Razorback Spring Report: AJ Derby Continues To Impress in New Spot


FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football team continued practice Saturday afternoon in preparation for the 2014 season. Head coach Bret Bielema was available to the media after practice and spoke about the team and AJ Derby.

“I thought our guys bounced back,” Bielema said. “Thursday was a practice we backed off of them physically, really the only time during the course of the spring I felt we didn’t move forward. I was excited when they bounced back today. Still a lot of teaching and learning but I was excited about their tempo and their energy today.”

Bielema discussed AJ Derby‘s success at the tight end position.

“The kid is talented,” Bielema said. “The transition has been as seamless as I can imagine. It amazes me how well he catches the ball, it absolutely blows my mind because that’s not an easy thing to run full speed in traffic and catch it. He changes our offense, literally overnight.”

Bielema also spoke about the Red-White Spring Game next Saturday. 

“What I am going to do is just ones against the world,” Bielema said. “I think we’re at a point now where I want our ones to play together consistently. That will be pretty much the first half. Then the second half we will rotate some guys through. We will have some kicking at the end of the first quarter and third quarter. We have some special visitors that might take some reps with us from the line of scrimmage. It will be fun for everyone involved. I’ve talked to some people involved and this is one of the few times a year where we can involve some interaction without penalty and we will take advantage of it. Saturday is all about us getting better and I want the fans to show up. I would love to have a great crowd. It will be a good recruiting day for us. The reason I go ones against the world really is just so those guys have some continuity of playing together. I want our one defense to be on the sideline when our one offense is out there and realize when they drive the ball and score, they have to go out and shut them down and vice versa. I want them to feed off each other.”

The Razorbacks will wrap up their spring practice sessions with the Red-White Spring Game on April 26. The Red-White Spring Game will be held in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and broadcast live on CST. Game time is 1 p.m., and admission is free.



  • William Haddox

    someone help us –if one position change changes the offense….That didn’t happen even with Lance Alworth….

  • OldPoop

    I wish Bielema would not do this. When he uses superlatives on different players I’m sure he is just trying to boost their confidence and give them encouragement to try even harder. But the fans can’t handle this kind of information. They expect to see an All American and when they don’t the coach is an idiot and can’t coach. Nolan Richardson made the same mistake after he was hired, saying what great athletes Arkansas had. The fans were salivating, and when the first season went bad the poor guy was crucified by all the Couch Coaches. Nolan said he had great players, so they decided that he was an idiot and didn’t know how to coach. Fortunately he was allowed enough time to recruit his own team and things eventually worked out good enough to satisfy the Couch Coaches.

    IMO the coaches that poor mouth their teams have an easier time with the fans because it’s easier to meet and even exceed lower expectations.

    The players and recruits seem to like Bielema’s personality, positive attitude, and how he relates to them. But if he expects to be here long enough to build his type of program, maybe he needs to worry more about relating to the Couch Coaches.

    • Tom

      That makes no sense whatsoever. The Couch Coaches don’t play for him, the players do. So if he bad mouths the players, do you think they are going to want to play for him? By no means. Building a program has nothing do to with “Couch Coaches” and everything to do with players and building them up.

  • OldPoop

    Learn the difference between Poor Mouth and Bad Mouth, they are nothing alike. Spurrier has made a science of poor mouthing. I stand by my opinion that coaches that play it safe and poor mouth get less name calling and insults from “expert fans” after a bad season, than a coach that had built up preseason expectations.

    Personally I’m with the players and recruits, I like the positive attitude from Bielema. But the Couch Coaches will not be able to handle it, and will use it against him anytime something bad happens.

    Don’t discount the power they have to run off a coach before he has had time to build his own team. Substitute the name Richardson for Bielema and you have the same can’t coach nonsense being spouted today as back then. The old A.D. stood up to them gave Nolan time to build his own team. The attacks on Bielema will probably increase next year. Will the new AD be able to give him the time to build his team?