FAYETTEVILLE — New linebacker coach Taver Johnson has never taken part in one of Arkansas' spring scrimmages, which tend to go on and on under coach Bobby Petrino.
FAYETTEVILLE — New linebacker coach Taver Johnson has never taken part in one of Arkansas’ spring scrimmages, which tend to go on and on under coach Bobby Petrino.
But Johnson said he was ready when asked about the prospects of coaching his group for a long time tonight.
“Yes, yes, yes,” Johnson said. “We need tons of reps. As many reps as we can get that’s going to be fine by me. That is no problem whatsoever.”
Arkansas is scheduled to hold its first scrimmage work of the spring during a practice in Razorback Stadium this afternoon. The practice, which is scheduled to start at approximately 3:50 p.m., is the fifth of 15 this spring.
Arkansas has not said how long the workout will last, but offensive coordinator Paul Petrino described it as a half practice, half scrimmage Tuesday. The goal, he said, is to test players physically and mentally as it ends the week.
“What coach usually likes to do is practice them really hard for about an hour and get them tired and then scrimmage,” Petrino said. “See who is going to do what they’re coached to do when they’re tired. “That’s usually what that day has been.”
There will be plenty of interesting questions worth keeping track of during the open workout, which is one of three remaining before the spring game on April 21.
For instance: How well will defensive end Tenarius Wright perform at middle linebacker after moving to the position before the team left for spring break this month? Which receivers, outside of Cobi Hamilton and Chris Gragg, will emerge as dependable targets for quarterback Tyler Wilson? What will Arkansas look like at tackle with four inexperienced players working with the first-team offensive line? Will Arkansas running back Knile Davis, who is working his way back from a fractured ankle, be cleared for live tackling during tonight’s scrimmage?
“I’m just ready to get there, man,” Davis said Monday, offering his thoughts on the subject. “I don’t know what coach is going to do. I haven’t asked, he hasn’t talked to me and I really don’t care. I’m just ready to go get the first lick. It’s football. I love contact.”
But there are other important topics, too, involving players that may not garner as much attention. Several returners are trying to make their case for starting jobs or contributing roles with the 2012 season still six months away. While spots may not be won in spring ball alone, it is a chance to make an impression before the summer begins.