Perhaps that was a slip back to a day when offense ruled the roost on the Arkansas football team. Defense often struggled, both in practices and in games over the previous five seasons.
There was a reminder early the next day in the meeting room from Charlie Partridge, the new defensive line coach, that maybe they hadn't done so poorly and progress from day one was displayed on the video board.
"Coach Partridge told us not to beat ourselves up over that day," Smith said. "He showed us where we'd been and where we were. It's like, look where you were on day one this spring and where you are day 14. It's pretty good."
The Hogs wrapped up day 14 on Thursday. They'll finish the spring with the Red-White game -- a ones versus ones scrimmage game -- at 2 p.m. Sunday. It will be televised by CST.
Partridge said the goal is to put on display what "we've worked to build here."
Partridge -- along with defensive coordinator Chris Ash -- is talking about the fundamental beliefs of the defense that is the core of Bret Bielema's program as head coach.
"It's the physical fundamentals of football," Partridge said. "We take pride in that, not beating ourselves. We are trying to put our players in position not to beat themselves."
It's also developing a confident defense, something Partridge said is a pride thing.
"I think pride is a part of what we are building," he said. "It's teaching them pride in playing gap sound, the fundamentals. I see the pride coming forward with the players. I feel that pride, too, after seeing them develop."
It's been daily growth, but Partridge said there are times he sees the scars of the last 14 months and perhaps from previous seasons, too.
"It can be (psyche class) sometimes," he said. "It's a combo of the last year, previous years. It's tough to lose coaches. And then you put on that a new level of expectations. It's tough on them sometimes, so I have to build them up, lift them up at times.
"It's been at practice some days that I've done that. It's on the field and off the field. There's been a lot of change here and there is growing pains. But we are improving so much."
"Really, there is no comparison to where we were on day one, where we are now," Partridge agreed. "I think from the snap to the whistle, we are much, much improved. Are we game ready? No, but we are headed that direction.
"We are a lot better in how we play our gap responsibilities. There is pride in our gap fundamentals. We don't miss assignments as far as our gaps. We've improved that area a lot."
Ash is proud of the improvement the entire unit has made, particularly at linebacker where the top three are Braylon Mitchell, Daunte Carr and Jarrett Lake.
"There's been a ton of improvement," Ash said. "Don't mistake that we are ready to play in the SEC or that we are good. But from day one, to day 14, we've made a ton."
The depth at linebacker and just in the defense overall is not there.
"From what I've understood, the three linebackers (with the ones) haven't played," Ash said. "Those three have been consistent, Mitchell, Carr and Lake. The issue at that position is depth. To be honest, the three with the ones have never played linebacker (in an SEC) game."
Carr arrived as a safety, but played some outside linebacker last year. Basically, he's fought through injuries, including a knee surgery. He's not been on the field much during his first two springs. He had never played middle linebacker before this spring.
"Basically, none of the (starting) linebackers have played before," Ash said. "But we came here with a new slate. (Carr) has done great job since we've been here. Does he have a long way to go? Yes. But he's shown a presence in the middle, has communicated. He's become more physical."
Smith said he sees the growth in Carr.
"I think part of it is finally being healthy," Smith said. "He's a guy who has gotten his legs right. He's worked hard on the leg strength, the squats and it's paying off. He's strong enough to play in there (at middle linebacker)."
Ash said the decision to try Carr in the middle came during winter workouts.
"We had to put somebody in there," Ash said. "He was the biggest. We saw him move around (in conditioning) and thought he was a fit. He wasn't going to be an outside linebacker in our scheme. Of all the ones we had, he fit the most there."
Ash was asked about development at other places, most notably safety where he's praised Eric Bennett and Rohan Gaines all spring.
"We gave up some plays in the red zone during one of the days, but it's been good execution for the most part from those two," Ash said. "That one day it was a case of not getting the calls and being in the right spot. But I don't see that as a problem now. They are getting in the right spots and making the play."
As for the front four, Ash said, "Those guys are our strength, that group."
Partridge said it's expanding gradually. He praised DeMarcus Hodge for his growth behind Robert Thomas and Byron Jones inside. Deatrich Wise has made the biggest progress at end behind Smith and Trey Flowers.
"Hodge jumps out," Partridge said. "He's done very well this spring. Hodge and Wise have shown that they may be the next two guys. Wise has studied. There are a few things he needs to clean up, but he is making a move."
Smith said it's been nice chemistry from the front, to the linebackers and to the secondary.
"I think that's what we are developing, one unit," Smith said. "I think that pride of how we play our fundamentals throughout the defense goes from the front all the way to the back.
"I think you see the linebackers stepping up, and the fits from the front to the back end really smoothing out. We are getting better and that pride is coming out.
"I think the attitude of these coaches is translating to us. We want to stress that defense is going to be played here. I think in the past, this was known as an offensive school. You want to have offense, but you win championships with defense.
"A good defense starts with a good front. That's what we want to be, the strength of this team."