Photographs by Ben Goff
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, right, and defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads talk to players during a game against TCU on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
FAYETTEVILLE Follow along for updates from Bret Bielema, Dan Enos and Paul Rhoads' press conferences.
— Done a lot of evaluation since Saturday. Went through film Sunday with coordinators, which is a change-up. Normally they just watch a few plays with coordinators and the rest with position coaches. Watched film again Tuesday with position coaches. "A double-dip effect to show how important this game was." ... "It wasn't all negative. There were a lot of positives."
— Talk about a 12 percent rule they try to hold themselves under offensively, includes turnovers and penalties. Were under 3 percent the other day. Were at 17 percent Saturday.
— Got a lot of messages from kids and coaches about what they're going to do better. Had a meeting yesterday and told them he didn't need Superman to show up, he just needs them to play like how they do during the week.
— Have to put players in position to do best. "It's not like we need to go out and have a free agency market." Players just need to play better."
— Healthier now than before the TCU game.
— Haven't been able to practice full speed the way they want until now.
— Will have 2 days of Texas A&M prep this week.
— Jared Cornelius hasn't been able to practice in spring and fall camp. He's now cleared for practice today and is intent on doing that. Did some uncharacteristic things Saturday. He, Jordan Jones, Jonathan Nance and Deon Stewart are working with the ones. T.J. Hammonds, De'Vion Warren, Jarrod Barnes, La'Michael Pettway and maybe Tobias Enlow with the twos. Want to settle more with the ones with TEs too. Jeremy Patton, Austin Cantrell and C.J. O'Grady will work with the one offense.
— In today's age more than ever, an offense with tempo can get hot and erase leads. Our lack of production offensively is something you have to be aware of. "If there's something that needs attention, we need to respond to it."
— Second-half offensive struggles are different than last year, because they played well in the first half of both Missouri and Virginia Tech games. Lot of moving parts with WRs and TEs. "The ability to make a play when it matters is big." Missed a few big plays offensively and defensively, too, with some third downs.
— Losing Rawleigh Williams hurt. Doing a good job coaching. Don't like the fact Chase Hayden only got 2 carries. That takes some assessment as well.
— Want the offensive line to keep getting better. The more they can bring along both tackle spots with consistency will be good. Ty Clary will have some bumps, but has done good.
— Felt better about 12 and 11 personnel going in, but 21, feel good about both fullbacks. That's a package you definitely have to look at.
— Want the TEs to get more reps to adjust to the speed of the game. Need to be big in big moments. Got after Austin Cantrell for a holding call and he ran out of bounds for what would've been a TD.
— Nothing on the film they couldn't correct.
— TCU's a team that'll win games that they went toe to toe for. Every phase could've won those games.
— He votes in the coaches poll. Thinks polls are based more off last year and who you play. Alabama deserves to be 1 all the time until someone proves different. Thinks the SEC East has picked up the pace. Moved to this conference because he wanted to be the best there is and doesn't think anything has changed.
— Would never be asked about physical practices if you sat in on practice. Learning to strain for that extra little bit can turn a 10-yard run to a TD.
— RB rotation-wise, he was surprised Hayden wasn't in more during the game. TCU was bringing pressures and they wanted to protect QB, but they need to get Hayden better at that so he can be on the field.
— Have to get better inside the 5-yard line.
— Liked the defense's demeanor. Missed the second FG and he was gut-punched, but every defensive starter was on the field going crazy. Defensive staff ignited their ability to have confidence and play well.
— If they did a FG right now, it'd be whoever does the best the next 2 weeks.
— Didn't call Hedlund juvenile, said the miss was juvenile. Over the last 3 years, "there has been no bigger supporter of Cole Hedlund than myself." Have to take into account performance in front of a crowd.
— They want to be successful. Don't think people realize how much it means to an 18-21 year old kid to get support. If people sat there and said "Go Hogs" they might feel better. Being positive instead of negative would help people feel better.
— Thought Bielema wanted players to hear one voice when watching film together as entire units. Got through entire game and pointed out some positives and negatives.
— Austin Allen has played a lot better. He was real disappointed with how he played. When you're the QB, it gets magnified. He's created high expectations for himself. There's not one thing to pinpoint. "He's got to play faster, in my opinion. He's thinking too much." Trying to process too much. "We've got to get him to play instinctive, play faster." Missed some throws he normally doesn't. There were some technical issues on deep balls they were able to show him on film. Have confidence in him, but he needs to play better, they need to play better around him and they have to coach better.
— Some things with his follow through were off about his deep ball. Juxtaposed it with film from camp and deep balls. Misses on some deep balls Saturday were all mechanics.
— Chase Hayden didn't get in, in part because ever really got into sync. Would've liked 15 more plays for the offense. They thought David Williams sort of had the hot hand. They need to get Hayden more carries and he will next game.
— Referenced T.J. Hammonds as a fourth tailback. "We maybe need to get him in one spot permanently. He's got a lot on his plate." Going to use the bye week to get him more reps at WR, because we need his explosiveness. "I think he'll have a significant role before the season ends."
— Banged-up WRs have made it difficult to get continuity. Need to settle in on guys who are going to be in there with the ones and continually develop the younger guys. Some young guys, including Hammonds, Jarrod Barnes and Gary Cross, that need to keep being brought along until they have confidence they'll know where to line up and be.
— "We were inconsistent" in the run game. At times, were really good blocking guys. TCU is a really good defensive football team. There was a lot blitzing. A couple of them were structure were TCU made good calls, some they got physically beat and some the offense did well. Would've liked to have run the ball 8-9 more times, because he thinks they were physically wearing them down but they didn't have the ball long enough.
— Scoreless second halves were about not converting in the red zone and turnovers. "This is my third season here and we've scored a lot of points in the second half and overtime."
— Some of the issues were on Allen, some were on WRs. Had some drops, Cantrell lost track of where he was. Had enough reps that there should be a high confidence level. We've been running the same stuff and kept it simple.
— Cheyenne O'Grady has done a nice job. Played with good strain and was better in the run game vs TCU. Moving toward being an every down TE. Showed emotion, competitiveness they hadn't seen Saturday.
— Will probably start the same guys on the OL. Inside is playing well. The edges have been inconsistent. Both of them got beat off the edge. Frank Ragnow was outstanding, Hjalte Froholdt was good and Ty Clary continues to get better.
— Thought Allen's late frustration was a culmination of the whole afternoon.
— Had a missed assignment on one goal-line play and the other was a structure issue, which is his fault.
— Didn't ask Allen why he got a haircut. "As a good coach and supporter, I told him he looked very nice." ... "Maybe he just wanted to get a fresh start."
— Thinks the open date gives you the luxury of spending a little more time on corrections. They were able to do that as a defensive unit.
— The more you watch and see film, the more you'll be exposed to. Confident they got a lot of great learning.
— Thought the defense played "good not great. And as literature would tell us, good is the enemy of great. And we want to play great." Played good enough to keep them in the game, want to play well enough to secure victory.
— Said "third-and-1" 5 times. Result of poor first and second down defense. Had opportunities on third-and-medium and long.
— Santos Ramirez is playing at a very high level. "I would not say he played great because of enough missed tackles." Had a couple in the middle and a few late. As ugly as the late TD was, the kids were trying to strip the ball which is the only way to change it. The interception was a big-time play.
— Kamren Curl did really well in his first start. "Not surprising to any of us who watch him on the practice field ever day." Noticed him when he got beat deep and the WR dropped it. Didn't notice him much of the rest of the game, which can be the sign of a good CB.
— Don't think Dre Greenlaw played a great game being involved with 17 tackles because he could have had 20 plus. He's one of the playmakers on the unit and has to make plays when he has opportunities.
— Grant Morgan is an instinctive player. He's having to do that playing both LB spots. "You'll probably see Grant Morgan on the field more as the season goes along." Can provide breaks for the starters.
— "I thought we held up very well physically. Better than a year ago at this point in the season." Gassed at the end of the first half last year and tired for most of the second. Never sensed that Saturday. For the second game of the season, thought we played fast.
— Four guys deep at CB. De'Andre Coley creates a rotation at safety. Kevin Richardson and Josh Liddell at the nickel, with Micahh Smith potentially figuring in. Morgan a backup at inside LB. The defensive line rotated through 8 guys, which is how they want to play. Want to keep them fresh and keep morale high.
— Ramirez causes fumbles that way often during practice.
— Curl has maturity and it continues to show. "He's got a great physical presence, too. He doesn't look like your typical freshman CB." Asking him to do the same stuff they're asking Henre' Toliver do.
— Defensive linemen taking their time coming off the field when the offense substitutes was by design. "If I'm sending a defensive lineman out on the field, none of our DL know who he's coming in for." They have the opportunities to match substitution.
— It's more tiring to sprint out as a DL if you're asking them to go on the field sooner rather than later.
— "What is social media?" when asked about negativity online. Doesn't buy into social media. Kids are online. Leadership of the team has to steer them away from negativity appropriately. Haven't seen anything from the kids' mindset that's disturbed him. Nobody's more upset about the loss for their kids.
— Getting an early look at their opponent for the third straight game "is huge." Was very beneficial in the TCU game, regardless of the outcome and score. How they were able to align was better.
— Recruits pay a lot less attention to wins and loss than maybe people think. Just as many times, they got the kid when they lost when they were a head coach as they didn't when they win. If it mattered, kids would be decommitting on a weekly basis.
— Liked seeing Bijhon Jackson stick up for Bielema on Twitter. He's not the only one. "Our kids have been phenomenal since January." "I knew the meeting Sunday would be sensational" because they were ready to be coached.
— Saw Kellen Mond improve. Much more confident in game two than game one. Showed his arm strength and ability to throw accurately. Knew he could run after game one, but showed he can throw too. Team has responded around him.
— Have to get ready for A&M's offense. It is what it is, regardless of QB. That's what we have to get prepared for.
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