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Author Topic: From the Bench - No Expectations that Razorback Football will Be Better than Last Season  (Read 4701 times)

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Robert Shields

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No Expectations That Razorback Football Will Be Any Better Than Last Season

Robert Shields

After going positive all last week, I go negative this week. And let me be the first to say that I hope that I am wrong.  This is one of those columns that usually earns me a nasty message from some parent of a player, which has happened on a couple of occasions.

What you should not have next season for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team are expectations that the team will be any better than last season -- that way you will be pleasantly surprised no matter what happens.  Most good coaches need three years to implement their plan and recruit a foundation of good players. It took Nick Saban three at Alabama and it took Bobby Petrino the same at Arkansas.

So why should you have no expectations? The teamís roster is devoid of any known superstars. Not that itís impossible for a few superstars to emerge, but itís very much an unknown as of now.

For example:

Quarterback: Brandon Allen will be the starter.  He may be a great one, but what we know from what we saw of him against Louisiana-Monroe is not promising. This is the most important position on the team and itís a complete unknown. When Tyler Wilson came in against Auburn in 2010, he was impressive and no one had tremendous trepidation when Ryan Mallett left knowing Wilson was going to take over the reins. Do you feel the same now with the change from Wilson to Allen?

Tight End: The position is again somewhat of an unknown, but can you name anyone in the group that is a DJ Williams or a Chris Gragg? I donít think so.

Wide Receivers: There is not a Kobi Hamilton, Greg Childs, Joe Adams, or Jarius Wright in the group for now and donít expect there to be a group like that in the Bret Bielema era. Maybe someone will finally step up. Mekale McKay did show some promise.

Fullback: Kiero Small being healthy is a bright spot on the offense, but then again how many plays run through the fullback these days? Maybe Bielema will use him more, but if he does that is probably a bad sign for the fans.

Tailback: The running backs are completely unproven. Youíre hoping to get production from a true freshman in Alex Collins. Itís not unheard of, but itís still just a hope. Jonathan Williams has potential. But right now there is not a Knile Davis, definitely not a Darren McFadden, or even a Dennis Johnson in this group.

Offensive Line: This is the bright spot for the offense. Travis Swanson is solid and he definitely has some experience in his o-line teammates surrounding him. We can expect, Bielema, an old offensive lineman himself, to turn this into a solid unit. You can do a lot with your other players when you have a good offensive line.

Special Teams: This is also a bright spot because of Zach Hocker. He could be the difference in a couple of close games if there are any. The coaching was so tragic last season that they even broke the kicker, but I think Bielema has fixed him.

Defensive Line: This is probably the strength of the defense at least on paper, but it should have been last year as well. Itís a unit with some experience, yet the history of this group is suspect. They greatly underperformed last season. With solid coaching this season, maybe it will be the strength of the team, and in the SEC your front defensive four is everything. If in your base 4-3 defense they can stop the run on their own, itís easy to play pass defense everywhere on the field with seven as does Alabama.

Linebackers: This spot has been a patchwork for years. The Hogs have not had a good linebacker since Old Dirty Bazzel. I think the position will be fair even with the unproven players because I think the coaching at this spot is the best you can find anywhere in the nation.

Cornerbacks and Safeties: Iím lumping them together because thatís how they end up in coverage against some of these SEC receiving corps. Besides Tevin Mitchell, itís a group with a huge question mark, and that is being kind. Again, this group will look a lot better if the front defensive four do their job.

I end with this thought. The general belief is that to play offense you have to be clever, for example like Jerry Rice. He was somewhat slow when timed, but nobody on the field caught him because he was clever. Then to play defense you have to be mean (mean enough to hit someone really hard), for example like a Lawrence Taylor. It takes a certain attitude to hit someone like Joe Theisman so hard that you end their career.

Who do you see on this Razorback football team that is clever enough to score and mean enough to knock someone out in the SEC? Because other SEC teams do and I only have to think of Jadeveon Clowney killing that Michigan guy to make my point.



Send your answers to fromthebench@yahoo.com.

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MuskogeeHogFan

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Oh Lord. Here we go again.
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ThePigFundamental


you referenced jerry rice, LT, and Joe Theismann.  This just in; it is 2013 you mope.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 11:14:30 am by ThePigFundamental »
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hog2tulsa

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Coach Bielema was a defensive lineman at Iowa, not an offensive lineman.
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The_Iceman

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Who da .... is Robert Shields?
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hoosier

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Cobi not Kobi.
Freakin idiot
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DOGALUM

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Who the hell is Robert Shields?


Did a ton of research on this one did you Shields?   Good replies so far fellas. 
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hoggusamoungus

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No good lbs since Bazz?  Olajubutu made all SEC and was a semifinalist for both the Bednarik and Butkus awards. 
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tusked

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If you write your post in the form of a newspaper column......then eventually someone will think your a columnist......after years.....RS is still trying.
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El Guapo

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Recruit "clever" football players... GENIUS! 
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GuvHog

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Meh, I agree with some of that and agree with a few things as well...
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The_Iceman

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Cobi not Kobi.
Freakin idiot
No good lbs since Bazz?  Olajubutu made all SEC and was a semifinalist for both the Bednarik and Butkus awards. 

Robert Shields is a moron.
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Torqued pork

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I did the lawn and grilled some chicken yesterday. It was a pretty good day.
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WaltKowalski

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Didn't this guy self publish a book about girls bathrooms on Amazon?
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WaltKowalski

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Meh, I agree with some of that and agree with a few things as well...

Can you break it down for us Guv?
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thefisher

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This just in  .......  Robert Shields has recently been seen attending various weddings, social functions, and community events in yellow hip boots. The yellow hipsters insure he is the best dressed person in his family. A lifetime achievement and career high water mark he is not likely to exceed.
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The Artist Yo Huckleberry

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Unfortunately, Shields is right. The premise that we have few PROVEN stars is correct. The POTENTIAL is there for Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins. Chris Smith and a guy like Otha Peters need to stand out. I've always like Tevin Mitchell.

Otherwise, your PROVEN players are Travis Swanson, Kiero Small, and Byran Jones. These are your all SEC types: a center, a fullback, and a defensive tackle. That's a little grim. Like it or not.
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Robert Shields

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Coach Bielema was a defensive lineman at Iowa, not an offensive lineman.

Yes, he played noseguard at Iowa.  He also played tight end in high school.  I think he was actually a decent one.
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secfan30

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Ok.... Well time for me to go plant my face right into a waiting coed.
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robs4516

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The coaching was so tragic last season that they even broke the kicker


I'd consider that one of the funniest things you've ever posted, if it wasn't so sickening to think about.
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spe450

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Wow!  You summed up what everyone has been saying on Hogville for a few months now.  Nice book report.
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LRRandy

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I think the expectation that they will play better football because of the new coaches should be there. That it will result in many more wins probably will not happen due to the lack of players on offense and the back seven on defense.
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Vantage 8 dude

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No Expectations That Razorback Football Will Be Any Better Than Last Season

Robert Shields

After going positive all last week, I go negative this week. And let me be the first to say that I hope that I am wrong.  This is one of those columns that usually earns me a nasty message from some parent of a player, which has happened on a couple of occasions.

What you should not have next season for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team are expectations that the team will be any better than last season -- that way you will be pleasantly surprised no matter what happens.  Most good coaches need three years to implement their plan and recruit a foundation of good players. It took Nick Saban three at Alabama and it took Bobby Petrino the same at Arkansas.

So why should you have no expectations? The teamís roster is devoid of any known superstars. Not that itís impossible for a few superstars to emerge, but itís very much an unknown as of now.

For example:

Quarterback: Brandon Allen will be the starter.  He may be a great one, but what we know from what we saw of him against Louisiana-Monroe is not promising. This is the most important position on the team and itís a complete unknown. When Tyler Wilson came in against Auburn in 2010, he was impressive and no one had tremendous trepidation when Ryan Mallett left knowing Wilson was going to take over the reins. Do you feel the same now with the change from Wilson to Allen?

Tight End: The position is again somewhat of an unknown, but can you name anyone in the group that is a DJ Williams or a Chris Gragg? I donít think so.

Wide Receivers: There is not a Kobi Hamilton, Greg Childs, Joe Adams, or Jarius Wright in the group for now and donít expect there to be a group like that in the Bret Bielema era. Maybe someone will finally step up. Mekale McKay did show some promise.

Fullback: Kiero Small being healthy is a bright spot on the offense, but then again how many plays run through the fullback these days? Maybe Bielema will use him more, but if he does that is probably a bad sign for the fans.

Tailback: The running backs are completely unproven. Youíre hoping to get production from a true freshman in Alex Collins. Itís not unheard of, but itís still just a hope. Jonathan Williams has potential. But right now there is not a Knile Davis, definitely not a Darren McFadden, or even a Dennis Johnson in this group.

Offensive Line: This is the bright spot for the offense. Travis Swanson is solid and he definitely has some experience in his o-line teammates surrounding him. We can expect, Bielema, an old offensive lineman himself, to turn this into a solid unit. You can do a lot with your other players when you have a good offensive line.

Special Teams: This is also a bright spot because of Zach Hocker. He could be the difference in a couple of close games if there are any. The coaching was so tragic last season that they even broke the kicker, but I think Bielema has fixed him.

Defensive Line: This is probably the strength of the defense at least on paper, but it should have been last year as well. Itís a unit with some experience, yet the history of this group is suspect. They greatly underperformed last season. With solid coaching this season, maybe it will be the strength of the team, and in the SEC your front defensive four is everything. If in your base 4-3 defense they can stop the run on their own, itís easy to play pass defense everywhere on the field with seven as does Alabama.

Linebackers: This spot has been a patchwork for years. The Hogs have not had a good linebacker since Old Dirty Bazzel. I think the position will be fair even with the unproven players because I think the coaching at this spot is the best you can find anywhere in the nation.

Cornerbacks and Safeties: Iím lumping them together because thatís how they end up in coverage against some of these SEC receiving corps. Besides Tevin Mitchell, itís a group with a huge question mark, and that is being kind. Again, this group will look a lot better if the front defensive four do their job.

I end with this thought. The general belief is that to play offense you have to be clever, for example like Jerry Rice. He was somewhat slow when timed, but nobody on the field caught him because he was clever. Then to play defense you have to be mean (mean enough to hit someone really hard), for example like a Lawrence Taylor. It takes a certain attitude to hit someone like Joe Theisman so hard that you end their career.

Who do you see on this Razorback football team that is clever enough to score and mean enough to knock someone out in the SEC? Because other SEC teams do and I only have to think of Jadeveon Clowney killing that Michigan guy to make my point.



Send your answers to fromthebench@yahoo.com.
Well I suppose part of the "no expectations" depends on what exactly a fan is considering. Even with the general lack of superstars, the extremely challenging schedule, and real lack of knowing exactly how the kids will react to and execute the new schemes I still expect MUCH better from this team. In other words, I absolutely expect FAR BETTER game preparation and game time adjustments by this staff. I want to see major improvement in execution and discipline by the players; that includes a significant reduction in pre-snap penalties and other "bone headed", "shoot yourself in the foot" stunts that have killed so many times in the past. I certainly expect our kids to be in far better shape, both physically and mentally. Most of all, I want to see an obvious "I won't quit no matter what" approach by EVERY SINGLE player on this team.

Even with the above we may not see a better win/loss record this season (although I suspect we would). However, even if we didn't, accomplishing the above would translate into MAJOR, MAJOR progress and set the stage for the years ahead.
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booogaga

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Its amazing this guy still has hands. With all of the endless typing he spends time on. I mean daym. Its like his prerequisite for posting on hogville is 40,000 words.
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zane

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I think the OP was fair

Very few proven commodities on the team but LOTs of potential!!
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Rey Pygsterio

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The real problem is that the program is already a year behind because a head coach was not hired after the Petrino disaster. Someone should ask Bielema if he would have taken the job a year earlier. He will probably say no but that would not be the real answer. This is a big hole for Razorback football to dig out of.
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urkillnmesmalls

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I cracked off about a six stepper yesterday on the 8th hole that was more interesting than that Robert. 
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56Hog

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  Bret Bielema, you shoudda read the Shields-Fax!

          Of course now, he just might have done his own research.
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Vantage 8 dude

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The real problem is that the program is already a year behind because a head coach was not hired after the Petrino disaster. Someone should ask Bielema if he would have taken the job a year earlier. He will probably say no but that would not be the real answer. This is a big hole for Razorback football to dig out of.
IMO while this is a very legitimate point, as was debated and discussed last year at this time (and beyond), the timing and nature of the CBP mess were the two major roadblocks to any potential success last year. Had Bobby performed his misstunt earlier in '12 it's POSSIBLE a more permanent hire might have been found. However, with the circumstances involved, particularly in April, most legitimate long term solutions were going to be virtually impossible to come by. Add to that the need for whomever might have been hired to install his own offensive and defensive systems and last year was going to be a major challenge no matter what. While one could certainly argue with good cause that even with a temporary coaching situation almost ANYONE other that JLS would have been a better answer, as we know "hindsight is always 20/20".

I'm just grateful that given all the chaos and other factors at least we have a new coach of Bret's quality and experience leading us.

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Cullen Fitzpatrick

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Great post Robert. Don't listen to these idiots.

Hope I'm wrong but I think the Hogs will be lucky to win 5 games.
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ricepig

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Well, it's not like there is any new info in there, all of it has been discussed numerous times on here the last 6 months. Of course, we knew Cobi and what position Bret played at Iowa, but one would expect fans to know that.
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Vantage 8 dude

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Great post Robert. Don't listen to these idiots.

Hope I'm wrong but I think the Hogs will be lucky to win 5 games.
You would.
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Arkansas Fan

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Great post Robert. Don't listen to these idiots.

Hope I'm wrong but I think the Hogs will be lucky to win 5 games.

We'll win at least six.
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Seebs

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This Robert Shields column met my expectations, I printed it out and it is now meeting the expectations at the bottom of my birdcage.
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Vantage 8 dude

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This Robert Shields column met my expectations, I printed it out and it is now meeting the expectations at the bottom of my birdcage.
Nice to see crap continues to be recycled for something useful.
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Mind = Blown ...DOLT.
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DaddyBoarBucks


The subject of this topic looks familiar. That's right I just posted on the same topic 4 days ago. Great journalism there Bob!

http://www.hogville.net/yabbse/index.php?topic=540931.0
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Inhogswetrust

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Didn't this guy self publish a book about girls bathrooms on Amazon?

It was his autobiography...........................
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 03:41:15 pm by Inhogswetrust »
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HROHog


My first post in one of "these" threads....

An old phrase comes to mind...." out of sight out of mind"...

To make it simpler...stop giving a reaction to his posts, and they will stop. :)
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GuvHog

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Can you break it down for us Guv?

These are the ones I agree with;


Quarterback: Brandon Allen will be the starter.  He may be a great one, but what we know from what we saw of him against Louisiana-Monroe is not promising. This is the most important position on the team and itís a complete unknown. When Tyler Wilson came in against Auburn in 2010, he was impressive and no one had tremendous trepidation when Ryan Mallett left knowing Wilson was going to take over the reins. Do you feel the same now with the change from Wilson to Allen?

Tight End: The position is again somewhat of an unknown, but can you name anyone in the group that is a DJ Williams or a Chris Gragg? I donít think so.

Wide Receivers: There is not a Kobi Hamilton, Greg Childs, Joe Adams, or Jarius Wright in the group for now. Maybe someone will finally step up. Mekale McKay did show some promise.

Fullback: Kiero Small being healthy is a bright spot on the offense.

Tailback: The running backs are completely unproven. Hogs are hoping to get production from a true freshman in Alex Collins. Jonathan Williams has potential.

Offensive Line: This is the bright spot for the offense. Travis Swanson is solid and he definitely has some experience in his o-line teammates surrounding him. We can expect, Bielema, an old offensive lineman himself, to turn this into a solid unit. You can do a lot with your other players when you have a good offensive line.

Special Teams: This is also a bright spot because of Zach Hocker. He could be the difference in a couple of close games. The coaching was so tragic last season that they even broke the kicker, but I think Bielema has fixed him.

Defensive Line: This is probably the strength of the defense at least on paper. Itís a unit with some experience. With solid coaching this season, maybe it will be the strength of the team, and in the SEC your front defensive four is everything. If in your base 4-3 defense they can stop the run on their own, itís easy to play pass defense everywhere on the field with seven as does Alabama.

Linebackers: This spot has been a patchwork for years. I think the position will be fair even with the unproven players because I think the coaching at this spot is the best you can find anywhere in the nation.



I removed some sentences from these here and there.
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Southern Hogspitality

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I think the expectation that they will play better football because of the new coaches should be there. That it will result in many more wins probably will not happen due to the lack of players on offense and the back seven on defense.
I can't believe I am doing this but on this I agree with LRRandy. 

I absolutely expect us to play better football this year.  However with a harder schedule and the loss of key players our record may not reflect it, that doesn't mean we aren't playing better ball.

I would also rather take an unknown Alex Collins as my RB than the Knile Davis we had last year.  Not sure how much of 2012 is on the offensive line, but he didn't look like the old Knile all year. 
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Vantage 8 dude

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My first post in one of "these" threads....

An old phrase comes to mind...." out of sight out of mind"...

To make it simpler...stop giving a reaction to his posts, and they will stop. :)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 02:47:15 pm by Vantage 8 dude »
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Vantage 8 dude

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These are the ones I agree with;

I removed some sentences from these here and there.
Unfortunately in the case of Bobby Shields THIS won't happen. He loves to hear himself type too much for that to happen. It wouldn't stop if no one ever responded or commented.
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TrojanHog

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Using the test created by this Robert Shields (who is he?) I have discerned that:

1.) Robert Shields could not play offense, and
2.) Most of the posters in this thread would be great defensive players.
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Inhogswetrust

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No Expectations That Razorback Football this posing Will Be Any Better Than any before it I posted Last Season

Robert Shields



Fixed
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Vantage 8 dude

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Using the test created by this Robert Shields (who is he?) I have discerned that:

1.) Robert Shields could not play offense, and
2.) Most of the posters in this thread would be great defensive players.
Proposed amendment to 1.) above: Robert Shields could and should not write about offense or any other subject.......
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HROHog


Quote
Unfortunately in the case of Bobby Shields THIS won't happen. He loves to hear himself type too much for that to happen. It wouldn't stop if no one ever responded or commented.

Point taken. But I wonder, if he gets no replies, and as active as this board is, the topic would be moved of the front page in a hurry. Would he bother to post a subject again??


Just some food for thought.
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MRPRFCT


Why compare a redshirt sophomore (Wilson) who saw playing the previous 2 seasons to a redshirt freshman (Allen) seeing his first extensive action?

A more accurate comparison would be freshman Wilson vs Texas to RS Freshman Allen.
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Vantage 8 dude

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Point taken. But I wonder, if he gets no replies, and as active as this board is, the topic would be moved of the front page in a hurry. Would he bother to post a subject again??


Just some food for thought.
I suppose like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus it'd be nice to believe anything's truly possible. However, short of the world's end or HV banning him I'm afraid "The Mouth of the South" (And everywhere else) is here to stay. Just think of him as a canker sore that one can never seem to get rid of no matter what solution's tried.
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