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Arkansas Football Phraseology: Hog and Razor

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phra·se·ol·o·gy noun a mode of expression, especially one characteristic of a particular speaker or writer. This series will take a brief look at some terminology that is both Arkansas Football specific and those that are used across the College Football landscape.

Created by Josh Goforth

“Hog” and “Razor”

These are the two new names in the Hoganese for the Arkansas Defense, and identify the linebacker roles. The defensive staff went with hog and razor to describe the outside linebacker/DE and OLB/SS players in this system.

Ian Boyd over at Football Study Hall pointed out if we really look at it, the lines between a 3-4 and 4-3 are somewhat blurred now days.

Around the league:

Alabama uses the identifiers of “Sam” and “Jack” in their system for these same roles. Sam the strong side backer equivalent to the Hog position and subsequently the Jack being the same hybrid type player as the Razor guy in the Arkansas 3-4. There are many variations in verbiage used. Some teams prefer a label describing slight differences in philosophy. At times the term “rover” in the place of Jack/Razor, indicates a more strong safety like player at that spot and less run stop or contain responsibility.

LSU switched to a 3-4, under Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda and use the terms “Buck” and “F” to describe the OLB players. Comparing the two iterations, I can see how the 2017 Razorbacks may use a version that looks much more like what Aranda favors than a Nick Saban style.

Vanderbilt and many other programs use “Star” as the hybrid LB/SS in their 3-4 and 3-3-5 packages.

Some of the original 3-4 schemes were more literal in describing these positions with “rush” linebacker and “Drop” linebacker in the old Buddy Ryan, Rex and Rob Ryan versions of the 3-4.

Who plays “Hog” and “Razor”

The Razor position requires the skills to maintain outside contain at times, and take on tight ends, or tackles as well as any pulling lineman. Razor LB must be able to drop into coverage frequently and man up on a TE or back out of the backfield. Against spread teams I could see another SS/N moving into the Razor spot or a Dre Greenlaw type linebacker.

The Hog player needs to be closer to a traditional down lineman, but would play a lot of stand up 7 Technique versus a tight end and set the edge. It has been mentioned that the Hog and Razor will flip depending on field or boundary which means contain will be a priority for the Hog.

How Karl Roesler and Randy Ramsey or whoever ends up at Hog and Razor adjust will be a key to how shaky the transition looks.

“You stop the run outside first, which helps because we gave up a lot of outside runs last year,” Roesler said. “We weren’t doing so well on the edges, as everyone knows. I think it helps the outside stuff.”

Any improvement for this defense would make a huge impact and lead to a more solid defense in 2017