Razorbacks report:

Chavis talks up future

By: Tom Murphy Tom Murphy's Twitter account
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis talks to players during a game against Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Fayetteville.
( Ben Goff)
Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis talks to players during a game against Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis has spoken at his weekly news conference the past two weeks with a positive eye to the future.

On Monday, Chavis praised the atmosphere and crowd at Saturday's 24-17 loss to LSU, then mentioned, "Really, I can't wait to when we get this thing where we pack that stadium. I've been here when it has been packed on the other sideline. Certainly we've got to get this program back to that."

On Nov. 5, Chavis praised the energy around the Arkansas-LSU rivalry in the early years of the 2010s when he was at LSU, saying, "It was a game when we -- when I was on the other side -- had to win to keep our hopes alive. That's what we've got to do, get Arkansas back to that standard where we're going to have an opportunity to play for championships, and that's when rivalries really come alive."

He also discussed his eagerness to recruit during the open week, and also leaving his alma mater Tennessee after spending 21 years there and moving on to LSU, Texas A&M and Arkansas.

"You take advantage of the opportunities you've got, and I'm Arkansas through and through," he said. "I'm excited about what we can do and excited about the direction we're going.

Chavis is making $995,000 this season as the highest-paid football assistant in school history.

His recent comments make it sound as if he plans to exercise the option in his contract that would extend his deal for two more years, with a hefty raise that would pay him well over $1 million.

Per his employment agreement, Chavis would have to notify Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek in writing on or before Dec. 1 of his intention to take the two-year extension.

Asked by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Monday whether he planned to re-up with the Razorbacks, Chavis said, "I haven't told Chad [Morris] that, but he and I will have a talk, and I'm not going to make an announcement. I'm at Arkansas, and I think that's enough said. I plan on being here a while."

Busy week

Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock's wife, Abby, gave birth to the couple's second child, son Joe Cain Craddock V, about 10:30 p.m. Thursday -- less than 48 hours before the Razorbacks played LSU.

"I have a really tough wife," Craddock said. "So I don't have to worry about many things at home. I told the guys, 'My focus is here trying to help us win and beat a top 10 team.' I was at every meeting and did everything I needed to do and still was able to ... welcome Cain into the world.

"My wife is unbelievable. She's definitely the backbone of our family and kept everything in line while I was away."

Craddock said his mother-in-law took his wife and baby home shortly before the Arkansas-LSU game kicked off.

"We had a few complications at the hospital," Craddock said. "There was obviously a lot of thought for my family, but also I know these guys here are counting on me and my wife knew that as well. She texted me when I was asking her how she was doing. She said, 'Don't worry about me. You get those boys ready.' That's the kind of woman she is."

The Craddocks also have a daughter, Charlie, who turns 2 on Nov. 22.

Sliding Nick

Many football fans were asking themselves and others why LSU tailback Nick Brossette slid to the ground twice in the late going at Arkansas with the potential to score touchdowns inside the Arkansas 10-yard line.

The moves preserved LSU's 24-17 victory. A touchdown and a successful extra point in the final minute would have allowed LSU to cover the betting line, which was 13.5 points.

LSU Coach Ed Orgeron applauded the move in his postgame remarks.

"It's a down and down to run out the clock," Orgeron said. "That's the situation and we practice it."

The strange part of that tactic, however, was LSU didn't kneel down after the first slide at the Arkansas 7 at the end of a 16-yard gain with about 50 seconds left. Brossette also appeared to slide at the end of a 6-yard run on the next snap. The Tigers still didn't kneel for the final play, as Brosette ran between the tackles and was stopped at the 1 by Jamario Bell.

On Monday, one of Brossette's teammates defended the move, which assured the clock would keep running as Arkansas had no timeouts.

"I was one of the first people to get to Nick when he slid, and I thought it was an exceptional move," tight end Foster Moreau told The (Baton Rouge) Advocate. "Was there a 13-point spread? Yes. Did we win the game? Yes."

Moreau said he sat on the return flight near Brossette, who mentioned that people on social media were giving him grief.

Dre's going to play

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw had 12 tackles and a 24-yard fumble return that set up a field goal against LSU despite playing on a painful right ankle that caused him to miss the Colorado State and North Texas games and most of the Vanderbilt game.

"Sometimes there's sharp pain," Greenlaw said. "But I could have broke my foot and I still would be playing. Being a Razorback means that much to me."

Defensive coordinator John Chavis' praised Greenlaw's toughness against LSU.

"This was a game when he said, 'Coach, I'm not coming out. I'm going to play regardless,' " Chavis said. "He sucked it up and that's what you've got to do."

Chavis, a defensive lineman at Tennessee in the late 1970s, said a lot of players are dealing with pain after 10 games.

"Their bodies don't feel the same as they did four months ago," he said. "Any football team, you go through what these guys have gone through, sometimes it's hard to get out of bed early in the morning.

"It's been a long time, I can promise you that, but I can remember trying to ease out of the bed and trying to see if I could get my feet on the floor. That's one of the sacrifices you pay when you're playing football.

"We would not ever put a guy out there that has an opportunity to increase an injury or anything like that, but certainly you play the game and play it with pain."

Sports on 11/13/2018


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