"We are getting there slowly," Ash said after the Hogs practiced Thursday in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. "But we are still making progress.
"We have some lack of attention to detail. We are trying to make them understand it's detail work. Step this way, put their feet this way, their hands this way."
It was Ash's first meeting with the media since Saturday's scrimmage. How did that look on tape?
"There was good and bad," Ash said. "It was like the first day in pads, not what we wanted, but about what we expected.
"What we really wanted to see was our tackling. There was good and bad. We saw some guys put their face in their on the ball carrier. Some others made plays in space and some others didn't do as well."
Specifically, Ash was asked about sophomore safety Rohan Gaines.
"He's been really good every day," Ash said. "I'm a big fan of his. He comes to work with a smile. He puts in overtime in film study and he plays with a motor. He's going to be around the ball. He made a lot of plays."
Ash was also asked specifically about safety TQ Coleman.
"Pound for pound, he's one of our biggest hitters," Ash said. "That's what we saw on tape from him in junior college. He hasn't disappointed with that. You'd like for him to be a little taller, but he's a hitter."
The defensive line earned praise, especially top ends Chris Smith and Trey Flowers, along with defensive tackles Byran Jones, Robert Thomas and DeMarcus Hodge.
"Both of our ends have been productive and they are fun to watch," Ash said. "We've tried to cut them loose on third down and let them play."
Defensive end Chris Smith said it's been an easy transition with a new coaching staff.
"I think for the older guys it's been easy and we are trying to help the young guys along," Smith said. "It's not really a lot different, just different terms for some of the same stuff.
"I think what they want to do right now is just let us play and concentrate on the alignment and fundamentals. We aren't running a lot of (defensive calls). It's just straight go and cut loose. Guys are getting it down.
"I think all of the guys are buying in. Coach (Bret) Bielema did what he said he was going to do, bring in some great coaches that are the best that there is at each spot. We see that.
"We are working on technique and improving our tackling. There are some new things each day, but it's mainly just technique."
One of the goals in the winter was for the defensive tackles to gain bulk to play the run game. All accomplished that goal, especially Hodge, up about 30 pounds to 340.
"We wanted all of them to be bigger," Ash said. "We would like to have more size at middle linebacker and at safety. At tackle, we wanted good weight, to hold the point.
"Hodge is doing a great job. He's done a great job against the run. He's a load. He's probably not going to rush the passer (at that weight). But it's fun for the linebackers because with him up front, they are going to get a cleaner picture."
Defensive line coach Charlie Partridge praised Hodge.
"We are excited about his progress," he said. "He's moving his feet at that weight. We wanted to make sure his footwork would be good (at 340) and it has. I think he can play a number of snaps in the fall."
Cornerback play is "getting better," but Ash said it's not where he wants it.
"They have to understand the details," he said. "Their eyes can help them or get them in trouble. They have to understand how to play off, press or cover two. We are getting better, we have a ways to go. I'm not going to lie."
Ash said the top corners are Will Hines, Tevin Mitchel and Carroll Washington with Ray Buchanan, Dakota Baggett and Jared Collins also getting repetitions.
The linebacker depth chart has been different every day as different groups are tried.
"It's a work in progress," Ash said, when asked specifically about middle linebacker.
"We are working Daunte Carr, Robert Atiga and Otha Peters there. We are looking for a guy who is the general of the defense, who understands the scheme and can be a leader. We want a big, physical guy who can play in there in the middle with the defensive tackles and can make plays like a linebacker. Unfortunately, all the guys we have bring something different."
The Hogs are working towards another scrimmage, set for Saturday morning.
"What we are looking for is the same as last week, attention to detail," Ash said. "We want to see improvement from last week. We hope the tackling improves."
Partridge wants more focus from the first snap.
"I think last week our guys were so excited to be hitting that they lost that attention to detail," Partridge said. "They were so excited that they made alignment mistakes. They got better."