Tuesday Grid Update, 9/18

There were no problems with Darren McFadden on Tuesday, but another backfield star left the practice field early. Quarterback Casey Dick drew praise from coaches.

Coaches praised the accuracy of quarterback Casey Dick and braced for All-SEC preseason quarterback Andre Woodson and Kentucky.

Offensive coordinator David Lee, who tutors the QBs, said Casey Dick was excellent in Tuesday's workout in full pads.

"It's obvious he's getting some confidence," Lee said. "That's the best I've seen him practice. He had a very good day and was on target. His accuracy was very good today."

Tight end/H-back Ben Cleveland, sophomore from Springdale, will redshirt this season because of nerve damage in his shoulder/neck, according to head coach Houston Nutt.

Fullback Peyton Hillis, who also plays a lot of H-back, left practice early with a "slightly sprained" knee. He will be evaluated again on Wednesday.

The Hogs have several personnel moves this week, including Fred Bledsoe scheduled to start in place of the suspended Ernest Mitchell at defensive tackle. He was not made available to the media after practice Tuesday.

"Fred got 25 snaps (against Alabama) and did OK," Nutt said. "He's got to continue to get better. Obviously, he's got an expanded role and will have to play a lot more this week."

The top two wideouts will be Crosby Tuck and Robert Johnson with London Crawford and Lucas Miller also in the rotation.

"We'll play four," Nutt said.

Tuck replaced Crawford in the starting lineup. Johnson moved ahead of Reggie Fish on the other side.

Safety Michael Grant moved to first team cornerback ahead of Jerell Norton, but Nutt said Norton is still a starter in nickel and dime packages, will represent plenty of calls against Kentucky and its spread formations.

"Those guys (Norton, Fish, Crawford) had good days," Nutt said. "They need to realize they are still going to play. They have to roll up their sleeves and go to work. That's what they did today."

Nutt praised the effort of the team in practice Tuesday. The afternoon started with a "players only" meeting led by Marcus Monk, a senior captain.

"We got off to a good start today," Nutt said. "I was pleased. We had very good focus. We were at the top of our focus today."

Nutt agreed with David Lee on Casey Dick's practice. Nutt said, "Casey practiced with confidence."

The head coach also said star tailback Darren McFadden had a good day. McFadden missed the final few minutes of the Alabama game with a slight concussion.

"The headache was gone and he had a good day," Nutt said. "The dizziness was gone, too. He was feeling good today."

Concerning the redshirt of Cleveland, Nutt said, "There's some nerve damage and he's very weak in certain areas right now. He'll rehab and redshirt."

Nutt said the Hogs will have their hands full with Kentucky and Woodson.

"He's 6-5 and very athletic," Nutt said. "He's accurate and when he's on the move, he makes it tough. He's an outstanding quarterback. We always catch Kentucky at its best."

Asked about the job of bouncing back this week after losing to Alabama, Nutt said the job is to motivate with the positives and correct mistakes.

"What I try to do is point to them the fight and heart in front of millions and millions, the positives," he said. "Then, we go to work to eliminate mistakes. You try to build on the positives. Based on that, you are not counterfeit. They can believe that."

Lee said it was a good practice as far as assignments and execution.

"It was excellent for a Tuesday, not a lot of mistakes," he said. "Again, the quarterback had a good day. He's got a lot more confidence. This was better than he's practiced this fall."

Lee said there were times that Dick played very well against Alabama.

"We have things to improve but he's getting better," he said. "He made two gigantic checks, one of them for a 20-yard gain and another for 40 yards. He's seeing things more and more and that is exciting."

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