FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney thinks his group turned in two solid practices to begin preseason camp.
But Chaney didn’t want to get too excited about the offense after the first two days of practice for one simple reason.
“We’ve been out there in our underwear running around,” Chaney said.
That changes today, when the Razorbacks move into the next part of the NCAA’s acclimation phase. Arkansas will hit the practice fields in shoulder pads for the first time during this afternoon’s workout. They’ll be in half pads today and Thursday before moving on to their first full pads practice Friday afternoon.
The first two days have served as a lighter refresher course for the veterans after the long layoff from spring practice.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said earlier this week he wants to see how much the Razorbacks remembered from the spring and Chaney said the offense “didn’t miss a beat" Tuesday. Quarterback Brandon Allen agreed, saying the Razorbacks continue to have a good grasp of the new system.
“Most of the players, they remember the plays,” Allen said. “They didn’t just go through spring, forget it all summer and come back. They were in their playbooks all summer and that’s something that was big for us. Not having to redo the learning.”
So now it’s time for Arkansas to sprinkle in some physical play.
Today’s practice will be the first time the incoming class will have a chance to mix it up with veterans in contact work. While the Razorbacks won’t begin tackling drills until they move into full pads later this week, Chaney said the anticipation for some contact is building after working out and practicing without pads for months.
“They’re just excited about getting pads on so we can go pound on people,” Chaney said. “That will be fun to see (today).”
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau