After being counted as one of the 40,000+ at the Razorbacks spring game, my head has been swimming over the last week thinking about all that I saw.
First and foremost…this is definitely the beginning of a new era for Arkansas football. Without having to do a lot of talking, the coaching staff and players have let us know with their actions that things have changed.
Here are some of the things that I noticed this spring:
Passing? Five receivers out on the same play…three progressions and then a swing pass to the flat. Next up…two tight ends on the field at the same time — on the same side — with a split receiver and a slot guy on that side as well.
This offense literally throws the ball all over the field…and that includes the middle of the field, too.
Rushing? Draw plays…reverses…counter plays…fullback dive…even the infamous Houston Dale stretch play. And sometimes…passing the ball first to setup the run. Imagine that?
This offense gives the defense a lot to think about and very few clues as to what’s coming next.
The whole negative notion of quarterbacks as ‘bus drivers’ — on the field not to make plays and not to make mistakes — is gone. Casey Dick is pointing and barking instructions…changing blocking assignments, formations, and plays. In other words, being the leader of the offense.
Not yet Peyton Manning…but definitely well beyond ‘bus driver.’
This football team is going to hit. No more constant worrying about the number of bodies and the fear of getting someone hurt. The ‘being afraid’ that we’ve had over the past several years is gone.
Physical? For years the Razorbacks have been thought of as one of the most physical teams in the SEC. The new coach doesn’t think they’re physical enough yet. Hit every day until it is second nature. Find out who your best football players are and put them on the field.
Rather than a package of blitzes and cornerbacks on an ‘island,’ the focus now is on ‘team’ defense. The offense will get the benefit of practicing against the type of defenses they will see in games. The defense will get to practice against a ‘high end’ version of the type of offense they will see in games.
I’ll stop there for now. I realize that’s a lot to digest…but that’s actually kind of my point. I’ll try to summarize a few more things in a post later this week. Until then, for those who saw any spring practice or scrimmages, what are your thoughts?