O-Line, Pass Rush, Secondary

Insiders how convinced are you that these areas will be significantly better this season?

Be very interesting to see what they say. I am at least 700 mi from being an insider, but this is how I see it.

Oline:

Experience has to help some. How much is the question. Last year 51 was not good at pass protection. They zoomed in on him yesterday and his man ran right by him for a sack. One time thing or will it happen a lot?

Pass Rush:

The new scheme should help that. Will it? Clay had a column a week or so ago about one guy who was suppose to be a key. He asked who was behind him and the answer was no one! You cannot go into the SEC like that. It is a war of attrition. Also, will they stop the run?

Secondary:

Seem to have more play makers. Are there enough? Can they tackle? Will they tackle? See pass rush above. That is a big key to this as is the attrition.

As stated before, no way am I buying into any of this before I see it against TCU and the SEC. Before that, it is all talk and I have heard enough talk, but saw a poor SEC football team. Still from MO on this.

I have become increasingly skeptical of drawing conclusions from spring practice over the last decade and especially over the past few years.

We have seen less and less practice each year and there has become a tendency to hold guys out.

But here goes…

I would have to think the O-line is much better with Ragnow then it is without him.

From what I saw this spring, this 0-line looks better, but how good really is the defensive line.

They seem to think that Hjalte Froholdt is much, much better. That Jalen Merrick, Zach Rogers and Colton Jackson are now more ready to play and play well.

I do think the 3-4 will allow Ramsey, Harris and the other LBs to make far more plays than they did - in the backfield and in coverage.

I believe that McTelvin Agim is set to blossom and that Coach Rhoads will put him in position to do so.

I feel like it is Bijhon Jackson’s time to shine, love Austin Capps and like Michael Taylor’s potential.

Armon is a guy with size that has improved and should be ready to go now as well as TJ Smith and Briston Guidry as well

The secondary surely -surely - be better because of sheer numbers, more experience and because of the return and versatility of Kevin Richardson.

I do think that they need a couple of the other safeties to step up - be it freshman Montaric Brown or others

Here are my thoughts on the OL is that they will be improved but not be a great OL .I think

Jakson will do OK in pass blocking and when he has to reach block when he is blocking on outside runs but not be very good when drive blocking just not big and strong enough.

Hjalte is just like any young OL he struggles with anything he isn’t prepared for after his presnap read…just takes many many many game reps,he will do fine on inside runs because he can drive block well but pass blocking and outside zone where he is going to combo or reach block may give him trouble becasue of so many slants and twists you see in the SEC.

Ragnow is a veteran and is very solid and execute all blocks at a high level,

Gibson is too me a lot like Froholdt .very inconsistent and doesn’t look as strong as a run blocker…lot of improvement needed here IMO.

Wallace…just not that impressed with his feet,doesn’t get square on his man and lets the defender get outside way too easy,also plays with his weight over his toes a lot and is easily pulled off his block.

I haven’t seen enough of the others to be honest.I am a little worried to be honest…this will be a better group but If I am AA I am still not comfortable in the pocket because we just are young and inexperienced.This group will run block better than pass block IMO…Hope I am wrong but this is not one of our better OL IMO. not yet anyway

Answering with the obvious caveat that it’s spring ball.

You would expect the offensive line to be much better, even with losing Skipper. It needs to be. Ragnow is a stud. Wallace, Gibson and Froholdt are battle-tested now. They have their flaws, but they’re good physically and you’d hope the mental/experience part catches up. Colton Jackson is also good, physically. I want to see him do it in a game. That goes for the line as a whole, really.

The 3-man front should allow them to mix it up and disguise their pressures better. Getting Randy Ramsey on the field much more should help with the pass rush. Roesler at the other OLB spot has had his moments as a pass rusher. Sosa Agim should make a jump and he was already pretty good as a true freshman. The other end spot is a bit of a wildcard with some young, unproven guys competing for time. Probably won’t know how ready they are until the fall.

I am high on the Pulley, Toliver, Richardson trio, especially Pulley. He was an absolute stud any time we got to watch them this spring. I think he could have a big year. Toliver had his moments, too. Richardson is so smart and was also impressive. Like the offensive line, I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with the safeties. Probably more so, even. They have the experience, but how much have they actually improved? I want to see it in a game.

I want to point out that we may know quite a bit about the Razorbacks, but the part that is always true this time of year is that we have been totally embedded in covering one team. What is going on around the other camps is not really in my wheel house just yet. It will start to happen this summer. I always have a much better feel about the chances to win games (or be better at a position) when I know what others are going to put opposite the Razorbacks.

I think the two key games of the season happen early, TCU and Texas A&M. I know TCU has changed some things around and I would expect Gary Patterson to field a better team. But I have not studied the Horned Frogs extensively. I know A&M is trying to solve the quarterback issue. That is enough to wonder if the will be better or not. I know some key defensive players are gone, but A&M has upgraded talent and coaching on that side of the ball.