A defense is a terrible thing to waste.

This story trips my bullshit detector.

The Arkansas safety was accustomed to serving as a defense in name only during the skeleton scrimmage portion of practice, a time when the offense had its way under former coach Bobby Petrino.

Then one night during an early August practice, Rasner’s instincts took over and he knocked the ball away from a receiver. Afterward, he paused and waited for criticism he said he had become used to in his three seasons under Petrino.

All he heard were cheers.

Is Petrino an offensive-minded coach.  Yeah.  Was he more focused on that side of the ball in practice?  No doubt.  Were there exercises in practice to work on timing and patterns that didn’t require disruption by defensive players?  I’m sure there were.  Was there constant criticism of defensive players for playing defense?  Schwiingg!  There goes the bullshit-o-meter.

But, hey, if that’s what he wants to believe, so be it.  All I know is that Petrino must have done something right.  And if the Hogs want to depart from that…

“The defensive guys aren’t afraid to make plays out there, where in the past you might lay off a receiver and not break up a pass because …” Rasner said, trailing off. “We were an offensive-minded team, there’s no doubt about that, but with coach Smith coming in … he’s a defensive coach, so there’s a definite change already.”

12 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

12 responses to “A defense is a terrible thing to waste.

  1. Josh24601

    The same sort of reports came out of the first WVU camp under Bill Stewart, following the ignominious exit of Rich Rodriguez. A lot of poppycock it was — and is.

  2. Puffdawg

    “…so there’s a definite change already.”

    Brilliant!

  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    Oh…I bet there is a change, alright, for one thing there is no motorcycle parking on the practice field.

  4. LRGK9

    John L. is so old he HAS to focus on defense because his Wilson don’t play Pickett on offense these days…

  5. I don’t buy that Petrino actively discouraged defense in practice, but it’s pretty clear he didn’t exactly prioritize it with his teams, whether it was in practice or in recruiting. It was his limitation as a head coach, and if Arkansas handles this next coaching search correctly, there’s a chance for them to upgrade.

  6. Comin' Down The Track

    Is that pronounced “bull**it-oh-meter” or “bull**i-tahma-ter?”

  7. AusDawg85

    And yet there are believers around the country. The Austin America Statesman sports columnists put Arky vs. SoCal in the BCS title game. Seriously….

  8. Cojones

    My bucks have been on their D not showing up for a couple of years. If it was an O scoring contest and we played them, I was confident we could beat them if we had to play them. The fact that SC couldn’t put enough points on them leads me to believe that our O can outscore SC while our D can win the game. Both are essentially the same teams when facing each other this year, sans a couple of ace sharpies on both of their Os. Just may be the camel that breaks the straw man’s back this year.

    If both Ark and UGA beat SC this year, it may be the last of SOS. Now wouldn’t that be something to play for? I hope it is that personal to Richt and the Dawg players. It will be to me.

  9. HobnailedBoots

    Their fans went from jumping off bridges to predicting a national championship appearance in like a matter of two weeks. I don’t know where the hell this optimism is coming from, they must be thinking of a difference John L Smith.

    • Cojones

      They don’t look at John L. and expect great coaching. They think the coaching has already been instilled and they just switched to the substitute driver of the bus. He will hold the Petrino Bus steady in the road while Petrino’s brother gets the benefit of Bobby’s advice and carries the torch forward. We will see.

      I’m a little anxious about a renewed emphasis on D that Petrino seemed to disdain. John L. could try to mimic UGA’s D from last year while going through D rebuilding. That could have consequences to other SEC West members if he has the horses. Is there anyone named Jones on the D squad?