Tuesday Grid Update, 8/30

There was good news on the injury front at Tuesday's football practice for the Razorbacks.

Arkansas resumed preparations for Saturday's season opener with a full pad practice Tuesday. The Hogs had taken Monday off per the NCAA requirement of one day off per week.

"We are getting a little closer to that first game each day," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "It was good to get (the team) back on the field after an off day yesterday. I felt like our guys had their legs back for the most part."

The Razorbacks have picked their captains for the 2005 season and Coach Nutt announced them following Tuesday's practice. Seniors Kyle Dickerson, Brandon Kennedy, Pierre Brown, Vickiel Vaughn and Kyle Roper were selected by their teammates to represent the Hogs this season.

Nutt said the team is excited to be in game week, but there are still things to correct and polish before game time.

"The good thing about it is that tomorrow is just Wednesday and we can continue to improve," Nutt said. "But I know we are anxious to play. We need to play someone besides ourselves, and our guys are looking forward to it."

Jonathan Luigs worked with the first unit at right guard. He's still battling Tyler Morgan for the starting spot for Saturday night's season opener against Missouri State. It does not appear that Zac Tubbs will be available with the ankle sprain.

Tight end will have to go without Jared Hicks for the opener. He is also bothered by an ankle sprain and very questionable for the opener.

Quarterback Robert Johnson, the starter, worked at close to full speed today. Both Johnson and quarterback coach Roy Wittke said he was about as close to 100 percent as he could be heading into the opener. Johnson has been bothered by a sore groin muscle, an injury that knocked him out of one week of practice.

Jeremy Harrell and Keith Jackson worked with the first team at defensive tackle, but defensive coordinator Reggie Herring wouldn't commit to a starter for the opener. Herring said it would be safe to say the Hogs have a six-man rotation at defensive tackle right now with Marcus Harrison, Fred Bledsoe, Ernest Mitchell and Cord Gray also in the picture.

Asked about tackling, Herring said that he was still concerned about the consistency of his defense in that area heading into the opener. He was anxious to see how they tackled in a game when all of the starting pieces were together.

Asked about the possibility of playing more than one quarterback in the opener, both Houston Nutt and Wittke said that it was possible and the ideal way to handle the quarterbacks. However, they both hedged a bit as far as committing to playing anyone but Johnson. Nutt said he'd like to get some snaps for both Alex Mortensen and Cole Barthel, too. But Nutt and Wittke also indicated that Johnson was still inexperienced and needed as many game repetitions as possible, too.


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