State of the Hogs: Security (And Toughness)

Having Paul Petrino around will come in handy over the next few days as Bobby Petrino recovers from a motorcycle accident.

Bobby Petrino often talks about toughness, but he's going to listen to his doctors and spend a few more days in recovery from a Sunday evening motorcycle accident. If he could, he'd be out at practice Tuesday when the Hogs conduct their sixth workout of the spring.

Instead, the Arkansas head football coach is going to rest a few more days and likely turn things over to Paul Petrino, his younger brother and the UA offensive coordinator.

With Paul around, perhaps Bobby will take a few days off. Things are in good hands. Paul knows exactly how things should be run. He's grown up playing under Bobby as a quarterback at Carroll College. Bobby was the offensive coordinator for their father, Bob Petrino, Sr.

Bobby Petrino likes to have his hands on every tiny detail, but if there is anyone who he'd give way to in preparation for a few days of spring, it's Paul.

And there are is one other nice security blanket for the success of spring practice. It's the way fifth-year senior Tyler Wilson, the returning All-SEC quarterback, looked at practice Friday. He was superb throughout.

There's nothing like a veteran quarterback to make things go smoothly in spring practice. This is the third spring for Wilson to run things with the first team offense. He stepped in for the injured Ryan Mallett two years ago and then was the clear No. 1 last spring before guiding the Hogs to an 11-2 season in 2011.

Wilson is a tough cookie. He proved his mettle last fall when he survived lots of hits as a new set of offensive tackles matured in front of him. Petrino liked what he saw as far as toughness.

Seeing Wilson take hits and keep making plays reminded of the story Bob Sr. told of his son Bobby, the UA head coach, playing through a torn knee ligament as a senior at Carroll College.

It also reminded of the spring practice in Walker Pavilion four years ago when Bob Sr. was run over at midfield by a wide receiver trying to catch up to a pass on a post route. The old coach was knocked down and went upstairs to the office of the strength coach to repair a cut over his eye.

After practice Paul Petrino was conducting some interviews near that spot when his children joined him. His son, still in grade school, said, "Dad, have you checked on grandpa? Is he alright? He got hit pretty good. Did you go see about him?"

Paul Petrino laughed as he hugged his kids and pointed at grandpa coming across the field about 50 yards away.

"He's alright," Paul said. "There he comes. We'll see him tonight."

Then Paul explained a little bit about their tough old grandpa.

"When I was in college, playing for him, I got knocked out in a game," Paul said. "I had to spend the night in the hospital since it was a concussion. Your grandpa didn't even come by to see me. I am pretty sure he would have wanted me to keep coaching today."

Wow, that's tough.

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