Jason Ivester

Hunter Henry Likes Progress for Razorbacks

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema made some position changes. De'Andre Coley moved to outside linebacker. Tight end Hunter Henry liked the way the Razorbacks worked on Tuesday.

The Arkansas offense may have struggled at times against the top defense in a Saturday scrimmage, but they have made significant progress the last two days, according to tight end Hunter Henry. The junior tight end was smiling when he came to the interview room after Tuesday's practice.

"There were things to build on in the scrimmage and things to correct," Henry said. "The things to correct, we got fixed the last two days. We have been clicking (on offense) the last two days."

That was confirmed by cornerback Jared Collins, too.

"We are not worried about our offense," Collins said. "They are tough. They make some plays. I can tell you that if you don't get your hands on Dominique Reed at the line of scrimmage, you aren't going to catch him. He's gone. He's really fast."

Collins didn't get into details about any big plays from Reed, but the impression left was that there has been some throughout camp.

Henry said it's been a good week of growth for the young tight ends, mentioning Austin Cantrell, C.J. O'Grady and Will Gragg.

"Each of them is different," Henry said. "Some fit at in-line and some at flex or H-back. They have different skill sets. And all have a role. It's a great comfort to know that we have this kind of depth. Some of our packages call for three tight ends. If we have someone out, we can still run those packages because of the depth."

What needed correcting?

"Pass protection," Henry said. "Everybody is together now. We had to do some things. Our offense starts with the offensive line and protection. The last two days have been good."

Henry said he considers tight ends part of the offensive line in certain sets and protections were improved in all areas, with tight ends doing their part.

Center Mitch Smothers said the issues on Saturday were mainly because of poor pass protection. Those are among the things the offense corrected in the last two days. Offensive line coach Sam Pittman had some work for the O-line the last two days to get that fixed.

"Coach Pittman was not pleased with our protection," Smothers said. "There were times, we were out of place. This week that's our emphasis, get that fixed.

"The defense was throwing some nice schemes at us. Some twists and stunts.They are good. We'd seen some of it in practice. I will say that we had a good average against them with our run game. But we had to fix protection.

"Coach Pittman told us after practice today that we had a good day with pass pro. He mentioned that to us. We did better against the twists and blitzes. They are good with that stuff."

The tight ends were not a big part of the package on display on Saturday. Henry said that was not a concern.

"We know that our scheme is big on tight end plays," Henry said. "We know that Brandon Allen is going to go to us. That's a big part of what Coach (Bret) Bielema does. It's going to be a part of the game plan. It wasn't Sautrday. It was just a scrimmage. You do things in a scrimmage for certain situations. We all know that. I think the tight ends are going to be used."

There were no vertical routes for the tight ends, one of the staples of the Arkansas offense. Have those been run in practice?

"Oh, yeah," Henry said, with a twinkle in his eye and a big smile. "We've got those."

Collins said the Arkansas passing game is improved.

"We've got big time receivers," he said. "Keon Hatcher and Dominique Reed and several others can make plays. We know we are getting tested every day in practice. But we are motivated to prove that we are good, too. There has been a lot of talk about the offense being better. We think we are good, too. We think we have a very good secondary."

• • •

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema promised some position changes with young players after the scrimmage on Saturday. There were a few that popped out when the media was given access to the first four periods of Tuesday's practice.

De'Andre Coley was moved to outside linebacker after playing safety his first two seasons for the Hogs. The third-year sophomore is a Miami product. Anthony Brown flipped from defensive end to fullback.

It appears that the experiment with Derrick Graham at end and Jamario Bell at linebacker is over. They had switched back to their high school spots late last week and remain there today. Graham is at outside linebacker. Bell is at end.

Keon Hatcher, held out of the scrimmage, appeared back in the mix in all drills on Tuesday. He had a sore shoulder that limited him last week.

There were some number changes. Rafe Peavey is wearing No. 2. Reid Miller has donned No. 38. George Madden is in 43. Josh Harris is in 45. Anthony Brown is wearing 47. Armon Watts is in 86.

Practice was outside in perfect weather conditions. Temperatures were around 85 with heavy clouds.


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