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Petrino At The Podium

Here’s a rundown of Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino’s comments:

* Petrino opened by wishing his wife a happy 26th anniversary.  He said it doesn’t seem that long ago that he and his wife were driving down the highway on their honeymoon “singing ‘Put me in coach.”  (That’s John Fogerty’s “Centerfield,” of course.)

* Petrino said three things give the Hogs a chance to succeed:

1.  “Our experience and our depth.”  Petrino said he’s excited about his senior class.  He believes the experience and depth will give UA a chance to win games “on the road and in the fourth quarter.”

2.  “I really feel like we’re a fast football team.”  The speed at the skill positions “give us an opportunity to be a special offense.”

3.  “I’m very impressed with our football team’s mindset.”  Petrino said his team understands how play and how to practice.

* Asked how he’s able to “plug in” quarterbacks who continue to put up great numbers, Petrino praised Tyler Wilson first.  The coach said he likes his preparation and leadership.  Finally, he answered the question: “I think when you look at our success in coaching quarterbacks, one thing I really believe in is it’s our job to find out what they do well and ask them to do that.”  Petrino says he and his coaches set the playbook aside “and develop the offense around the quarterback.”

* Petrino said “They’re changed, we already changed ‘em,” when asked about Ryan Mallett’s decision to reveal some Arkansas hand signals to Jon Gruden on ESPN.  “I wasn’t real happy with him,” the coach said with a smile.  “But he called me up and apologized and he gave us a few ideas for some new hand signals, so that always helps.”

* Petrino is excited to see tailback Knile Davis “take a step forward” and make progress over last year. 

* “In this conference everybody has good players.  And something we learned as a football team a year ago is it takes a team to win games.  We’ll be as good as our team chemistry and our team leadership because everyone we compete with is going to have very good football players, too.”

* “I’m excited for our defense this year because I feel it’s the first time we’re physically where we need to be on the defensive front.”

* Petrino said he would be fine with Mike Slive’s suggestion to make academic requirements tougher.  “I kind of agree with the thought of ‘let’s toughen the college requirements.’  Let’s make these guys all take the same classes their freshman year.  Let’s take care of our business in college.”

* The coach said the thing that he’s always believed separates the SEC from other conferences is the defensive front.  “The speed and athleticism on the edges and the size and athleticism inside.  I found that out when I came back as a head coach in the league that that was true.  That is one of the big differences.”  He went on to say the SEC offensive linemen have a hard job to do going against such big, talented D-linemen.

* Asked if he thought UA would make so much progress so quickly, Petrino said he thought he might’ve been able to turn things around even quicker.  The coach said he likes having high expectations.

* “You have to have depth at tailback.  And it’s real important that throughout the season you continue to work that depth.  As the year goes on, the running backs are the guys that take all the big hits.  Generally, you have a running back that’s hot and he has some big games, maybe three big games.  And then he gets dinged up a little bit.  You’ve got to put the next guy in there and not miss a beat.”

More to come…



Thanks for the report John. You may want to update a typo. Feel free to delete the comment.

* Petrino said he would be fin(d) with making academic requirements tougher.



Already caught it, but I'll warn everyone... over the next three days I'm going to be typing feverishly. Expect some typos. (I also initially wrote Tyler Wright -- an ex-NHL player that I knew -- instead of Tyler Wilson.) When you're listening and typing and thinking about what to type next, things can get tricky.

Thanks for reading the site,

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