VIDEO: Chad Morris, new coordinators talk about Hogs' 2018 staff

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Arkansas coach Chad Morris speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas coach Chad Morris speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Fayetteville.

Everything Chad Morris, Joe Craddock, John Chavis and Trumain Carroll said:

Chad Morris

-Morris is extremely excited about the direction of his staff. Still working on hiring some support staff. When you put together a staff you look for quality people. You always have a list in your mind of guys who have a great reputation across the country. You always admire a complete body of work.

-Football is what we do, it's not what we are. If you recruit the right players and surround them with the right staff then you can win games and be successful.

-You've got to stay on cutting edge nowadays in college football. Do they fit what I want to do? When you finalize a group of men and women, you look at what kind of talent evaluators are they?

-We're extremely excited about Chavis, and happy to have he and his wife on board. What I was looking for was someone that was going to disrupt the quarterback, be multiple and be able to take the secondary and tie it into the front and pressures. John's experience is very valuable.

-Joe Craddock was our OC at SMU. Joe and Morris go back a long time. We want to run the football. We'll be a two-back, run-first shot back offense.

-Jeff Traylor will coach running backs, Justin Stepp will coach receivers, Barry Lunney at tight ends, Dustin Fry on the offensive line.

-Chavis is the DC and will coach linebackers, Steve Caldwell has defensive ends, Ron Cooper in the secondary, John Scott will work with interior defensive line, and the 10th assistant is Mark Smith, who was part of the staff at SMU and recruiting operator.

-John's name always came up. I had a great in as far as getting in with John. Played against John in a bowl game. Morris and Chavis started talking and went over what gives Arkansas problems offensively.

-It wasn't until the Christmas holidays and when we got back into the final 10-12 days when Morris and Chavis got to knowing each other and his family. He fits the mold of being a great person, and his rep as a coach - 81 draft picks - that's how the whole thing grew. Talked 10-15 minutes throughout the course of the holidays whether about deer hunting or anything. Didn't necessarily talk football.

-When I was at Clemson, Joe Craddock was our GA. I brought Joe to SMU, and we worked hand-in-hand. We work together in the playcalling. He's on the headsets and calling the plays, but if I say "hey, let's take a shot here," then that's how the communication will work. I couldn't quite be the head coach I wanted to be 100 percent as the playcaller. There were areas that were being deficient because my attention wasn't on that side of the ball.

-Dustin Fry is another guy that's been with us. He's knows how to relate to players very well. Dustin has a great mind and has really benefited us.

-Our ability to turn SMU around in the 2.5-3 years we did was strictly about getting the right fit of players in there. It's got to start and end with recruiting.

-Tanner Burns is an off the field coach that I've retained. He had a majority of special teams duties the last few years. Special teams will come out of his office, but everyone will have a special teams responsibility. Barry Lunney will coach tight ends and have some responsibilities with kickers and punters.

-There's not a stone in this program that's going to be turned over without me knowing something about it.

-When you start looking at uniforms and all that, it's about recruiting.

-Really excited about the roster after some meetings. Arkansas has a lot of young guy and lot of players have swung through the office and met the staff. They don't want to be home again during Christmas. It's not fun watching bowl games when you're not playing in it. There's a lot of excitement. We've got to change some things we do in the weight room. That's probably going to be the biggest shock.

-We've got a couple of guys that can "run a hole in the wind."

-Morris thinks Arkansas is going to sign 6-8 more for the upcoming class and address some needs at OL, secondary and defensive end. If there's a great football player out there regardless of position then we want him.

John Chavis - Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach

-There's some personnel here. Is everything in place? No. There's always some issues. I don't care how good your football team is, you've got some issues to deal with. It may be a lack of talent or depth, but you've got to cover up those things. There's some really good talent here. Is there talent enough to win 14 games here? Not last year. No question there's talent here.

-We'll continue to evaluate through spring practice, and at the end we'll know more about where we are. We know there's some areas we have to help ourselves in this recruiting cycle.

-Loyalty has been a big part of me. Ended up coaching 10 years at two schools in Alabama, hired at Tennessee by coach Johnny Majors and so on. In terms of looking at a body of work, when you start having great success, that's when the continuity is there.

-I feel great. I've seen Arkansas from the other side, and coach Morris and I talked about this when we were discussing the job. When we played in 2011, that was as fine an Arkansas team as I'd ever seen. I've seen the caliber teams Arkansas can fit. Knowing that, that it's possible, I know what it can be like here. I'm excited to be part of the staff to be part of the staff that gets Arkansas back where it can be.

-Steve Caldwell was a big part of what we did at Tennessee. You're not going to find a better recruiter or coach in the country.

-I don't think I can solve all the problems anywhere. But we have a model. I think you've got to be multiple, but we're going to base out of a 4-down front. If you can recruit the right speed on the edge then you can get to the quarterback even quicker. We'll play out of some 3-down sets as well.

-For every problem they give us we're going to do what we can to give them problems, too.

-I've always been challenged. There will be a day when I say I can't give the kids what they need, but that' not now. I've still got a burning passion. I know I can motivate and develop players. When I feel like I can't do that, send me off into the sunset. I've got a lot of football left in me. I'm not going to cheat the game or the players.

-We're seeing a lot of fast-paced offense and the RPO game. But it's still football. You've got to get off blocks and make tackles. That part of the game hasn't changed.

-Chavis has always had "keep opponent under 300 total yards" on his defensive goal board. He's modified it a bit with the way offenses are now. You've got to be able to get off the field on third down.

-It was important to stay in the SEC. I love the SEC. I couldn't be any more excited to be at Arkansas and part of the SEC.

Joe Craddock - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach

-We're going to train a little differently and we've got some weight to lose for this new kind of offense.

-Didn't envision everything moving so fast for he and Morris.

-We got to look at some of the personnel and what our immediate needs are. I'm really excited about what we have. We didn't have a single tight end on the roster when we got to SMU. He's really excited about what Arkansas has coming back.

-We've got back and looked at a lot of practices with the quarterbacks. He's talked to some of the guys in the group. Cole needs to drop a little weight. Not a big deal, but needs to happen. The QB competition is going to be wide open. We're not going to judge based on a different system and style. We want a winner.

-Morris and I worked hand in hand, but I know it was hard for him to hand over the offense to me. I wouldn't want to be him. He's got a lot on his plate.

-One of the biggest things that comes to mind if family. We truly are about that, and you can see that by who coach Morris brought with him. We had a huge turnaround at SMU. I'm excited about my staff, and I've been around them for a few years now. Makes for an easy transition.

-Very excited about the running backs group with Devwah Whaley, T.J. Hammonds and Chase Hayden.

-We want a big guy on the offensive line that can move. It's a fast-paced offense, but in the run game he's got to be able to move and have some flexibility.

-On the receivers: I do think there's a lot of talent there. The speed, you have to recruit that, but I think we have enough of it. We've got to get some bigger guys in here. I'm excited about those guys. They're looking forward to the new offense and the style of play.

-Craddock is a quarterback and likes to throw the football, but knows Arkansas has to run the football. We've got to recruit to that. Even one of our pass plays has a run option to it.

Trumain Carroll - Strength and Conditioning Coach

-We're not going to make our guys bodybuilders.

-Skill guys have to be able to make guys miss. We want teams to chase our speed.

-Carroll said the nutrition center on campus is probably the finest on any campus in the country.

-If we grind guys and run them in the dirt Monday-Friday then they won't be able to go on Saturday and you guys will be trying to run me out of here soon.

-Everyone wants to bring something different. Arkansas has a certified yoga instructor. We can't give all the secrets, but coach Morris is all about it. You run the least chance of being injured if you're as flexible as possible.

-You want to begin with the end in mind and evaluate guys. We're going to treat every guy from a freshman to a senior as a blank slate. We're not going to take the SMU program and implement it here.

-I wish we could start next week. The week following is when we'll start with combine testing. These young guys are driven by results. You give them feedback on their progressions. We'll have a six-week period prior to spring ball where we're going to ramp it up.

-I think we need to upgrade as far as the weight room. We'll put a plan together on that. Down the road, in the SEC West and across the country, those programs are making improvements.

-I'm who I need to be in the weight room. I'm different on different days. I'm a yeller and screamer, but I take the temperature of the room. If the energy is low then I'm going to be bouncing off the walls. We feed off each other. We're going to make sure the plan is outlined and all they have to do is bring the energy.

-As you come in, you talk about speed and how much force you apply to the ground. We're going to get guys a little bigger but that will translate to body mass. Any mass they add on is muscle mass.


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