Monday Grid Update, 3/26

Arkansas was back on the practice field after a week off for spring break. Head football coach Houston Nutt saw some good, but some not so good.

Arkansas worked for over two hours in full pads Monday with head coach Houston Nutt excited about the effort but asking for improvement in lots of areas, especially on offense.

"The defense took it to us today," Nutt said. "We've got a long ways to go. But it's good to get back on the field."

Nutt said defensive end Antwain Robinson was not suspended after a spring break incident in which he was accused of shoplifting. However, he said Robinson would have plenty of punishment, much of it of a physical nature before he's allowed to play in a game in the fall.

"We will let the legal system run its course and then we'll give him about three times more than what it gives Antwain," Nutt said. "We are very disappointed and shocked (over the incident). He will be punished severely inside the program. He's going to have some Razorback reminders. He'll be with Roger Hunter and his program. He's going to the back of the lines on the field. He'll pick up trash in the community. We'll let him know you can't get by with this kind of thing."

On the field, Nutt said the Hogs used their first day in full pads with a 10-play scrimmage in the red zone to end the workout.

"We hit some plays, some hot reads against blitzes, but we've got to get a lot better," Nutt said. "We didn't have any sacks in the scrimmage, but our protection wasn't good enough during our other periods (without full contact). Like I said, we've got a lot of room for improvement."

Nutt said defensive standouts included Fred Bledsoe, Malcolm Sheppard, Chris Wade, Wendell Davis, Matt Hewitt, Chip Gregory and Marcus Harrison. Harrison didn't finish the practice after tweaking a knee. Marcus Shavers also hurt an ankle. Ernest Mitchell did not practice because of a Monday lab.

Quarterback Casey Dick said the practice started slowly, but got better as it progressed.

"It was kinda rough at the start," Dick said. "We got better, though. We've got another install (of new offensive plays) tomorrow and then we'll get to polishing on it."

Dick said he's spent a lot of time with quarterback coach David Lee watching video of NFL quarterbacks.

"We've watched Dallas, Green Bay, the Colts," he said. "That's the stuff we are running. It's fun. We can do it. We hit some hot reads today and we will get better. Coach Lee wants the ball out of our hands quickly."

Lee also has some drills to force the QBs to be quick on their feet under pressure. He throws a red ball into the pocket to tell the QB to get out of there.

"Where we see the ball land, we have to go the opposite direction," Dick said. "Coach Lee has some crazy drills and props, like the ladders we have to throw over. But they all simulate something you will see in the game. He's a hands on coach, very interactive. It's been very good."

Peyton Hillis said he's seen a lot of NFL tape, too.

"It's things to utilize mismatches and we are doing it right now," Hillis said. "I just hope we stick with it and go to it in games. I think we have responded to it so far. I like it a lot.

"Right now, it feels good to be back out here. I haven't had pads on in awhile, but you don't forget how to wear them. I got used to them quickly."

Hillis said he had fun trading punt return turns with Felix Jones and Darren McFadden.

"We are going to a punt return system with two deep men," Hillis said. "So we have a lot of guys back there."

Hillis wore normal sized thigh pads Monday, but he said if he is a kick returner those will be left in the locker.

"I've got some bigger ones if I'm returning any kicks," he said. "I didn't wear them today, but I've got them."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories