Hogs offense Lacks Focus As Pads Come on

FAYETTEVILLE--While Razorback defensive coaches were happy with Wednesday's first day in pads the same was not true on the other side of the ball.  "We were just sloppy everywhere," offensive coordinator Jim Chaney revealed. "It was like we put pads on, started playing and we forgot all the details of our assignments."

Since the defense had performed well on Wednesday it might be assumed that the offensive problems were related to that but offensive line coach Sam Pittman said the issues were self inflicted. "We have high expectations for our offense and very, very high expectations for our offensive line," Pittman declared. "If we don't go out there and dominate someone and get after somebody then we don't feel like it was very good and we didn't yesterday."

Junior quarterback Brandon Allen said the offense had surrendered to fatigue. "We were a little bit tired and we didn't come out with the right mindset and ready to work," Allen said while pointing out that Thursday's workout represented a complete turnaround. "Today we had the right mindset and we performed a lot better."

The number one goal on the offensive side of the ball this coming season is to seriously reduce the kind of busted assignments that plagued this team in Bret Bielema's first season at Arkansas. Allen said he can already see a big difference telling the Razorback Nation, "All summer we worked our butts off trying to get into the playbook more. Even the younger guys, trying to get them caught up. The amount of missed assignments compared to this time last year is is night and day different. We've got such a better understanding of the offense."

Allen will have a number of new targets to throw this season but none more intriguing than quarterback turned tight end A.J. Derby. Head coach Bret Bielema is so fired up with what he's seen from Derby so far that he's predicting Derby will be one of the top stories in college football this season.

"I didn't read that," Derby said with a chuckle, "but that's pretty cool. We'll just hope the season goes well and we get a lot of wins and everything will fall into place if it does."

As for Bielema's stated intention to move Derby back to quarterback if anything were to keep Allen from playing, Derby said, "I just do whatever the coaches ask me to do. If they want me to make sure I know the checks (at quarterback) I'll be able to do that in a worse case scenario."

Asked if he had gotten any work at quarterback in camp Derby told reporters, "I haven't taken any quarterback reps so far."

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