National Blogger Impressed With Petrino, and Hogs' Chances With Him

by Jim Harris  on Saturday, Apr. 26, 2008 6:20 pm  

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Here's a nice report that Arkansas Razorback football fans will enjoy: a positive national blog report on new football coach Bobby Petrino with the telling headline "SEC Football 2008: Has Arkansas Hit the Jackpot?"

Good opinion here from "The Bleacher Report." Note the blogger taking an objective look at why Garrick McGee might have taken a "step down" from being a Big Ten offensive coordinator to be quarterback coach at Arkansas -- the relationship McGee has had with Petrino goes deep, John Stevens writes.

Whatever else happens, one can expect that Arkansas will continue to have a strong and productive offense, but perhaps with a less conservative approach.

One of the things that Petrino is known for is improving the play of quarterbacks. The productivity of QB's increased significantly from the year prior to his arrival to his first year at Louisville and passing yards increased to over 3,000 yards each season that he spent at Louisville.

Don't be deceived into thinking that he is simply a passing guru because the running game at Louisville also improved. His system requires a QB to be thinking and performing at top levels consistently, reading defenses, checking off plays, calling audibles, taking advantage of whatever the defense gives in terms of alignment and scheme.

At Bobby Petrino's "QB University", a QB cannot earn a "B" and expect to play. Petrino brought in Garrick McGee to be the QB Coach on his staff. McGee was formerly the offensive coordinator at Northwestern in the Big Ten.

When I first saw this I wondered why McGee, as an offensive coordinator at a Big Ten school, would take a perceived step down to become the QB Coach at Arkansas?

It turns out that McGee began his relationship with Petrino at Arizona State, McGee's first stop in college as a QB. McGee has stated that the reason that he came to Arkansas to be on Petrino's staff was because he wanted to eventually become a head coach and he thought he could learn a great deal from Petrino, but that he also wanted to win and he knew that would happen Petrino.

One of McGee's current pupils is Casey Dick, the returning starter at QB. This is Dick's fourth offensive coordinator in four years and having to constantly re-adapt to every new OC is a steep hill to climb.

What has and will help Dick in the future is that he tutor, McGee, also had four OC's in four years of college football at the same position.

This has been a tremendous asset to Arkansas already.

Dick has never thrown for 300 yards in any game in his college career. Yet, in every scrimmage so far this spring, Dick has thrown for over 300 yards on every occasion. On top of that, his completion percentage is up over 60 percent.

This is a huge step for QB who hardly was able to practice the forward pass with any consistency in the last three seasons. Granted, this is spring and not the regular season, but you can expect big things from Casey Dick this season for two reasons, Bobby Petrino and Garrick McGee.





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