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Petrino's Back, Still Stressing Little Things Which Isn't New

New offensive coordinator bringing whole new pace to Razorbacks at start in spring drills

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — it's clear from reports of Arkansas' first spring practices things will be a little different with offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino back. He finally got to practice in the indoor football center Thursday, one he dreamed and helped design and never got to see finished.

Apparently he's even having effects on the entire team, at least based on what we heard from the players after practice Thursday. It's more of a different vibe these days, even if it's on the field.

"Everything just feels smooth. Everything feels right, with the O-line, with the receivers, with the quarterbacks," wide receiver Andrew Armstrong said. "It’s a battle with everybody."

That would be a change with new offensive line coach Eric Mateos directing the thing. Of course, a change is always cause for hope in the spring and everyone is practicing with a different pep in their step. Especially a position that was downright laughable at times last year.

"The O-line looked beautiful," Armstrong said. "It looked beautiful right now. I love the way everybody came to work. Throughout the winter workouts, everybody was bought into the team. You’ve got to embrace the Hogs and that’s what I like everybody is doing right now."

A lot of that probably has some influence from Petrino. He's bringing an attention to detail back to the Razorbacks. It really has been seen an awful lot around here since he left. That usually results in a lot of losses, which Hog fans have been forced to enduring for awhile now. All of the players have noticed.

"Go, go, go," was how Armstrong described it. "Just do everything fast, make sure you’re where you are. Make sure you got your plays down, make sure you’re in the playbook. He won’t yell at you as much as you think he does, he’ll just make sure you got the plays going. I feel like coach Petrino has come in and done and done an astonishing job of helping us learn plays and things like that."

Kendall Briles tried to do a lot of things fast, which was right after Chad Morris' "fast lane" style that just led to a massive pileup too many times. Petrino's system pays more attention to detail and playing fast just helps everyone remember those details when the games start.

New Razorbacks offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino at practice Thursday

Arkansas Razorbacks offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino at practice at the indoor center Thursday morning at the football center in Fayetteville, Ark.

Even the defensive players have noticed and defensive lineman Landon Jackson is hoping the fans will see it. They will be able to see three Saturday scrimmages this fall and it's something that could provide some energy.

"That gives us a more realistic feel," he said. "It kind of gives us that urge for game day. That's one thing I always disliked about spring ball is we're practicing, but we don't ever have nothing to look forward to at the end of the week. We don't get to play for our fans. That's something I'm really, really happy about because it's basically, we're gonna have a game every Saturday and treat that as our game. We basically get three spring games, so I'm excited for it and I'll be real excited for the fans to be able to see what they're looking forward to, be able to watch the new transfers and really see how coach Petrino is running the new offense and everything. I think it’s good for not just us but the fans as well."


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