Arkansas worked the veterans for about 90 minutes, then gave the younger players an extra 30 minutes in the first practice in preparation for the Liberty Bowl. The team worked inside Walker Pavilion due to cold outside temperatures. Head coach Bobby Petrino along with several assistants missed the workout to hit the road for recruiting.
"We got in a bunch of work with the young guys," said offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, who said assistants on the road were Garrick McGee, Reggie Johnson, Kirk Botkin and Tim Horton.
"It wasn't as sharp as you'd like as far as execution after a week off. But we had good energy and a great attitude. The effort was very good. We'll get better."
Wide receiver Joe Adams, honored as second team All-SEC, said the team worked on correcting some mistakes from last week's LSU game.
"We had shoulder pads, but no leg pads," Adams said. "It was still physical. People came up and hit."
Petrino said the workout included some team hitting, but no tackling. He also called it a physical day of work.
Asked who did well among the younger players, Petrino said the lack of a full staff meant he had to watch more than a few areas and wouldn't be able to say until after watching film.
"Some of us had to coach a lot of areas," he said. "But I thought we had a good day. It was a fun day and guys were flying around. It probably would have been better if we had everyone (coaching).
"We didn't do some of the finer points well. We were a little sluggish, but the effort was good."
Paul Petrino said the staff began to breakdown tape of East Carolina after learning the Pirates will be the Liberty Bowl foe.
"We've watched a lot on them the last two days," Petrino said. "They are well coached and they play hard. They do what they are coached to do.
"They bring some pressure and they play some zero coverage (with no safety blitzes) and they will come after you in the critical zone. But they play mostly a base 4-3. They know their technique and they play their gaps."
Adams said it was a bit different with Bobby Petrino gone.
"There wasn't as much yelling," he said. "But you still had his little brother out there, the little Petrino."
Adams said he was surprised to make the All-SEC team, perhaps instead of Greg Childs. Childs had better numbers and played three more games. Adams missed three weeks because of a mild stroke.
"Yeah, that surprised me since I missed three tough SEC games," Adams said. "Greg was up there with the top players in stats."
Asked about the LSU game and three hits he took from LSU safety Chad Jones, Adams said he was proud of the way he responded to the physical pounding.
"He's 6-3, 235 and I'm 6-1, 180," Adams said. "I don't know how many would have gotten up from some of those hits. I got up. I guess after watching the hits, I'm surprised I'm still standing."
He watched it as soon as he returned hom on the plane late Saturday night.
"I went to visit some friends and they had Tivo-ed it," he said. "I wanted to go straight to that play to see it.
"It was a helmet to helmet hit. It started out helmet to helmet and then he slid down to my shoulder pad."
Adams returned soon after that hit and caught a go-ahead touchdown. He was not allowed to play in overtime.
"The doctor took away my helmet," Adams said. "I wanted to go back in during OT, but he wouldn't give my helmet back.
"I got a lot of text messages and notes on Facebook about that hit. Some were sending me notes saying it was about the toughest hit anyone had seen and were saying they didn't know if they could have taken such a hit. That made me proud. I guess some guys have never taken three hits like that.
"I just think God has blessed me. I came back from (the stroke) and I got up after those three hits. I think (Jones) was a spy on me the whole game. I am still a little surprised I got up after those hits."
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