Wednesday Grid Report, 8/27

Special teams get a close look in Wednesday's workout in full pads.

Arkansas earned the praise of its head coach after a two-hour practice in full pads Wednesday, and there was a thank you to mother nature for a few clouds that released a few rain drops midway through the workout.

"We appreciated the shade," Nutt said. "That felt great and the players noticed it.

"We had a good day. We secured some things in the kicking game and had an excellent practice."

The Hogs got a scare when defensive tackle Chase Pressley had to leave middle drills with an injury, but he returned later in the workout. Arrion Dixon, out for one week with a knee sprain, practiced through individual drills, but sat out the middle and team drills. He did complete the conditioning runs in fine fashion.

"We were more consistent today," Nutt said. "But we still don't get it right from start to finish. We are getting closer. Out of say 62 plays, we get it right with all 11 on both sides about 48 times. We want to get it right with all 11 with no busts all 62 plays. That's what we are striving for and we are getting closer.

"Our guys are ready to play somebody. They see that some have already played and a lot more are getting ready to play this weekend. I won't say that boredom is setting in, but that's what you fight at this point. The last week before game week is the toughest week. They think they are ready, but they aren't quite ready. They are close, but we need more work.

"We worked hard on the kicking game. Marvin Jackson will be our punt returner and we have a lot of trust in DeCori Birmingham if we need him, too. On kickoffs, probably DeCori Birmingham and Lawrence Richardson will handle the returns. There are quite a few others that we could use there, too."

Danny Nutt praised both De'Arrius Howard, probably the starter, and Cedric Cobbs at tailback. He also thought redshirt freshman John Johnson had his best day.

"That's the best John has looked," Danny Nutt said. "John is wearing No. 20, and that was Fred Talley's the last four years. Today in middle drill is the first time that John has hit the hole like Fred. John has the same kind of speed as Fred, but you don't see it on the football field when he's going through holes. He stops and starts and tries to make people miss in the hole. Today he hit it in there and was gone like we want to see.

"Both of our top two, De'Arrius and Cedric, are doing well. De'Arrius has had a great fall. He's smooth, fast and big. He's done it like we've asked. Cedric is right there with him. Either one of them will be fine. I like the way they've practiced in camp and they are pushing eash other like you hope."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories