Robinson Back on Sideline

FAYETTEVILLE — There were times last season when Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson felt there was a "breakdown in communication" during games between himself, coaches or players.

Robinson, who spent his Saturdays in the press box, said it was frustrating because he couldn't get his message across to players while talking to them on a headset or trying to have information relayed by another coach.

This season, Robinson adopted a simple solution — coach from the sideline.

Robinson, who last coached from the sideline in 2004 when he was with the San Francisco 49ers, was back at field level during Arkansas' 48-10 win against Missouri State last Saturday.

"This year, I figured (players) better hear it from the guy that's seen it and trust in the fact that I've got (defensive coaches) Bobby (Allen) and Reggie (Jackson) upstairs, that we're all on the same page and I can communicate with them," Robinson said.

But Robinson said the change does require some work. He has to do a better job of keeping his emotions in check around his players.

"Sitting up there in that 8 by 10 box and kicking the ground and throwing my hat on the ground and beating on the table, I have to make sure it doesn't happen on the sideline," Robinson said. "I have to control my emotions and keep a clear head so I can make the next call."

Defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard joked that Robinson's move means he can chew players out from the sideline more often. But both he and safety Matt Harris said Robinson's move has been helpful.

"There's probably subtle adjustments he would want to say last year in the press box, but he couldn't call down there all the time or be in our ear on the phone," Harris said. "But on the sideline, he can pull you aside real quick for 10 seconds and tell them to do this and that instead of this. I liked it better."

Strong Start

Robinson spoke highly of junior Rudell Crim, saying the defensive back's first game was impressive. Crim, who transferred from Butler County Community College, recorded three tackles against Missouri State.

"Rudell just graded out really well, technique wise, tackling wise, effort wise," Robinson said. "He graded out really, really well."

Robinson said linebackers Wendel Davis (7 tackles against Missouri State) and Jerry Franklin (5) also played well.

Improvement Needed

Robinson said there were still several areas Arkansas' secondary could improve on within the next week before Georgia visits Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Sept. 19.

"We're not as clean on assignments yet," Robinson said. "When you roll your twos in, my mind was to keep it simple for those guys. But I told those guys, ‘I'm not going to care who's on the field. I'm going to call the game as I want to call the game, so you better execute it.'

"There's a point in time when you can't worry about who's on the field, you call the game like you want to call the game."

Extra Points

G Grant Cook and DE Damario Ambrose returned to practice after missing Tuesday's workout with injuries. ... CB Ramon Broadway practiced Wednesday, but had a cast on his left hand. ... WR's Lucas Miller and Lance Ray continued to work with the training staff.

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