Tuesday Grid Update, 4/12

The Hogs may have found their man in the search for a rush defensive end after a wideout tried his hand at chasing the quarterback in Tuesday's workout.

An offensive player moved to defense and an defensive player switched to offense to highlight Tuesday's workout. Houston Nutt praised both players, but said both are still considered to be in the experimental stage.

Wide receiver Anthony Brown was the show stopper after he tried defensive end for the second straight day in a limited capacity. He made three sacks in a 12-play, third-and-long segment of the team portion of practice. Nutt raved about Brown's potential at defensive end and said his staff would discuss his status as the week progresses.

Cornerback Michael Coe, a former wideout, worked with the receivers Tuesday. It was his first day at wideout since his freshman season at Arkansas. That move was made after the Hogs counted seven players at cornerback.

Both players wore their regular jerseys. Brown wore a target jersey over his red offensive jersey and Coe wore a target jersey over his white defensive jersey.

"We are just trying to see if they might be able to help the team somewhere else," head coach Houston Nutt said. "It's not a for-sure thing yet. Anthony just was there (at defensive end) for about 15 minutes in team. Michael Coe was at wideout in the early part of the workout. Both also worked at their old spots, too."

Nutt said defensive coordinator Reggie Herring had been asking to try Brown at defensive end since watching him move in offseason agility drills. Brown, 6-6 and 225, has never played defensive end, but he doesn't have much experience at football period. He redshirted last fall in his first season at Arkansas.

"I played only one year in high school and that was at wide receiver," Brown said. "And, I played two years at wide receiver in junior college. That's the only time I've even played anywhere in football. I just haven't played much.

"I don't mind playing defensive end. This is about helping our team. I just used my wide receiver moves to get away from the DBs today. I was going against Robert Felton. I just tried to use my swim move and get away from him and use my speed. It went okay today. I liked it.

"I don't know what the coaches want, or whether I'll play any more defensive end. But I liked it and I'll do it if I can help the team."

Defensive tackle Marcus Harrison applauded the move.

"I watched film of him today from yesterday," Harrison said. "Looked like a natural to me. I think we all got fired up watching him play on our side of the ball from yesterday and he was better today. Three sacks! Wow!

"We found ourselves another Des (Sims), another Wes Dacus, another Zach Snider, a guy who can rush the passer. We are trying to get speed everywhere in this scheme. We are trying to reveal a hidden athlete. It was revealed today. He worked it pretty darn good against a good player.

"I know some of those guys (on offense) might worry about coming over here because we count loafs. Heck, Anthony doesn't have any loaf in him. I watched his film. He didn't have any loafs. We want him."

Brown said he's noticed the defensive playes doing up-and-downs after practice for their loafs and was glad there was none of that after Tuesday's workout. But he's ready and willing if that's what it takes to become a player.

"I got back with the offense before they did their loaf drill at the end, or when I thought they would do it," Brown said. "But I'll do them. I don't mind. It's about being accountable and being a team. I think it's something that is helping and I'll do them.

"I just want to help this team win. I like wideout and I think I'm learning it pretty well, but I will play defensive end, too, or play both. It doesn't matter."

Wide receiver coach James Shibest said he hadn't thought of Brown as a defensive end candidate until the last two days.

"Naw, I hadn't looked at him that way because he was doing well with us, really learning it and making progress," Shibest said. "He's had a very good spring."

Will he give Brown up for some defensive meetings over the next few days?

"That hasn't come up, but I bet it will," Shibest said. "We'll talk about that as a staff pretty quick, I'm sure."

Shibest had high praise for both Marcus Monk and Cedric Washington, his two best wide receivers this spring.

"Washington has been the most impressive," Shibest said. "He's a different guy this spring. The switch has come on. He's got an understanding of leverage and how to create separation. This is really his first true full year at wideout and he's working with a purpose. He's practiced so hard and been so focused.

"I see a lot of improvement in Monk, too. I see quickness and sped with him that he didn't have in the fall. He's only going to get better with another summer. Chris Baker and Cedric Logan have been good this spring, too. David Thompson has done a lot of good things and Anthony Brown was really making strides this spring. I like what I see in this group.

"We are doing some different things in the passing game as far as the timing routes and the wide receivers love it. They see the quarterbacks delivering the ball on time and know that is going to help them. They enjoy that a little more."

The Hogs worked in Walker Pavilion because of the damp grass practice field and the lumpy condition of the artificial surface outside. It appears the artificial surface inside Walker Pavilion is the most trusted surface on damp days.

The Hogs will not practice on Wednesday, then finish with workouts Thursday and Friday and a scrimmage Saturday.

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