Thursday Grid Report, 8/21

Arkansas worked extensively on the deep pass in Thursday's lone practice. Both Houston Nutt and quarterback coach Roy Wittke were pleased.

The Arkansas football team worked for two hours Thursday morning inside Walker Pavilion in its only workout of the day.

The Hogs had another solid workout, according to coach Houston Nutt.

"It was a good, spirited workout," Nutt said. "Our secondary had a very good day. Guys like Lawrence Richardson, Batman Carroll, Eddie Jackson, Marvin Jackson and Tony Bua are playing very well.

"We've really worked hard the last couple of days and we will do it again Friday to test the secondary with deep balls. Those guys I mentioned are doing extremely well. Our coverages between the secondary and the linebackers are beginning to mesh.

"We had some really nice deep balls thrown today. We have the ability to throw deep and we are giving the secondary a good test."

Wideouts Willie Hordge and Chris Baker appear to be regaining their speed and form after fighting through muscle injuries early in fall drills. Both looked sharp on deep passes. Hordge caught several and drew praise from wideout coach James Shibest that could be heard during practice.

"I think what you see is that we have some wideouts who can stretch the field and they love to go get it deep," said Roy Wittke, quarterback coach. "Our quarterbacks can throw the deep ball and are getting very good with it.

"What I see is great competiton on the deep balls between our wideouts and a good set of cornerbacks," Wittke said. "Because of the way we can run the ball, we are going to see a crowded line and we are doing a good job right now of getting the deep ball in the air and letting our wideouts go get it.

"With Steven Harris, Richard Smith, DeCori Birmingham, Willie Hordge and Chris Baker, we have some wideouts who can go get the deep ball and we are going to get them the ball deep," Wittke said. "All of our quarterbacks have done a great job of throwing the deep ball in rhythm and on time. We are getting it away in a hurry and letting our guys go get it. That's really been a focus right now.

"I think we have to be able to throw it deep and prove that we can throw it deep in games. That will relieve the press coverages and make it easier to run the ball."

One of the problems the Hogs are fighting through right now is the shortage of healthy arms among the quarterbacks.

"We've got some sore hands and shoulders right now," Nutt said. "Landon Leach has a bruised thumb and Robert Johnson has a sore shoulder. He's never thrown this much before. So that means there are more throws for the other guys."

That has been compounded by the work Cedric Washington is getting at wideout over the last week. Also, Matt Jones continues to split time between wideout and quarterback.

Brandon Holmes was not at practice. He is still rehabbing his back. Scott Davenport missed to do intern work at Rogers Kirksey Middle School where he works with Jean Ann Henry, wife of the Publisher.

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