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Razorbacks HC talks QBs, Trey Knox, after latest scrimmage

SEC Football

Arkansas head coach Chad Morris speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Chad Morris was pleased with Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Morris and the Razorbacks followed up Wednesday’s scrimmage with a practice in shorts and t-shirts on Thursday. Following Thursday’s practice, he once again declined to name a starting quarterback.

“I thought our quarterbacks did good,” Morris said. “I’m not gonna name one today. I thought they did good. I thought they did some really good things.”

How difficult will it be to tell the quarterback who isn’t named the starter?

“I think, not just a quarterback but any position, guys are so competitive or they wouldn’t be in this sport or be at this university,” Morris said. “You love the competitiveness, everybody wants to play, everybody wants to start, but they can’t.

“These guys are professionals so they understand. They understand that there is only one guy we’re going to run out there. They also understand because they’ve been around the game of football long enough that when their opportunity does arise, they better be ready for it. That is just part of the game. It’s part of decisions you have to make.”

Since you aren’t naming a quarterback today any idea when you might

“Well we’re going to name one next week at some point,” Morris said.

Will you play both the first game?

“That I don’t know at this point,” Morris said. “I don’t know. The game will dictate a lot of that.”

Have you considered not naming one before the game?

“No, we’ll name one before the game,” Morris said.

The Scrimmage

Since Morris wasn’t available on Wednesday, he commented on the scrimmage Thursday.

“A great opportunity yesterday,” Morris said. “I thought we got some good work in yesterday. Some guys were limited. A lot of guys were limited by design. An opportunity for some of the young guys to get some live action and a lot of work. So that was beneficial yesterday. I thought we had some guys step up and show a few things. I thought we had some guys that showed we’ve got to continue, keep developing these guys. Some of our young guys.

“But overall we came out healthy. In a scrimmage this close to start of season you’ve got to be careful, but we still got our work in yesterday. It will be the last full live multiple period practice we will have before our first game. Got an opportunity to get some good stuff on film. I thought there was some things we’ve really got to improve on. Overall, I thought it was a good scrimmage.”

Trey Knox, Injuries

Freshman wide receiver Trey Knox has missed this week of practice. Morris was asked about Knox on Thursday.

“Trey is still sick,” Morris said. “We hope to get him back as soon as possible, sooner than later. He’s sick right now, so just sooner than later. We hope to have him back out. I don’t anticipate him practicing tomorrow but hopefully he’ll be back out Saturday and being with us, but we’ll see on that.”

A couple of the injured players were back on Thursday. Wide receiver Koilan Jackson and left guard Austin Capps. Morris also talked about tight end Cheyenne O’Grady.

“Koilan was back,” Morris said. “He’ll be out at practice again tomorrow but going through some drill work. Austin Capps same thing, same thing with Austin. Austin will be back in pads tomorrow. 

“I believe CJ jogged a little bit today,” Morris said. “He is progressing and get him ready for Tuesday and Wednesday practice next week. That’s our plan right now. We’ll wait and reevaluate that. I have not talked to Dave (Polanski) since he did some work this morning.”

Art of Tackling Taught

Morris was asked how often they teach the art of tackling without the crown of the helmet?

“Great question,” Morris said. “Something we spend a lot of time on. We start out with our defensive staff the very first day. And we’ll video it in front of our team of Chief (John Chavis) demonstrating, and our defensive staff. Demonstrating the proper way to tackle and communicating how to tackle. This is in front of quarterbacks, O-linemen, kickers. Everybody at some point who might have to make a tackle. The importance of keeping your head up.

“Then in practice, obviously when we tackle in practice it’s always something we bring attention to in the team meetings. The guys that lower their head or hit with the crown of their helmet, we address that immediately in a team meeting by showing video. And we’ll also show guys that do it the right way and commend those guys for doing it the right way. So that is an everyday part of our team meetings and talking about guys taking care of their teammates and the proper way to tackle and leveraging the ball and keeping your head up.”

Arkansas will hold a closed practice on Friday.

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