John L. Smith Press Conference: New Arkansas Coach Charms Reporters, Everyone

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John L. Smith, via KFSM-TV.

The Arkansas Razorbacks brought out temporary head coach John L. Smith at a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Smitih's first as a FBS head coach since 2006. Clad in cowboy boots and a suit, Smith hit the ground running, setting up a rock star performance later this year at SEC Media Days.

Smith insisted on no stupid questions, then noted one reporter was looking "fat and sloppy" before openly yearning for a mountain to climb and insisting his staff not remain "in this little ivory tower." He also joked that Jeff Long shot down his initial request to be considered for the interim job. The contrast between the clammed-up Bobby Petrino and Smith couldn't be more immediately apparent.

He said his Weber State players understood why he left his alma mater, adding that his wife called the Arkansas job his last chance at a national title and acknowledging that he'd think of a successful year as "a little redemption for Michigan State." He said leaving Ogden was a "very, very hard decision."

As far as the current staff goes, Smith said he'll be slow to veto and criticize, of course noting that he'll do so when necessary. He threw out a "dummy" there.

Among other highlights, Smith intentionally mispronounced Knile Davis' name, joked about Tyler Wilson already kicking him out, responded with "are you referring to me?" when asked a question referencing mixed nuts, got fired up about special teams, chuckled when walked off stage by Long and began hugging people as soon as he stepped down. Whew!

For more on Hogs football, visit Arkansas blog Arkansas Expats, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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