Razorbacks Report:

Lunney: QB road bit bumpy

By: Bob Holt , Tom Murphy
Published: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. answers questions during the school's media day Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Anthony Reyes
Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. answers questions during the school's media day Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. compares playing quarterback at a major college to the everyday task of driving.

"It's like when you first start driving. All you try to do is hold on to the wheel and push the gas and brakes the right way," Lunney said. "When you get older like we do, you're doing everything but driving the car, right?

"I'm breaking the habit. People are texting and putting makeup on with one hand and listening to the radio. It's kind of like that as quarterback. Your first year in a system, you're like, 'I'm going to make sure the verbiage is right, the call is right, and am I seeing this right?'

"And then when you get more comfortable, you're in the huddle, you call the play, you know what you're doing. You can say, 'Hey, Z. Line up right.' It becomes natural to you."

Lunney used the reference while discussing how junior quarterback Brandon Allen has improved heading into his second season as a starter. Then he asked reporters for a little help.

"Can you be sure to let my wife [Janelle] know in the paper that I'm breaking the habit [of doing other things while driving]?" Lunney asked.

Team captains

Defensive end Trey Flowers, safety Alan Turner, offensive tackle Brey Cook and quarterback Brandon Allen were announced as team captains late Thursday by Coach Bret Bielema. Cook, Flowers and Turner are all seniors, while Allen is a redshirt junior. All are first-time captains.

Slug and shake

Cornerback Carroll Washington said he and receiver Drew Morgan have made up after their brief flare-up late in Wednesday's practice, which ended with Morgan getting in the last punch.

"It was actually pretty funny afterwards," Washington said. "I mean, that's my brother at the end of the day. We actually shook hands when we got in the locker room and said, 'Man, you know, we're good.' "

Defensive coordinator Robb Smith said the key to getting past the fracas, which happened during a two-minute drill, was keeping an eye on the ultimate goal.

"You have only so many opportunities on the field to get better, and you don't want to waste your time dealing with shenanigans like that," Smith said.

Scrimmage details

Fans attending today's scrimmage must enter Reynolds Razorback Stadium through Gate 1 on the west side. The gate opens at 2 p.m. and fans must sit in the west side stands. Fans will be allowed to bring in food and beverages, and bottled water will be on sale. Some restrooms will be open.

Throwdown?

Bobby Petrino is accused of having an altercation with an Arkansas assistant coach in a Sports Illustrated article.

Two people connected to the Arkansas program during Petrino's tenure (2008-2011) told SI they witnessed Petrino throw defensive line coach Bobby Allen to the ground.

Petrino was upset, the article states, because during practice a defensive lineman threw an offensive lineman into another lineman, risking injury.

Petrino, now Louisville's coach, denied to SI the incident happened. Allen, Arkansas' director of NFL and high school relations, declined comment to SI. Through an Arkansas spokesman, Allen also declined comment to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Turner returns

Safety Alan Turner was back at practice Friday morning after being treated for an eye infection that led to a scratch on his eye.

"His vision's getting better, and I tell you what, he's got some fresh legs too," defensive backs coach Clay Jennings said. "He's showing some range out there, breaking on a couple of balls and keeping stuff in front of him."

Looking good

JaMichael Winston has been working as a starting defensive end with Deatrich Wise sidelined by a knee sprain and Brandon Lewis slowed as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery.

"He's really come a long way since the spring," defensive line coach Rory Segrest said. "You can see he's got his mind made up that he's wanting to get it done the right way.

"He's a powerful guy. He's gotten a lot quicker even since the spring. He's shown some flashes, and I feel pretty good with where he is at this point.

Viva Toliver

Freshman cornerback Henre Toliver, who took first-team reps for a few series last Saturday, continues to impress the coaching staff in his bid for early playing time.

Toliver had an interception in Friday's morning practice while lined up against Drew Morgan on a deep pass.

"A guy that I see improving lately is Henre Toliver," defensive coordinator Robb Smith said. "He's a guy that we have to continue to push and see what he can do and where he can help us."

Dog days

With two-a-days in full stride, today's scrimmage is partly about battling through fatigue, Arkansas coaches said.

"This is kind of the dog days of camp this week," defensive coordinator Robb Smith said. "It's a great opportunity for us to develop mental and physical toughness.

"Guys are sore coming off the last scrimmage. Your legs start to get a little bit tired, but with the mental and physical toughness we've had, now it's got to show up and be there on Saturday as well."

Whoops

Linebacker Daunte Carr's momentum took him into quarterback Brandon Allen for a soft sack during Wednesday's night practice. The unintentional bump -- quarterbacks are off limits in practice -- left Allen on his backside, but it didn't cause an outburst from any coach, unlike the days of Bobby Petrino.

"I definitely didn't mean to tackle Brandon," Carr said Friday. "He's a great player and you don't want to get him hurt or anything like that."

Allen laughed off the light collision.

"Sometimes they rush so hard and they get an occasional push in the back from the line or something," Allen said. "It's not a big deal. They're all trying to pull up. Sometimes they trip, they fall. It's not a big deal."

Carr laughed when asked if the response from coaches would have been a lot different a few years ago.

"It would have been a much different response," he said.

Nickel back

Arkansas is looking at several players as the nickel back, with Carroll Washington leading the way, and fellow corners Cornelius Floyd, D.J. Dean, Will Hines and Henre Toliver taking reps at the extra coverage position.

"We're very fluid at that position," Robb Smith said. "At the end of the day, it will be a very detailed plan based upon the opponent and what we'll do."

Sports on 08/16/2014

Discussion