The Razorbacks’ bye week has come and gone but with the exception of a rare Friday and Saturday off the work pretty much continued. Head coach Chad Morris noted that last week’s workouts were more about players who will contribute next year while letting his starters “get their legs back.”
With no game on Saturday Morris sent his coaches on the recruiting trail on Friday. Saturday was all about letting his staff have a rare in-season day off.
“It’s important just to change the routine,” Morris said during his Monday press conference. “Just get away from it. Saturday we gave everybody the day off so the coaches had a chance to stay home with their families.”
Morris watched his son Chandler play high school football in Texas Friday night. Saturday the two headed for the woods to hunt but Morris said the day was more about spending time with his son than trying to shoot deer.
“Chandler and I just got away and went and sat in a deer stand,” Morris recalled. “I didn’t even have any bullets in my gun. I had no desire. I just wanted to sit out there and see some deer and some hogs. Was waiting to help Chandler clean a deer if he shot one but he didn’t shoot one either.”
Morris’ defensive coordinator did not arrive back home from recruiting until the early morning hours on Saturday. John Chavis said he slept about three hours and then got up to eat the breakfast that his wife had left for him.
“I was home by myself so I made myself a pork chop sandwich that my wife had cooked and put in the freezer,” Chavis explained in answer to a reporter’s question. “All I had to do was put it in the microwave and I had a pork chop sandwich at about six-fifteen in the morning. Then I laid back down for a couple of hours and said I wasn’t going to look at any football but I did. I kind of missed it so I watched a whole lot of football.”
Chavis was then asked his reaction to Morris’ trip to the deer woods with no ammunition in his rifle.
“I didn’t get a chance to go myself but that’s okay. When I do go deer hunting you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to have some bullets in the gun,” Chavis answered as the room broke out in laughter.
Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock explained that as a bow hunter he doesn’t need ammunition, “just arrows.” Craddock spent the day at home with his wife Abby. The couple is expecting the birth of their son Cain sometime later this week. He also used the time to take his young daughter Charlie shopping.
“I tried to spoil her a little bit more before the baby gets here,” Craddock admitted, “so we bought her some winter clothes. We also watched some football. One of Charlie’s favorite things to do is watch football with her dad.”
So how will Cain’s impending birth impact Craddock’s coaching this week?
“When we had Charlie she actually came on Tuesday morning before our last game a couple of years ago,” Craddock recalled. “That was tougher because we weren’t coming off of a bye week and that’s the beginning of the week when your game planning goes in. This week we really want everything in by Tuesday because we’re ahead of things with the bye week. I’m striving to have everything in before that happens on what looks like Thursday or maybe later.”
Based on the reaction of his players on Sunday Morris said having Friday and Saturday off seems to have charged their batteries.
“I asked them, ‘How many of you watched football?’ Because I encouraged them to get away from football,” Morris explained. “Man, a room full of hands went up. Some of them said, ‘Coach I did it all day long. Couldn’t wait to get back in here. Missed competing.’ That was the big message. So I told ’em, ‘We have 20 days remaining. We’re going to sign a one-day contract for 20 days.’ ”