Clay some pre spring ?'s for you

Hey Clay wanted to ask you a few questions and get your opinion on some things.

First, how do you see the head coach, staff and players bonding and do you see any signs of bad chemistry? Always a learning curve and reluctance when brining in a new staff and a team mesh…

Second, what are you most interested to see on Saturday? Could be a certain group of players, or certain position group or the whole working dynamic… I am interested to see how we integrate tempo, but still sharpen the D to be aggressive but under control. Also, I want to see us SET AN EDGE on D…

Third, do you have any concerns? And this might also be in regards to the second question. This might be the area you are most interested to see.

Last, I seem to recall that last summer Arkansas had a very different approach to the summer and start of fall practice. I believe we started every early and had no two a days. When you can, could you ask coach Morris how he plans to handle all of that. I really like the coaches getting to work with the team more in the summer sessions.

Thanks, and very much looking for to the June/July HI football preview print magazine.

It think the bond has been instant. I know players like their old coaches, but that’s what they are now, just their old coaches. They moved on. Losing makes it easy to move on. Chad Morris said he sees hungry players. Losing does that.

Chad Morris said he sees players trying to please and having fun. I hear that a lot from John Chavis and Joe Craddock. I do not think Cole Kelley thought losing weight was a good idea at first, but he has lost weight. He said he lost weight over spring break without trying to, just by eating right.

Morris is a high energy, a fun guy just by his nature. I don’t think there is any way to do anything but have fun around him. He’s building relationships every step of the way, whether it’s with players, fans, high school coaches or former players. He’s going to try to do everything he can to make it a great atmosphere, a place folks want to be at whether it’s any of those groups.

I’ll be watching the big end of the defense, watching the way things mesh from back to the front. The mesh has been painful the past several years. It did not ever seem like the secondary meshed with the front. That’s first. And, I’m going to try to watch the back end first, as Dustin Fry encouraged me to do in an interview last month. He said you will see what is happening in the front if you bring your eyes forward with where the safeties take you. So that’s something new for me. I’ve always watched the center and the guards. So that is not how you watch a spread system.

I want to see the nickel backs. I figure they will be in the nickel some even for the spring game. Derrick Munson, D’Vone McClure and Chevin Calloway are some of the guys playing there. I want to see them work and what John Chavis does with them.

The problem in the past couple of seasons has been the protections, especially at the tackle position. And, the flip side of that is the pressures from the defensive end position. Now, how you judge that is up to each person. You want to see speed off the edge and you want to see if the tackles and backs can handle the speed. Do the QBs get the ball out quickly? That helps those tackles a bunch. This will be a quick passing game team, so that’s going to help as opposed to the seven step drops in the pro passing game.

Starting last year, the NCAA eliminated two-a-day practices. They are no longer allowed. So that’s an easy question. They will have two practices next week to show players exactly how they want them to practice for the summer. And, then, there will be a five-week conditioning program before finals to get them started on what is going to be their summer regimen. So Morris does have a plan that he wants to institute in the summer and will get it going in quick fashion. There was method in the early start to spring.

Like every team, they will start August practices as early as possible, but I believe this is one week later than in the past.

Arkansas cannot begin practice until Aug. 3 this year. It was July 27 last year.