VIDEO: What Chad Morris, coordinators said reviewing bye week

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Monday, October 7, 2019
Arkansas Razorbacks defensive coordinator John Chavis looks on during a warm-up before a football game, Saturday, September 28, 2019 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas Razorbacks defensive coordinator John Chavis looks on during a warm-up before a football game, Saturday, September 28, 2019 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

Depth chart notes

• Not much in the way of change on this week's depth chart, but De'Vion Warren, who was in concussion protocol following the San Jose State game, and T.J. Hammonds are listed as starters on kickoff return. They are also down as second and third-team, respectively, on punt return behind Treylon Burks.

Arkansas Coach Chad Morris

• "I missed y'all last Monday," he joked in his opening.

• Had a chance to get guys back healthy during the open week and focus on ourselves and fundamentals. We're cleaning up some self-inflicted wounds.

• We should be back to full capacity in our receivers room for the first time in quite some time. Some were in green, but they will transition into standard jerseys at some point this week.

• As I've said before, it's how we play, not who we play. We know that we've got a Kentucky team that was on a bye week, too. They got some guys back healthy, too. They are better than their record indicates. They played Florida down to the wire at home a few weeks back. We have our work cut out for us. We have to play our best. We anticipate Lynn Bowden being all over the field.

• Defensively, coach Mark Stoops will have his defense ready to go. He does a tremendous job on that side of the ball and makes great adjustments. All of their interior guys, they'll muscle you. They do a great job playing with their hands and utilizing their size. Kash Daniels, you love watching him play. He plays with great effort. It all, though, comes back to how we play.

• Jordan Jones: We hope he'll provide an opportunity to stretch the field for us with his speed. We get him back full speed. It would be a huge addition for us. As far as depth, having him back would be great.

• Nick Starkel is ready to go and is full speed as well.

• Trey Knox: He was in a normal jersey last night at practice. He was running around and looking good. It was good to see him back. He and Nick spent some time after practice working together.

• Bowden: The thing that sticks out is how dynamic he is with the ball in his hands. They do a good job trying to get the ball to him. They'll get him the ball all over the field. He's very impressive to watch.

• We used last week, again, to get guys back healthy. Our high-mileage guys, players who have high rep counts, we wanted to take a load off of them. Our young guys got some valuable reps. We have to clean up the mistakes that kept us from winning the game at Texas A&M. We could have played better, but if we can improve, that's the message. We had three good days of practice and game prep.

• Tyson Morris: He's a tremendous worker and leader. He has helped this football team since we lost Deon Stewart in fall camp, then Jordan Jones went down. His role kept elevating. He played 50-plus snaps in the last game as a former walk-on, and he's maximizing his opportunities this season.

• There was a lot of game prep going on last week for Kentucky. As a staff, we put the plan in and we will refine it a little bit along the way. We introduced UK a lot last week. The young guys, we spent time at the end of practice focusing on them and their development in either a scrimmage setting or individual work. When we do that we pull the older guys off the field and let them coach a little bit.

• Ty Clary: We anticipate him being back at practice tomorrow. Same way with Colton Jackson. Overall, those are the only two who might be out right now. Both have been in concussion protocol.

• Rakeem Boyd: He and a lot of other guys know their time is narrowing down. You want a team full of competitors. Guys are hurt and emotional after games, win or lose. You can't fault someone for being emotional. He is an emotional guy, but he's passionate. We've got a lot of guys who are that way. He's had a very productive year to this point, and he's running the ball well. He's catching it well, too, and doing a lot of really good things. He's got to continue to refine his game and stay healthy.

• McTelvin Agim: He was out there yesterday and in a normal jersey. Where he is and how well he's playing right now, it would take something substantial to keep him out of a game. He's got a chance to have a great year.

• Zach Zimos is doing a great job. We're hoping we can redshirt him. Last week was good for him, as well as K.J. Jefferson, who is getting a lot of scout team work. That's good for him. He's taken on that role.

• On Mark Stoops: Games against him are always battles to the end. He's a great ball coach, and I have great respect for him.

• Mataio Soli has not had his right-hand cast taken off, but that could happen this week. Last week, Steve Caldwell said it was a possibility Soli could have it removed soon.

• Malik Chavis could be a freshman who could play down the stretch. Jalen Catalon, too, is continuing to improve and impress us.

Offensive Coordinator Joe Craddock

• Very productive week and we were able to get guys off their feet and healthy. A guy like Mike Woods, he played 71 snaps at Texas A&M. That's a lot, so to give him some rest was good. We worked fundamentals and technique.

• On having WRs back healthy: Always good to be healthy. Looking forward to having everyone back at full strength and ready to go.

• We were holding out hope that Trey Knox would be able to go against the Aggies, but Tyson Morris is preparing and working extremely hard and paying attention to detail at every position. If someone goes down, he can fill that spot. More than anything, giving guys a break and being able to use a guy like Tyson ... I expect him to get a lot of snaps as much as he's been helping us the last few weeks. He was a surprise in Year 1, but I wouldn't say so this year.

• Ty Clary and Colton Jackson: It was huge getting guys reps who haven't gotten a bunch. I expect Clary and Jackson back this week, and I'll be shocked if they don't. I think those guys will be fine this week.

• Kentucky's defense: Coach Stoops has been there a while and implemented his scheme. They're huge up front. Both nose tackles are 360-plus pounds. They're thick inside and do a good job of the bull rush and pushing the line back in the run game. We'll have to make some adjustments in the game.

• Jordan Jones: He was a little sore the other day, but I'm excited to see what he can do. On film, he's shown he can stretch the field and run by people. Hopefully we'll be able to use him down the field some.

• Nick Starkel and his turnovers: I have to coach better and teach him what we want on certain plays. I think he's feeling a lot better, and his elbow is feeling better. I expect him to be full speed coming down this week. He's still developing on offense and still learning.

• We're thinking a guy like A'Montae Spivey is close to game action, and Beaux Limmer, too. Hudson Henry is getting closer at tight end, and even a guy like T.Q. Jackson is getting his shot. Henry is becoming more confident and understanding the scheme a little better.

• Cheyenne O'Grady is doing some really good things. His yards after catch have been really good. Ben Hicks is a really tough kid. To lose his job then come in vs. A&M and look as comfortable as he did was impressive. That 15-plus yard run he had on 3rd and long shows how tough he is and how bad he wants it.

• K.J. Jefferson, I thought, took a big step last week. He did some good things with his legs and made some good throws in the pocket. It's just about doing it and repping it. You've got to know it in the meeting room, then go do it on the field. He had a really good week. ... There are a few things with his throwing motion that we're trying to clean up. It's about getting your feet in the right place so your hips are open. He's very smart and very cognizant. He's on the right track and learning.

• Red zone struggles: You look at it, we have to quit turning it over. We have to do what we do. Things condense when you get down there, but we have to take care of the ball. It's OK to punt at times, and when you're in the red zone it's OK to take a field goal at times. We do that last week we've got a chance to win that game. The main thing is everything needs to end in a kick, whether a field goal or PAT.

Defensive Coordinator John Chavis

• Don't think either team has an advantage coming off the bye week. Now we have to prepare for Kentucky, and that's what we're trying to do.

• Lynn Bowden has a lot of skill. He can line up in the Wildcat formation or they can hand him the ball. He's dynamic with the ball in his hands.

• We've got to push to get Malik Chavis ready, and Jalen Catalon is a playmaker. In the scrimmages Catalon was the same way. He can get to the ball and find the ball. Those two have a chance to get there. We have to build depth, and that's part of it.

• McTelvin Agim: We expect everybody back. That's where it is right now.

• It was good being in the booth, and it might stay that way.

• Atmosphere at UK: It's been excellent, particularly in the last 4-5 years. Last year they had a great year. Whenever I've been there it's been a great atmosphere. I've never been up there when their fans didn't support their program. Fans do a great job supporting them there.

• We want to get better and we need to get better. Nothing stays the same. You're either going to get better or worse, and that's a fact. We got back to fundamentals, worked on eye discipline. With a young football team, you can always get better.

• Jamario Bell: It's exciting. We missed him for however many weeks, and hopefully he'll be even better this week. He brings experience and he's a competitor. ... Eric Gregory is healthy enough to play. We're finding situations to get him in the game. He's very close and at a point where he's not going to get much better until he starts playing. Zach Williams, he gives us some depth, and he's starting to "really, really blossom."

• Mataio Soli: I don't know if he could be more competitive. His dad, I coached him in high school and he was an outstanding football player. Mataio is going to get better and he knows how to compete.


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