To borrow that term, the Arkansas defense is starting to "flash" as fall camp finished its 13th day. But it's not enough, Haynes said after the Hogs went two and a half hours Tuesday morning, the day's only workout.
"We are coming along," Haynes said. "We are starting to challenge our offense. But we are no where near where we need to be. We are in the SEC West. We can't level off. We have to make sure we keep getting better."
There were times in Saturday's scrimmage that the defense appeared to make progress against a potent Arkansas offense. And there were stalemates in practice Tuesday, especially at the start of an 11-on-11 segment late midway through the day. The defense won five our of six plays against the ones before the offense took control once again.
Linebacker Tenarius "Tank" Wright batted a Tyler Wilson pass into the air that was intercepted by Chris Smith. Wright's presence was felt throughout the day. He had missed seven days of practice after sustaining a concussion last week.
Linebacker Alonzo Highsmith and safety Eric Bennett, both sidelined with hamstring injuries for most of camp, also were available early in practice. Haynes said not to worry too much about either one.
"Those are guys that have played a lot of football for us," Haynes said. "Eric (and Highsmith) are close. We just want to make sure they are really healed. We don't want this to be something that goes all year."
However, Haynes is going to make sure that there is enough depth at safety. Ross Rasner, the starter at one safety in the base package, hasn't been moving to the Star outside linebacker in the nickel the last few days. He's staying at safety.
"With Eric out, we are going to leave Ross at safety," said Haynes, who noted part of that decision is based on improvement from Jarrett Lake at the Star.
"You want to be prepared for everything during the season," Haynes said. "You never know what is going to happen. So we are getting guys prepared for different situations."
Redshirt freshman Rohan Gaines is still improving at the other safety spot with the first team.
"Gaines continues to flash," Haynes said. "Alan Turner is getting better, too. Those two have separated themselves at safety. We just have to continue to get Jerry Mitchell better, too."
Haynes praised the work of Tevin Mitchel at cornerback. Mitchel has been locked up with starting wideout Cobi Hamilton in many scrimmage situations, along with squaring off in drill work, too. Haynes was asked if Mitchel is winning his share of those battles.
"Tevin is getting better and better," Haynes said. "Tevin is (winning) sometimes and that's a good thing. I've said this a lot. We are going against a great offense and some of the best wide receivers that are out there.
"Tevin is having a great camp. It's good to see what he's done in that situation, to win some battles. But we need to get to the point where he needs to win almost all of them."
In that respect, Haynes said those that thought the defense had a great day in Saturday's scrimmage need to understand the ones still gave up 35 points.
"It was good that we stopped the run," he said. "But we are no where near where we want to be yet. We gave up 35 points and there were too many big plays. The second defense did some good things, but they are not where we want to be either. We gave up far too many points and made far too many mistakes."
There continues to be slight shuffles in the depth chart up front. Dede Jones has moved ahead of Robert Thomas with the ones at defensive tackle, although both made plays Tuesday.
"Dede is probably having his best camp," Haynes said. "He's playing lower with his pads. He's playing with his best pad level."
Defensive tackles coach Kevin Peoples said, "Dede is having a great camp. He's changed his work ethic. He's never been bad there, but he's picked it up a notch. He's fixing his technique. He's got athletic ability, but he's doing what he needs to refine his craft."
Jones said it's a matter of just competing daily with Thomas as far as technique.
"We both are trying to improve our pad level," Jones said. "That's what it's going to take to stop the run. If you stay low, it changes the game. We've got a great coach teaching us technique. If you play the proper technique, football is not hard at all."
"I think that's where we both have improved so much," Thomas said. "I learned last year that you can't just rely on your ability. You have to play the right techniques. I learned that in the first game, Missouri State. You keep your pads down and play the technique, everything changes.
"Dede and I are both trying to get it exactly right. We are having great competition. Really, I know that we expect to dominate. We are both thinking and playing a lot faster and it starts with proper technique. It's the key to everything we do. I think we both are a lot better in that area."
Jarrett Lake is happy at Star linebacker. A slender wide receiver before he came to Arkansas, he's battled holding weight. He said it was a good break for him when coaches decided that he was going to be fine in the 220 range.
"I've probably gained 20 pounds since I've been here," Lake said. "But I think they finally decided to just put me on the edge (at Star) and going to let the weight thing go.
"I really do like this position. Mostly, I'm on a receiver and I can use my speed. I understand it. I know my role is to turn things back to my help."
Lake has enjoyed playing for linebackers coach Taver Johnson.
"He's high energy and that's what he expects from us," Lake said. "Man, he's great. He's not going to let you take a day off. I think he wanted to make sure we finished today, stayed mentally tough. Yesterday, I don't think we finished. Today we did."