Practice observations - 10/9

We went inside Walker Pavilion today for Arkansas’ 20-minute open practice. Not a ton to report, but…

Running back Devwah Whaley, right guard Johnny Gibson and defensive back Britto Tutt were all in green jerseys today. Whaley, as you probably know, sustained a concussion against Auburn and has missed the last two games. Chad Morris said he expects Whaley back this weekend. Gibson and Tutt’s statuses are unknown right now. Gibson’s injury could be a hand/wrist. Usually offensive linemen in green are able to go through sled work, but today he watched off to the side and kind of mimicked the motions on air. Santos Ramirez, who suffered a stinger in the loss to Alabama, was back at practice and appears to be fine.

I was also keeping a close eye on Ty Storey and Cole Kelley throwing to receivers early on. Storey is obviously best throwing the ball on intermediate routes. He’s completing 62 percent of throws from 0-9 yards downfield this season, per He threw several balls 15-20 yards downfield today that didn’t exactly flutter, but there weren’t a whole lot of zip on the balls either. Mike Woods, La’Michael Pettway and Chase Harrell were getting a lot of work with Storey and Kelley from what I was able to see.

I love Storey’s grittiness for sure but we are going to have get a QB that can make all the throws! that can zip balls into tight coverage and IMO Noland is the man I just hope he gets a true shot to display that.the throw he made form Hash to hash is a throw Storey can’t throw…love the guy but for this offense to really take off we need a stronger arm.
you have seen them practice and pretty sure Nolands arm is as good as Kelleys or pretty close and he can run faster than Storey as well.

We need to be able to make them respect the deep throw for sure, but we need accuracy most of all. There has not been a game this year where the other team did not have a more accurate passer. Tulsa may be our only hope for that to change during the second half of the season. With our skill set at receiver, there will not be great receiver separation from defenders and throwing behind them will not work well at all. Of course it is hard to be accurate or step well into a throw when the rush is in your face, but that is only part of the problem. Remember, the Pettway catch on his back! He was wide open, Ty was ten yards away, there was no rush, and he threw it way behind Pettway. Great catch of a really bad throw.

Ty is playing better but a lot of that is the play calling has gotten him some easier throws as they add more plays and when he scrambles, some receivers come more open as the defenders come up to stop his run. The threat of screens did a lot to help the O-line slow down the rush and they are blocking some better. This offense will really take off when they get an accurate passer with running ability who can make them respect the deep throw @ QB.

After three weeks I broke down the quarterbacks’ passing by distance. does a good job of this, too. Their Twitter account sent this out yesterday evening:

29.6% on 20+ yard throws will not scare many opponents. This pretty much confirms my previous post.