The pads were popping. The sun was shining and fans got their first look at the 2014 Arkansas football team on Saturday. Coach Bret Bielema said he saw a lot of positives, especially the first string defense getting physical.
“That has nothing to do with how high you can jump or how fast you can run a 40,” said Bielema. “It’s all about how you approach the game. I think the physical presence has been there through six practices.”
Physicality is one of five “edges” coach Bielema wants to instill this spring.
“The second one is we have to play fast through the whistle,” said Bielema. “Those two things have nothing to do with ability. The third and most detailed thing is we have to play clean. No penalties and be great in ball security. Fourth, we need to win critical downs, third down, redzone and goal-line. The fifth thing is we earn everything. If you earn things they tend to last. We have earned the spot we are in with college football. What we do with it is in our hands. No one will give us anything. We have to earn everything we do by the way we practice.
After Saturday’s scrimmage, coach Bielema thinks he is closer with those five edges that will make the Hogs a better team.