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Andy Hodges

Morris: ‘Get in left lane and put the hammer down’

New Arkansas coach Chad Morris doesn’t do anything slowly it seems and we’re not just referring to his offense. Get ready to put the hammer down.



You get the feeling there’s no need to ask Chad Morris for a timeline.

The guy doesn’t appear to do much of anything slow when it comes to football and at his introductory press conference Thursday he may have come up with what are probably words to live by:

“Get in the left lane and put the hammer down.”

He’s not just talking about his offense. This guy goes at warp speed just walking across the room.

Which is a refreshing change of pace.

“You won’t find a more explosive offense in college football,” he promised.

It’s been awhile since Razorback fans got to hear those words. Bret Bielema’s offensive approach was hardly in the conversation. It was a slow, methodical approach.

Morris wants to go all the time.

“There won’t be much time to sit in the seats,” he warned fans. “We will play fast.”

Morris’ teams at SMU had a lot of offense. There wasn’t much defense, but if you look across the landscape of college football nobody in the non-Power 5 group of schools plays a lot of defense.

It comes down to selling tickets and depth. Coaches tend to put their best players on offense and the defensive depth gets rather thin on most schools on that level. Depth is what truly separates them from the bigger boys.

There’s the feeling Morris is going to put more emphasis on defense here than he did at SMU and he knows what teams have to stop in the SEC.

“Defensively, we’ll be built around stopping the run,” he said. “We’ll hire the best defensive coordinator in college football. That’s the standard.”

He didn’t give any indication who that might be, but the guess is it won’t be Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

But defense will be something that is important. Many fans see the eye-popping numbers his offense put up at SMU … and how the defense gave up whopping numbers.

That’s the difference in caliber of play and the type players they get. Arkansas’ current roster has more defensive talent than SMU has had simply because that’s the nature of the beast.

Listening to him, though, it’s something fans want to hear.

“I want players extremely upset at the end of the game because they have to wait seven days to hit again,” he said of his defensive players. “We want to be explosive and create turnovers on special teams.”

Now the challenge is doing it.

While fans think there aren’t any players here that’s not true from this corner.

Oh, there’s not enough sheer talent to pick them over Alabama, but this was not 4-8 talent.

And he wasted little time starting to get more. He was recruiting before he was airborn out of Dallas headed to Fayetteville.

There will be an increased emphasis on recruiting.

And speed.

Morris even wants linemen to be fast. They’ll have to be in his up-tempo style of play.

But that’s just like everything else about this guy.

Get ready to put the hammer down.


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