Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen sat down with 5NEWS partner Bo Mattingly for a three part series on how the Razorbacks signal caller handled his first year as a starter, injury and expectations entering the 2014 season.
Catch part one of the interview here.
Bo Mattingly: I want to talk about the injury. During the season and really since then, you’ve just not talked a lot about it and I get it. You don’t want to make it an excuse but what happened on the injury?
Brandon Allen: It was a separated AC joint. There a certain grades but I’m not sure the grade. I just dove in the end zone and they said it was kind of one of those freak landings where I could land like that 100 more times and be fine. Just kind of a freak landing.
BM: We would learn later that you weren’t really practicing much for an extended period of time. Tell us what that period of time was like. What was your situation just getting onto the field and what were you missing?
BA: That, I think, was the biggest thing. I think I would get one practice day during the week so I’d have to get in all my reps in that one day and try to see everything on the field in that one day. It would be like Tuesday, Wednesday. I think Wednesday was my practice day so Tuesday, Thursday and then a walk through Friday. Those were just me on the sideline trying to see it all and that’s something that is tough as a player, not getting the on the field reps is tough. You want to see it as much as you can while you’re on the field that way when you go to game time, it all looks more similar than it does sitting from the sideline.
BM: Did you have to get shots to be able to deal with the pain?
BA: Yeah. I couldn’t throw without shots. They kind of leave soreness afterwards. That’s why I’d only have one day.
BM: From a person performance standpoint, what have you learned in the offseason that will help you fundamentally improve your game from a technique specifics of things you’ve done in the offseason that you believe will make you a different quarterback this fall?
BA: I went down to IMG in Florida with Chris Weinke and we did a bunch of footwork drills. We watched some of my film from the games and the biggest thing he noticed was my footwork was not where it needed to be. This whole summer has been huge for me in terms of footwork and keeping a base on all my throws. I think I’m a lot more accurate now.
BM: How would you compare your confidence level now as a quarterback and with the passing game to a year ago?
BA: Oh, it’s off the charts different. This time last year I was still trying to learn the offense. I was sitting in my playbook trying to just understand concepts and where I thought I was supposed to go with the ball. This year, it’s just completely different. I know it. I think our receivers know it a lot better than what they did last year. That was something we struggled with. People would know one side of the route tree or one side of the concept and not know the other one so that would kind of throw things off for us but I think this whole summer has been huge, and this past year, just getting everyone on the same page.