Sunday afternoon, Arkansas football officially relieved offensive coordinator Dan Enos of his duties – ending his second stint with the program after just eight games. On Monday, head coach Sam Pittman spoke to the media and gave an explanation behind his decision.
“First thing I want to say is, Dan worked extremely hard. He was in the building all the time and put a lot of hours into it,” Pittman said. “It just wasn’t working. So, yesterday (Sunday) morning we decided to go ahead and let Dan go.”
The firing of Enos came just a little over 24 hours after the Razorback offense was unable to score a single touchdown and put together a historically bad perfomance during their 7-3 loss to Mississippi State on Saturday. It’s a popular decision among Arkansas fans and one that had to be made.
One interesting comment that Pittman made early on was how the players may have lacked excitement and motivation to play hard for Dan Enos.
“A lot of coaching has to do with enthusiasm, spirit and wanting to run through a wall for people,” said Pittman. “We just really never had that on the offensive side of the ball. If you look at it defensively, there’s a lot of that there.”
That sheds some much-needed light on why the offense would look flat, uninterested and lethargic at times this season when the defense would be playing with incredible energy and aggressiveness. It may get overlooked, but having a coach that players want to go out and play for is an extremely important aspect of the hiring process. However, it was far from the only issue that the Arkansas offense faced this year under Dan Enos.
“We’ve got to give our kids a chance to win,” Pittman said. “It just seemed like nothing ever came easy for us this year and we’ve got to do some things differently. One of those things is we have to cut down on the volume that we have.”
Pittman would go on to say that the offensive playbook was very deep, but that it would make calling plays for specific playmakers more difficult. With wide receivers coach Kenny Guiton taking over as interim offensive coordinator, not only will they look more like the Arkansas offense of previous years but there will be more emphasis on getting the ball in the hands of their best playmakers.
“Lord knows, we had a lot of offense. You got to shrink that down and do a little good, and let the playmakers make plays,” Pittman said.
The Razorbacks will have 12 days to get Guiton and the offense ready, thanks to this week’s BYE. They travel to Gainesville to face the Florida Gators in “The Swamp” one week from Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.