. "Then we'll try to make it simple and let them play fast. I don't think we need to be doing a whole lot new for them right now. I think by talking with them and getting a feel for what they know, then maybe I can help them a little in this last game. I don't want to do so much that I make them less of a player.
"That's my job to help them not hurt them -- to do what I can for these seniors to help them play fast on Jan. 6 and get a victory in their last game. That's what this game is going to be about."
Jerico Nelson, senior outside linebacker, said he's spending bowl work with the safeties, just as he did most of this season. He was with John L. Smith the last two years before working mainly with Willy Robinson this year.
"I'm with the safeties in meetings," Nelson said. "I think what Coach Haynes is about is tackling. He's going to have a little something in tackling each day. I think he wants to check our fundamentals in tackling on tape."
Haynes said that may be over stating it a little.
"We aren't tackling to the ground and we are just thudding," he said. "Maybe there will be a couple of days in bowl practices that we tackle, but not much. I'm smarter than that. You have to make sure you get who you have to the game. You have to keep an eye on what you have (as far as numbers).
"I think it's actually harder to tackle when you thud it up than when you tackle to the ground. You tackle to the ground, you might lose your fundamentals some by leaving your feet. I think the techniques that we use will teach it the right way without tackling to the ground."
The Hogs are still a ways from putting in the defensive game plan for the Jan. 6 game with K-State. Nelson mentioned that when he was asked to compare Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein to some SEC matchups.
"I don't know what to tell you yet because I haven't seen much of him," Nelson said. "I know about him. I know we have played a lot of running quarterbacks. But I'll have to get back to you after I've seen more of him on tape. I just don't know enough."
Haynes has watched two tapes of K-State games.
"I know it's a running quarterback and we have to play the option," he said. "We have to control gaps and be sound. There is a tendency to want to put an extra guy in the box, but they keep you from doing that with their formations, putting three guys outside.
"So you are going to have to play some guys in space and tackle. At some point in the game, that's what it's going to be, tackling in space.
"The quarterback is a talented guy. He's the heart of that offense. As he goes, the offense goes. He's a tough kid. What they do is built around him. They give him some quick passing stuff and try to make him successful."
That's what defensive tackle Dede Jones said is the goal -- to make Haynes successful in the bowl game.
"We want to get him started right," Jones said. "We love him and think he's a heckuva defensive coordinator. I can tell that he's very aggressive.
"I know what this bowl is going to be about, flying around and tackling well. That's what he preaches.
"And I think this game is going to be about stopping the run, so it's going to be about the defensive line. A lot is going to be on our shoulders. We want to get a win in the left hand column for our new coach."