Tuesday Grid Update, 9/11

Arkansas worked outside at the start and end of Tuesday's workout, but also got some practice inside where they could face the noise level to simulate going on the road.

Arkansas delayed Tuesday's workout a bit as athletic department personnel attended the introduction of new boss Jeff Long, then conducted a two-hour workout Houston Nutt thought was excellent.

Nutt said the Hogs "had a very good day." He said the retention from Sunday's workout was solid and praised the team's preparation for the SEC opener at Alabama on Saturday. The Hogs were off on Monday, per the usual for students to attend afternoon labs.

Nutt had been upset with the workout on Thursday to conclude last week's open date practices, but thought they improved both Sunday and Tuesday. He liked the "carry over" from Sunday's workout.

Nutt said Marcus Monk and DeMarcus Love were still out of practice on Tuesday and would not play against Alabama. He was unsure when either would return.

"We just don't know," Nutt said. "They aren't going to play this week. We'll know when they say they are ready."

Asked about the hiring of Jeff Long as the replacement for long-time athletic director Frank Broyles, Nutt said, "I had a very short time to meet with him today. It was good to meet him. The thing about athletics, there is always change. He seems like a good guy."

Offensive coordinator David Lee said quarterback Casey Dick had an excellent practice Tuesday.

"He was very good today," Lee said. "He's improved over the last week. He got better in the open week."

Asked about being able to add new things in the open week, Lee said he wouldn't discuss anything in that regard.

"Obviously, you have a chance to add things when you have an off week," he said. "I won't give any of that away. But there are some concerns that you try to do too much in an open week. We'll evaluate what we've put in and what we have for this week tonight. My concern is that we may be trying to do too much.

"You want to do it well and not try do too much sometimes. We've done a few things this week that we think will help the offense."

Polish is the most important thing the Hogs have done, Lee said.

"We have worked to get Darren McFadden smoother in the read and decide portion of the option," Lee said. "He's like a lot of the option guys I've had in that he wants to accelerate with the ball too fast when he's made his decision to pull the ball away from the back. He wants to sprint and he's very quick. First, you have to pull the ball out and then you can go.

"Quinn Grovey was the same way. Quinn was very quick and so is Darren. He just has to slow down and keep that front foot planted while he takes the ball back. That's what we worked on the last two weeks, but we don't put in as much time with that as we did when we just ran the option with Quinn. We are working 15 minutes instead of the entire practice."

Lee said the Hogs are preparing for more than just the Crimson Tide. They are getting ready for 92,000 in the stands.

"We worked inside with the loud music and we'll go inside for more of that in the next couple of days," Lee said. "We know it's going to be loud."

True freshman placekicker Alex Tejada is getting excited about the trip and the crowd.

"I'm working on my focus," Tejada said. "I want to keep improving, keep getting better and work on my focus and concentration. I've been thinking all week about getting ready for that atmosphere, having so many fans screaming at me and breathing down my neck. That's exciting to think about. You look forward to the travel, going on the road."

Asked about kicking four field goals in the opener, Tejada said, "I'm not thinking about that. I'm just focused on the team doing even bigger things ahead. I'm still looking for big things in the future."

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