Thursday Grid Update, 8/14

The film review from Wednesday's scrimmage was good, but Thursday's workout lacked "intensity and leadership" on the offensive side.

Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino met with the media after Thursday's morning workout -- the lone Arkansas practice of the day -- with his review of the Wednesday scrimmage. Petrino liked what he saw in person Wednesday, and on the video review.

"I tell our players that their resume is the video," Petrino said. "I told them it was a good resume (Wednesday). The receivers had a good day, the running backs looked good and the offensive line blocked well. It was definitely one of the best days we've had this fall by our receivers. We had a lot of yards after the catch."

Petrino's daily regimen includes pushing receivers to turn up field after the catch and sprint to the end zone. That appeared to pay off for the likes of London Crawford and Lucas Miller. Both had big days Wednesday.

However, Petrino was less than satisfied with Thursday's morning workout. He said "more intensity and more leadership was needed."

The report was good for the quarterbacks. Petrino said senior Casey Dick has picked up the pace of late. He also had praise for true freshman Tyler Wilson. Wilson got the second string snaps at quarterback ahead of Nathan Dick for much of the day.

"Casey has done a good job and played well the last few days," Paul Petrino said. "He had a good scrimmage. Tyler did some nice things, too. Tyler has some natural instincts. He finds receivers."

Wilson still is picking up the offense. He's still learning how to execute a snap-count cadence and take the ball from under the center after spending his last two seasons at Greenwood in the shotgun with a silent count.

"You think those would be the easy things for a quarterback, but they aren't for him because he's never done them," Petrino said. "But you see him do things in the passing game that are natural."

Quarterback coach Garrick McGee also had good things to say about Casey Dick and Wilson.

"We ask our quarterback to do a lot in this offense," McGee said. "We give him the entire offense and ask him to make decisiions. Because of that concentration and focus are so important. The little things, the emphasis on detail is so great because of that. Casey has done better but we still have things to improve, techniques and fundamentals to get better.

"Tyler Wilson has had two real good days in a row. And, you look at Nathan Dick, he's had two not-so good days in a row where his concentration and focus wasn't good. If you ask him, he'd agree with that. The thing that is good for Nathan is that today's practice is over and he has a chance to do better tomorrow.

"Tyler is having to learn a lot. He has to learn new techniques starting with the center snap and there is also no terminology. But he is starting to put it together and his instincts are starting to show. And, Casey is starting to understand how important detail is throughout our offense. You have to do it snap after snap. It's a process. He's two weeks into the process and he's doing well."

The defense continued to look for help at safety and linebacker. With Ryan Powers limping at weakside linebacker, the Hogs looked to a true freshman, fleet Khiry Battle, for depth. Battle got snaps with the first and second unit at times. It's Battle's third day at linebacker.

"I signed here to be running back, moved to safety this summer and then three days ago to linebacker," Battle said. "That's fine with me. I like contact.

"Coach (Bobby) Petrino asked me what I weighed -- it was 214. He asked me if I could get to 225 in 30 days. I said no problem. I can gain weight easily.

"I never played linebacker before, just tailback and safety. It's going good, though. I've got a big playbook to learn. It's hard, but I'm having fun."

Battle caught the eye of the head coach in a one-on-one angle tackling drill.

"It's who ever wants to step out there," Battle said. "It's an offensive player against a defensive player. I went seven times in a row. I think Coach Petrino liked what he saw."

That earned Battle a ticket to the "extra table." That means he gets extra chow at all three meals.

"You get to eat all you want," he said. "That's fine with me. Linebacker is perfect for me. I really love to hit."

Elton Ford is another true freshman getting snaps in 11-on-11 situations with the first and second unit. He's playing free safety.

"I wanted to play right away and that's one of the reasons I signed to come here," Ford said. "I knew they needed help at safety and I just want to battle my butt off every day."

The competition is just as intense at wide receiver where the lines are deep. Paul Petrino said Lucas Miller has made a move in fall camp.

"He's one of them we expected to do well and he's been very good just about every day," Petrino said. "He's catching the ball very well. He had a really good scrimmage. He's making plays.

"Our receivers have done well, but we want them to dominate even more than they did Wednesday. We are seeing good things from the young ones. Jarius Wright and Joe Adams have been good and now it looks like Greg Childs is getting comfortable. He's making plays. He's got very good hands."

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