"He told me we had to be like great shooters, just keep shooting," said the sophomore wide receiver.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, who coaches the wide receivers, mentioned that analogy when he addressed the media after practice Tuesday.
"I told them the only thing I know to do is come out with a great attitude and work their butt off," Petrino said. "That's what they did. I told them when Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have a bad day, they keep shooting. They have to be that way."
"I made a young mistake that I shouldn't be still making," Wright said. "I tried to run before I caught it. I knew I had beaten the cornerback. I was behind him. I knew the safety was coming over and I wanted to run and I took my eye off the ball.
"I turned and ran as soon as it hit my hands. You have to look it in, tuck it away, and then run. That's just basic fundamentals and I didn't do them. So you have to continue to focus on fundamentals every single time. Like I said, it's a young mistake and I shouldn't still be making them."
Petrino said it was a matter of young players not handling the road environment.
"We are playing some freshman and sophomores that haven't played well on the road yet," Petrino said. "It's like a rookie in the NBA. They don't play so well on the road. The good thing is that we've got four in a row at home. We need to play well at home in this next stretch."
Junior tight end D. J. Williams didn't drop any passes, but he didn't get many chances. Paul Petrino said that needs to change.
"We are trying to force it in practice this week, script it so passes go to him," Petrino said. "Sometimes a quarterback gets comfortable with a certain receiver. Last year, D. J. was Casey (Dick's) guy. On seven-on-seven today, we scripted things for D. J. We did that the week of the Auburn game and we did get him the ball. We tried to do that last week, too."
|Photo by: Marc F. Henning|
|Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said the Razorbacks are looking for ways to incorporate D.J. Williams in the passing game.|
"D. J. is a playmaker and I need to get it to him," Mallett said. "I have to go through the progressions. Last week, I went deep too much. We were down 14-0 and I tried to get it back too quickly.
"We've got to run the ball, too. We have to be balanced to be successful."
There were rumors earlier in the day that Mallett wasn't 100 percent, perhaps slowed by a sore shoulder. He said that wasn't true.
"My shoulder? 100 percent," Mallett said.
When asked what he thought about those rumors, he added, "Arkansas is like that. Remember two years ago?"
Asked how he could improve his passing percentage, he said, "Complete more passes and don't miss open guys down the field, and go through my progressions."
Williams downplayed how he's been used.
"Really, I don't need to worry about any of that," he said. "I'm going to be ready for whatever this offense needs from me. If it comes my way, I need to catch it. That's the key. Catch it when it's thrown to me. It's not for me to worry about anything else."
Petrino said practice was shortened a bit from previous weeks because of the grind of a long season.
"This is the time of year to go a little shorter," he said. "We had a good attitude. We are trying to freshen them up this week and you do that now.
"I think you have to realize we just have to go back out there and try to do better. I had a guy back home tell me once that if you get into fights that sooner or later you are going to find someone who will whip your butt. And, when that happens, you have to get right back up and fight again.
"What we are trying to worry about is these three days of practice and how to get better as a team. That's our focus on us. I think we can do that."
Is this a week to look to some young players at running back or perhaps Tyler Wilson in relief of Mallett at quarterback.
"The biggest thing is we need to play better as a team," Petrino said. "You need to worry about your starters, but hopefully some of that could happen, too.
"I just think it's good that we are home. We have only been home in our stadium twice. I think playing at home will help when we are playing so many freshmen and sophomores. I think we will be excited to play in our stadium."