Offense shines on day four

FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ offense had perhaps its best day so far on Thursday as its quarterbacks and receivers made big play after big play on the practice football fields behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

The cool temperatures helped everyone on the field and the Razorback offense began to heat things up as the squad broke into two groups with the quarterbacks and receivers taking on the defensive backs and the offensive and defensive linemen working on one end of the field.

“We have a long way to go,” Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said. “We can have all the walkthroughs we want, but to get it to where the speed of our offense operates, we have to make the adjustment.”

After working through kickoff drills to begin practice, the teams broke into position groups and concentrated on fundamentals before the offensive skill players took on the linebackers and defensive backs. The Arkansas quarterbacks used both short and long passes to confound the Razorback defense, but there were several special plays made by the defenders.

“We have to face the challenge and we didn’t win today,” Robinson said.

Even though Robinson did not feel as though his squad performed at their best on Thursday, he did point out that there were several players who stepped up and started to make some noise including senior strong safety Walner Leandre and senior nose tackle Ernest Mitchell.

“Walner looks really good,” Robinson said. “He’s physical, fluid and athletic. He’s starting to connect the dots. The front line is coming along really well. I really like the development of our young kids. Ernest Mitchell gives us power and that’s an element that we haven’t had and he has some quicks.”

The local media also asked Robinson about the configuration of his defense now that they have had several days to witness the ‘Jack’ linebacker.

“It is still a 4-3 package,” Robinson pointed out. “We still do the same things with that position that we did with an outside linebacker. We just needed to name it something different.”

The Razorbacks wear full pads for the first time this summer on Friday with a 3 p.m. start time. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit