"I've seen some crazy stuff happen in games and this is when you try to cover some of them, in fall camp," Partridge said Friday night as the Hogs head into a closed scrimmage Saturday night. "You saw the Super Bowl end on a safety and kickoff from the 20-yard line, so we covered some of the situations you might face when punting from your end zone tonight.
"There are some situations that aren't real common, but we wanted to get to as many as possible. That was one of them tonight."
Both Partridge and linebackers coach Randy Shannon were available in the media room after Friday's night practice. Neither addressed injuries, although there was an unconfirmed report that backup Austin Tate, who has started at times, underwent surgery for a broken collarbone.
Reserve tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was one of the few positions players in the interview room and he did answer questions about Tate's injury in a round about way. Asked if the rest of the tight end group was ready to pick up the slack, Sprinkle said, "We just all have to rotate in a little more. We do have good depth in our group. (Tate's injury) is a tough loss and we feel badly for him, but we will move forward."
Partridge carries the title of defensive line coach, but he also handles several aspects of special teams, including work with the kickers and punters. He said Zach Hocker has been "a different punter this spring and has grabbed hold of that job so far in camp" in a battle with juco transfer Sam Irwin-Hill.
One of the keys has been film study, something Partridge has required of all special teams players, perhaps more so than what was expected at Arkansas in the most recent past.
"We do ask them to do quite a bit of film study," Partridge said. "His drop on punts had been a little erratic. It would be to one side or the other and that led to inconsistency. He's corrected that. It's helped him quite a bit."
Shannon said it was good to get in special teams work on Friday.
"We had some game situations," Shannon said. "The punt out of the end zone was good work. Now we look forward to the scrimmage. We are just trying to build as much depth as possible because injuries do sometimes happen. You want to be prepared for about anything.
"I know you guys ask me for the depth chart. It changes all the time. The only time it becomes important is the week of the first game. We continue to look at different looks."
Shannon didn't list a rotation, but when asked about Brooks Ellis, moved to will linebacker, he said the Fayetteville freshman has adjusted nicely.
"He understands he's not where he needs to be, but he's learning," Shannon said. "We are just trying to get as many people prepared for different things. I remember awhile back with the Dolphins, we carried just five linebackers. You have to teach them a lot of different spots."
Junior college Martrell Spaight has impressed Shannon with some physical traits that will lead to solid linebacker ability.
"He's done a great job," Shannon said. "We have run him at will and sam. He's very physical and has powerful legs, unbelievable power."
A. J. Turner, who finished the season as a starter as a true freshman, is improving, but Shannon said he still struggles with the health of his wrist, broken last spring.
"He's not there yet," Shannon said. "And I don't want to put a player on the field who is not 100 percent healthy so he can protect himself. He's not ready yet."
Austin Jones, working with the ones at mike linebacker, continues to impress.
"I think the key to that position is to fly around and make the checks," he said. "That's the middle of the defense, the inside part. It's a physical spot and it's also an important position for getting everyone lined up right."
Shannon said it's been a fun camp with the last day of the second week on Saturday.
"That's one of the things that I want, for everyone to have fun," he said. "I've thought linebacker play, one of the things that you want is to get the defensive line to have fun. When I played linebacker, I thought when the front is having fun, they play better for you. So I've always tried to get my linebackers to make it fun for the defensive line."
It will be about competing against the offense Saturday night, cornerback Carroll Washington said.
"I thought the offense got the better of us last scrimmage and I expect them to come out barking a little," Washington said. "So we have to take it to them. We are looking to get a little payback Saturday night.
"This is the point in camp that is the hardest point, where your legs are hurting, you are sore and you are hurting a little. But the goal is to push through it."
Partridge said that it's been a push the last two days to try to battle through fatigue.
"This is the part of camp that you feel it," Partridge said. "I think you push and remember this part when it's the fourth quarter in a game. It's not easy with this kind of fatigue, but I think they are doing well with that. I thought we did tonight in the second of the two practices.
Partridge said depth continues to develop in the defensive front. Jeremy Ward, converted from the offensive line, has impressed in his second week at tackle.
"We were commenting (as coaches) tonight about what a bright future he has there inside (on defense)," Partridge said. "He's got a quick twitch and power. He's not quite game ready, but he's got a very bright future."