Offense progresses in strides

Posted: August 12, 2018 at 3:06 a.m.

Arkansas offensive coordinator Joe Craddock (center) instructs while quarterback Daulton Hyatt (11) and running back Devwah Whaley (21) watch during practice Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock says he is pleased with the grasp of installation by the offense.

"You could really tell that they had gotten some rest last night and had really gone back through their installs and went out and executed at a high level," Craddock said Saturday after the University of Arkansas' first scrimmage of camp. "We're not where we want to be. We're making strides in the right direction. I thought it was a good first week of camp."

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Craddock was disappointed by the total number of dropped passes -- five or six in his estimation -- and by a few pre-snap penalties Saturday.

"It's a bad press conference in front of you guys if I had to stand up here and address penalties before the snap," Craddock said.

Receiver Mike Woods had one of the drops on what would've been a 5-yard pickup on first down, but the freshman bounced back two plays later.

"He made a heck of a play on a 50-50 ball down the field," said Craddock, who also pointed out a long catch and run by Tobias Enlow that was ruled down on the 1-yard line, though he thought Enlow had scored.

Unleashed

Defensive coordinator John Chavis was free to call some of the blitzes the Razorbacks have incorporated.

"Yeah we did [turn blitzes loose]," Chavis said Saturday. "Those are things that you have to work on. We've got to work on our scheme, and the offense has to work on their scheme. We'll see some things that we can do better, and I'm sure they will, too. When we scrimmage, it's a scrimmage."

Said safety Santos Ramirez: "We did send some pressure. We didn't send all the pressures at them, but I feel like the offense did a great job of picking it up today."

Injury update

Among the top players who were held out of the scrimmage due to minor injuries were defensive end Randy Ramsey, running back Chase Hayden, and receivers Deon Stewart and Chase Harrell, who have hamstring tightness. Right tackle Brian Wallace also was given a day of rest.

Center Dylan Hays, who had been out a few days with a back issue, dressed out and was involved in some of the practice. Defensive tackle Briston Guidry is expected back Monday, Coach Chad Morris said, and guard Jalen Merrick is expected back soon.

Linebackers Alexy Jean-Baptiste and Dee Walker, and cornerback Jordon Curtis were also held out of the scrimmage for undisclosed injuries.

Defensive end Michael Taylor had cramping issues and had to come out of practice.

Movements

Junior Austin Capps made the move a couple of days ago to offensive guard after playing nose guard and defensive tackle during his first two seasons. Capps was a standout two-way player at Star City.

"That'll be a permanent move as we continue to develop depth," Coach Chad Morris said. "He's been there the past couple of days, and we got quite a few reps in there today. When I approached him, his mindset was, 'Coach, I just want to win football games,' and that's what we're looking for."

Capps took second-team reps at left guard behind Kirby Adcock on Saturday.

"Old Cappsy, man," said senior center Hjalte Froholdt, who also switched lines in 2016. "We're in the kind of situation we were in a couple of years ago when we moved me over. I think he played really well. He looked pretty smooth out there. He's not a greenie."

Redshirt freshman Montaric Brown is getting a run at cornerback.

"Montaric is doing great," safety Santos Ramirez said. "He's transitioning to corner, and he's picking up on that very well. He can run. He can hit. He's long, so he has the potential to be great out there at corner."

Long kicks

Junior Connor Limpert connected on a pair of 50-plus yard field goals, and freshman Preston Stafford made one of 50-plus yards.

"I thought our kicking game, we put those guys in some tough spots," Chad Morris said. "We worked a lot of live punt, a lot of live field-goal opportunities."

God only knows

Ryan Pulley is back to start at cornerback after missing all but the first half of the season opener against Florida A&M with a pectoral injury.

If Pulley had stayed healthy and had a big season in 2017, would he now be in an NFL training camp?

"Only the man above can have a say-so about that," Pulley said. "I can't tell you."

Football for now

Freshman quarterback Connor Noland also plans to pitch for the Arkansas baseball team. But how much he'll practice or play for the baseball team in the spring remains to be seen.

There could be conflicts with spring football practice.

"We'll just see how that goes," Dave Van Horn, the Razorbacks' baseball coach, said recently. "Obviously, we feel like if he was just playing baseball, he would be one of our top recruits and right in the middle of it. We'll see how it progresses for him with the football team and what his role is there. Is he redshirted? Is he the starter? Or somewhere in between?"

Van Horn also talked about Noland's requirements for spring football and how much stress it could put on his arm.

"We have plans for him, but I don't know," Van Horn said. "He's on a football scholarship. If he wasn't on a football scholarship, he'd be on a baseball scholarship. I would have given him a baseball scholarship. So we'll just see how that all plays out."

Pearl hats

Coach Chad Morris had input on the redesigned Razorback helmets for 2018, but not on the team's jerseys this fall.

"I guess I'm an old-school guy," Morris said. "I kind of like the look, without a doubt. I love the helmets."

Morris said the jersey orders have to be placed a year to 18 months ahead of the season, "so they just informed me of what it was going to look like. But we did talk about the helmets, kind of going back to the pearl look, which I like."

Indeed, the @RazorbackFB Twitter account described the Hogs' 2018 uniform as returning to the "Pearl Cardinal" look for the helmet, removing the white chest tusks on the jersey and moving the stripe on the pants to connect at the waist.

Sports on 08/12/2018