Arkansas made it through two practices Thursday with the varsity without any injuries, but they didn't escape the mild conditions without some dehydration problems.
Flanker Decori Birmingham and tight end J. Strain both left before the afternoon practice was completed because of cramps. Birmingham went out early in the team portion of practice, and Strain lasted almost until near the end of the conditioning drill at the conclusion of the workout. Neither player should miss much time because of their fluid depletion.
Tarvaris Jackson got the bulk of the snaps in a short team segment, but coaches said afterwards not to read too much into that.
"We really didn't have much team today since it was the first day," Houston Nutt said. "We worked on teaching and fundamentals."
Quarterback coach David Lee said the morning practice was the better of the two for the quarterbacks, noting there were four touchdown passes in the morning and none in the afternoon.
"The defensive backs covered us this afternoon, and everytime we tried to go deep, they were there," Lee said. "I didn't think it was a particularly great practice in the afternoon."
Jackson threw one interception, a deep pass that cornerback Marvin Jackson went high into the air to outplay receiver Richard Smith. Linebacker Caleb Miller dropped another potential interception on a Jackson pass, and Ken Hamlin couldn't hold a ball when he stepped in front of a receiver on a slant.
Ryan Sorahan took a few snaps in the team segment, and Matt Jones worked just a few plays with the third team at the end of team.
"Matt got a lot of work in pass scale," Nutt said. "His arm didn't have the same umph it had at the end of spring ball, and I know he's sore. That will get better."
Lee said, "Matt had some nice throws in scale, including one for Sparky Hamilton when Matt was on the move."
Nutt thought the tight ends looked sharp, especially Jason Peters. Nutt also praised James Toussaint and J. Strain.
Mike Markuson coaches as Gene Perry practices a block on a pulling play.
Houston and Danny Nutt give instructions during stretching.
Matt Jones works on footwork at the start of Thursday's workout.
David Thompson makes a catch with James Shibest watching.
Photos by Clay Henry