With things shut down around Fayetteville, Sam Pittman is starting to see some of his players trickling back into town as he is walking more, but still managing to eat because he likes to eat.
“Since I’ve been the head coach I’ve lost about 12, maybe 15 pounds,” Pittman told Tye Richardson and Tommy Craft (The Morning Rush) on ESPN Arkansas Wednesday morning. “I’ve only got about 100 to go.”
Fans see Pittman walking around the campus with his defensive coordinator Barry Odom on their daily conversations that both seem to be enjoying.
“Barry and I walk and I have such a fun time with that, people driving by, honking and I get to wave at them,” Pittman said.
Former offensive tackle Dan Skipper was on the show earlier in the morning and the guys recorded a question from him asking Pittman “how the diet is going during quarantine.”
“He could have picked up the phone and called,” Pittman said. “I now he’ll walk his big behind in the office soon and I’ll get him back. I told the guys the other day I’ve ate so much salad if those scales don’t turn around a little bit as I’m eating salad I’m going to Popeyes or somewhere and eat me one of those sandwiches. See if that changes my diet plan up a little bit.”
Pittman said it’s not a stress-eating thing, either.
“I’m pretty much an eater eater for a long time,” he said. “I’m a head coach now. I’ve got to eat a little better … I may be on TV a little more or something like that. I’m working at it. Last time I checked I didn’t see ol’ Danny in GQ magazine, either, so we’re about even.”
Pittman knows some of the players are starting to filter back into Fayetteville.
“Early about 90, 95 percent of the team was gone,” he said. “Our sports medicine guy Dave was telling me 35 percent — well, that may be high — 30 percent of the team is starting to trickle back.”
While you can count on Pittman bringing toughness back to a program that has gone downhill in that area the last few years, he’s not worrying about the break being that big of a problem.
“They are in constant contact which translates into accountability,” Pittman said. “We send out three different workouts. One is with weights, one is with bands and one is with body. We’ve got a plan to fit everybody’s needs.”
There are more players that will be coming back to Fayetteville over the next couple of months. Some are bored being back at home and others are just itching to get out.
Quarterback Feleipe Franks has managed to get some throwing and catching in with teammates.
Maybe the biggest part of what Pittman is looking to restore is the physicality that sort of dwindled away, particularly in the trenches.
“You can’t play the game if you don’t like being physical,” Pittman said. “It has to feel good to you. The only way I know how to do it is practice it. When you knock the heck out of somebody and it feels incredibly awesome, you get that feeling and you want to do it again.
“We have to get our team to be the same way.”
That’s what many Razorback fans are wanting to see.