Hogs Focus onTight Ends

Arkansas finished its second day of spring drills with a padless workout conducted mostly in Walker Pavilion. Nutt announced a special workout for Tuesday, a day that had been previously listed as an off day.

Arkansas worked for about two hours, the final two/thirds of the football practice inside Walker Pavilion as the Hogs looked for solid footing on the AstroPlay artificial surface.

"I thought we had a good second day," Houston Nutt said. "We bounced around pretty good. We got some things corrected."

Nutt announced after the workout that he had added a practice to the schedule, at 5:50 a.m. Tuesday morning in the indoor workout facility.

"This is not for punishment, just another workout," he said. "I want to see how they respond."

However, he did admit that part of the reason for the added workout came on last Thursday when two players didn't make the final early workout of the offseason.

"That last one wasn't how we wanted it to end, so we'll do it again," Nutt said. "I want to see how they practice in the morning."

The early workout will count as one of the Hogs' 15 spring workouts. They had scheduled only 14, so it was just a day added to finish the spring.

Jason Peters had his second strong day catching the ball as the Hogs continued to emphasize throwing to the tight ends.

Peters made several catches that could be labeled only as sensational, including a one-hander in which he reached behind him to snatch a low throw as he was running away from the quarterback. That catch drew ohhs and ahhs from his teammates and fans watching in Walker Pavilion.

"The big guy did a nice job today," said Roy Wittke, the Hogs' new quarterback coach who has shown a knack for getting the ball to tight ends during his time as Eastern Illiniois' playcaller.

"I think he has looked very good these first two days, as has Jared Hicks. I know it's still early. Coach (Clifton) Ealy (UA tight ends coach) and I have talked about it being early and wanting to see him do it some more. So far so good with the tight ends.

"Jason has looked good. I think you see the realization from the tight ends that we have put a focus on throwing to the tight ends. We've told them to reward that philosophy by catching the ball. He sees the emphasis and he's been focused. He's made a lot of nice catches. He can catch the ball, but he must remain focused."

Wittke said he saw improvement in the quarterbacks Monday over their play on Sunday's opening day of spring drills.

"Some of the younger guys did well in the individual drills to start the day," Wittke said. "I was pleased with Cedric Washington today.

"I thought Matt showed a lot of improvement. He picked up on some things we talked about and did well. I thought all of the quarterbacks played a lot faster mentally today. I was pleased."

David Thompson, Carlos Ousley, Steven Harris and George Wilson all had nice catches during the day that had a special emphasis on the passing game.

It was clear that the receivers got the best of the workout today. Several key defensive players did not participate, and some others were only available for spot duty. Cornerbacks Batman Carroll and Eddie Jackson both were with the track program, as was wide receiver Richard Smith.

Wideouts David Thompson, Steven Harris, George Wilson and Carlos Ousley all had nice catches as the Hogs emphasized the deep route. There were times that they stretched the field with three of the four WRs in the pattern going deep.

Tony Bua dressed out and participated in some of the drills, mainly working with the backups. He will be withheld from contact after having his shoulder surgically repaired in the offseason.

Nutt said some of the defenders stood out in the first two drills. He praised linebackers Clarke Moore, Caleb Miller, Brandon Holmes, and said that defensive backs Lawrence Richardson, Jimarr Gallon and Bo Mosley had good days.

Wittke said his quarterbacks would be taxed more in th coming days as Dave Wommack's defenses began to add blitzes and stunts.

"They were playing some basic coverages today and that helped us," Wittke said. "But, they are going to begin firing from different spots and we'll see how we pick that up. They wanted to do some basic stuff to get it in for the young guys, but that won't be the case the rest of the way. That will be the challenge for our quarterbacks as we move forward."

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