Arkansas’ offensive coordinator Kendal Briles met with the media on Friday to discuss where the offense is and to share quick updates of where each position group is at.
Briles is in his second season leading the Arkansas offense and hopes to improve upon what they did last year. The Razorbacks ranked 65th in total offense in 2020 which is a 46 spot improvement from the 2019 season.
The Hogs will break in a new starting quarterback in KJ Jefferson but return the whole entire offense for the 2021 season. Briles quickly mentioned how pleased he was with his offense.
Kendal Briles: “We have a few new coaches but feel like we are right where we need to be (offensively).”
There may have been a worry from the first staff to the second one with the movement of coaches on offense. Brad Davis and Justin Stepp both left for other opportunities with lateral moves to other SEC schools.
There is a “youth movement” going on with the new coaches being fairly young under 35. Offensive line coach Cody Kennedy and receivers coach Kenny Guiton would be praised later in the presser as they’ve done a good job with their respective position groups.
Briles: KJ is 1, Malik us #2. Malik has taken all the two reps and has really pushed KJ and that’s what we’ve wanted.
No worries Razorback fans. KJ is a gamer at quarterback and even though he doesn’t practice well his in-game performance against Missouri showed us that we shouldn’t worry too much. Both quarterbacks came to Arkansas as top 12 quarterbacks in their recruiting classes. The Razorbacks haven’t had such a solid room of quarterbacks since 2014 with Brandon Allen, Austin Allen and Rafe Peavey.
The two newcomers in Lucas Coley and Kade Renfro are both competing with John Stephen Jones for third string quarterback.
Briles: Coach Kennedy has done a really good job since joining us. He was here this spring but has a done good job with that (offensive line) room.
Kennedy inherits one of the most experienced if not the most in the SEC. The return of Myron Cunningham and Ty Clary give Arkansas a boost as they’ve started for the Hogs three and four seasons each.
Most of the Razorbacks offensive lineman needed to transform their bodies back to “hog mollies” after Chad Morris made them look like a line full of tight ends for two seasons. With a renewed focus on being the biggest, baddest and most physical line under Pittman these Hogs look to make an impact and help Arkansas back to respectability in the SEC.
Briles: Obviously we have Treylon Burks. De’Voin Warren is healthy and Trey Knox is competing with Tyson Morris. We also have a few young guys that we think are going to be really good.
The Hogs have multiple guys that could be the number two receiver. Burks is going to need some help after Mike Woods left the team during the spring for Oklahoma. Luckily, Warren will be back after an ACL tear last year. Him being healthy will benefit Arkansas’ position room and take extra defenders away from Arkansas’ primary target.
Briles: The biggest improvement in the wide receiver room has been the physicality and the blocking. (Guiton) has put that as an emphasis and we’ve had some very physical practices.
Last season you could really see the buy-in from certain receivers, especially Trey Knox. Big play-ability is needed in this offense. Everybody will need to do their part and one of those isndownfield blocking. Knox was one of those guys who caught my eye on big run and pass plays. Someone needs to seal off blocks for others and Knox, now at 218-225, could be just that.