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KSR Sources: Joker Phillips and Rick Minter With Post-UL Issues


Sources tell KSR that the University of Kentucky football field and locker room have been the site of a number of heated conversations between Coach Joker Phillips and Defensive Coordinator Rick Minter over the past 10 days. According to multiple sources, Phillips and Minter had a verbal confrontation on the sideline during the UL game about the defensive philosophy and alignments utilized during the game. According to the sources, Phillips became agitated in the second half and screamed audibly to Minter, “we have to do something different. You have to change it up.” Phillips’ issues primarily revolved around the defensive alignments, but also included personnel decisions as to what positions each player was in on the defensive side of the field. He yelled at Minter that they needed to “try man” and Minter made no changes, leaving the team in a primarily zone look. The two argued loudly, but there was no obvious change during the game.

The sources tell KSR that the disagreement spilled into practice and pre-game meetings in the week leading up to the Kent State game. According to one source, “Joker was very upset that no changes were made after he made it clear that he wanted to see a different philosophy. He confronted him (Minter) about it and there was a disagreement.” According to the sources, after some discussion, changes were agreed upon by the two players, specifically involving the movement of players onto different positions on the field. Bud Dupree, Taylor Wyndham and Avery Williamson all were given slightly different assignments for the Kent State game and some added packages emphasizing pressure on the quarterback were installed. Joker also made it clear that he wanted to see more young players in the game and given a chance to make plays.

Phillips has made no comments on any disagreement in defensive philosophy, although he did mention a comment made to Minter about the status of the defense. Today he told reporters, “you can’t stop everything. But I’ve told Rick (Minter), ‘We’ve got to stop something.'” One source tells KSR, “the relationship between Joker and Rick is not broken, but there were some issues there when Joker believed Rick ignored him during the game. But winning cures everything, and things are better now.” We will see more about the defense and what changes are in place Saturday against Western Kentucky.

Article written by Matt Jones

46 responses to “KSR Sources: Joker Phillips and Rick Minter With Post-UL Issues”

  1. Im Just Sayin

    I agree the defense stinks, but this smells like the Bus is being warmed up to run over Minter and then back over him again when things go south this season.

  2. 8generationsblue

    U obey the head man or hit the road

  3. Ryan YMCB

    scape goat?

  4. Steve

    When you have a subordinate who won’t do what you ask, its time to get a new subordinate. If Minter was so blind as to think that Joker was wrong, that changes DIDN’T need to be made in the UL game, there are bigger issues than the chain o’ command.

    “You know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I go get and beat you with ’til you understand who’s in ruttin’ command here!”

  5. kes

    joker is the boss, but having said that, minter forgot more football then the joke has ever known

  6. St. Paul Raiders

    I’ve done a complete 180 on my feelings regarding Joker since the end of last season. I feel like so far this season he’s doing everything he should have been doing the previous two. Playing the most talented players (regardless of class) and rewarding those that are producing. Also seems to be taking some chances as well. And finally, he seems to be showing more fire than he has in the past. Can’t forget the two years of nearly nonexistent recruiting, but the young guys seem to be of the caliber we should expect and I’m excited to see them grow. Hopefully with Joker for a few more years.

  7. WERUK

    This happens from high school to NFL all the time, its a non story. Just KSR wanting to stir the pot, with their “Sources”

  8. dtg

    Do you honestly believe this kind of thing happens with a Nick Saban or Jim Harbaugh, etc. or even Rich Brooks for that matter… no respect for Joker- he is quite simply and obviously NOT head coaching material. For his actions, I’d can Minter in a heartbeat but Joker won’t do it.

  9. I Yell Cartwright

    5) He must have forgotten it all before he got to UK, because the D hasn’t been anything to write home about since his arrival.

    I actually think this is a positive sign for Joker. It was obvious something needed to change throughout the UofL game, and it didn’t. It isn’t rocket science to see what was working for them and what wasn’t for us.

  10. WERUK

    6. Well said and I agree. IMO if we get rid of Joker we will be another 2-3 years set back with a new coach,system,players leaving etc.

  11. Pu

    5. You may be right about Minter knowing more about football, but SOMETHING needed to change on the defensive side of the ball during the ul game. Make the change, and if it doesn’t work, then it’s on Joker. That zone coverage we ran all day didn’t work. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?..

  12. I'm Just Sayin

    This season’s results are inevitable at this point. If we can’t stop Kent St from running 0 for the SEC isn’t far behind. 3 and 8 is where this is headed. Surely stories like this are not going to let Joker stay.

  13. Yesterdays

    Joker is right- you have to stop something. If you are going to give up alot of scores and yards, might as well bring the house. Might even create a turnover or two.

  14. Just Sayin'

    I’d be fine with minter taking it on the chin and giving joker one more year. haven’t been a fan of minter’s defense. got lucky last year with having trevethan and guy.

  15. NKY_UK_fan

    What has Minter ever done? I honestly don’t know. Not trying to rip on the guy.

  16. UKBlue

    You would either have to be extremely hard headed, stupid, blind or some combination of all these things if you couldn’t or failed to notice that the defense was getting their asses handed to them in the UL game. Defensive wasn’t working, so of course let us keep doing the same thing hoping that it would eventually work. If you’re a coach & you can’t recognize what you’re doing isn’t working & then adapt, you are one piss poor coach.

  17. wildcat502

    All throughout the Louisville game, I kept saying we were in a prevent defense and not attacking. There were several instances where the defense was waiting on U of L offensive players to make a move, then they would react. Its too late then.
    I thought Minter was an attacking defensive coach and so far, no one has attacked.
    With the offensive changes, if we continue this for years and the younger players we have added, I`d like to give Joker one more year.

  18. GarbageTruckMan

    Again, KSR taking a shot at football. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that Matt Jones wouldn’t come out with stories of Billy G “to protect the program”? Yes, he eventually did share a lot of those stories but at the time they were kept quiet. Obviously this happens throughout football at all levels. Coaches and their coordinators are like a marriage and there will be disagreement. KSR and Matt Jones are just taking a poorly placed jab at football and again illustrates the bias. There isn’t a story here but Jones attempts to stir the pot.

  19. Leave it To Matt

    LEave it to Matt Jones (who wants a new coach but tells people publically that he wants Joker to succeed) to write a negative article to paint Joker in a bad light. People dont realize that the ONLY reason Matt is successful right now is due to Calipari. So he could care less about the football team and Joker. Get a life Matt. You wont stand up to Barnhart, so you would rather start causing more problems w this junk to bring Joker down. Little Goodman Jr!

  20. Gridiron_cat

    You can’t just ignore your boss. #11, I agree, Joker says to blitz more and go man, you do it, if it fails miserably then it’s on him, not you.

  21. catlogic15

    Linebacker coach at Ball State=SEC Defensive coordinator.

    Yeah right.

  22. kywildcat

    Lets blame minter again this year, sound like a plan ?

  23. Jimtown Catfan

    Joker is a good man and bleeds blue, I do not doubt that. I havent been a fan of his style of offense nor the overall product on the field. However, I have been impressed by the Joker of 2012. He is trying to put an exciting brand of offense on the field. I loved it when he called the onside kick against UL. I like the fact that he wants to see the most talented players on the field regardless if they are a frosh or senior. I love the fact that hes in minters rear end!! There is more fire and passion in Joker this year.
    Joker is fighting for his job and the University. Hes stepping it up with the offense and Minter needs to adopt the same attitiude with the defense. Send the house, play some man to man!! Put some heat on the other team. Make them rush a play or induce a turnover. What is there to lose? Sit back in a soft zone and get picked apart? I say get after them like a bunch of crazy SOB’s!!
    Hopefully these two coaches can get on the same page. If Minter cant abide to the head coaches instruction, maybe we need a new DC!!

    Keep up the good work Joker!! I like what youre trying to do!!

  24. Jay

    19. I think the post made Minter look bad instead of Joker.

  25. barn

    uh-oh, i smell an escape goat. expect some casualties resulting from being run over by a bus in the near future.

  26. HilljakLinbeard

    Escape Goat being pointed out.

  27. adf

    If the Cats turn it around this year and someday get a major motion picture made about them, this will make a really cool scene in the film!

  28. DerbyDemon

    Interesting. If Minter doesn’t respect a HEAD COACH enough to listen to a few suggestions, he needs to be shown the door. I haven’ been impressed once with his hire anyway. And for him to get on post game comments and rave about how great his defense had performed against Kent State is a bit too much to take.

  29. JustSayin

    I’m pretty sure Rick could have made the same statement to Joker regarding the offense last year!

  30. GoCats2010

    Joker comes out looking better in this than Minter…he can kick rocks. He shouldn’t have had to be told to change it up…his D was failing miserably and he still didn’t mix it up.

    Minter was coaching linebackers at a high school for a reason…

  31. UKBlue

    It’s scapegoat not escapegoat; Good Lord people.

  32. john4uk

    Minters defensive schemes have been less than impressive since his arrival at UK.If this account is true,Joker needs to let him go.Jokers’ job is on the line,and he needs to make adjustments on the defensive side of the ball big time,and he can’t afford to let play like we have seen continue.

  33. barn

    thanks ukblue i just won my bet

  34. Douchebaggery

    31. It’s a joke from when some fan tweeted to Daniel Orton who said he was using his mother as an escapegoat.

  35. Brow Down

    31. hahahaha!

  36. Big J

    Joker has to go. Now! No one respects him. It has to be earned, it’s not an entitlement.

  37. NYCWildcat

    Minter sucks. I’d get rid of him before Joker.

  38. DJCats

    Joker’s first mistake was hiring Minter as his defensive coordinator in the first place! This defense has containment issues, lacks lane discipline and to say they’re not very physical is an understatement. Overall, it simply lacks discipline across the board. These problems stem directly from coaching or the lack of… 15). To answer your question, he was absolutely terrible as the head coach at Univ. of Cincinnati. Once he was let go from that job, the Bearcats program has taken off. If Joker has any chance at keeping his job and if this team has any chance having a decent year, I think he absolutely has the right to put some pressure on Mintor when the defense isn’t delivering the basics. Even if they’re a little short on the talent side, there is no excuse for a defense not to be sharp on the fundamentals.

  39. MattJonesisTheEricDanielsofUKMedia

    For Minter to think that his game plan at UL was working is crazy. They put no pressure on the QB all day. They also didn’t have enough players at the line to stop the run.

  40. BigBlueSkyDog

    Gotta side with Joker on this one. The defense stunk. They couldn’t get any pressure with a three or four man rush and couldn’t cover either. They’d have been better off rushing six guys everytime. Bridgewater was looking like Joe Montana in the pocket.

  41. BigBlueHaze

    Does it really matter? Anyway, who hired Minter? Just another in a long line of mistakes from the Joke (of a coach).

  42. letsroll

    The head coach at louisville ran his offense coordinator off last year when he would not follow orders,Joker FIRE HIM KNOW .

  43. Frew Dranklin

    This may be a lack of respect since Joker worked for Minter at UC. Every head coach must deal with this early in their career, and dealing with it appropriately results in respect.  This is Joker’s team, and it is up to him to get it done, and if that means getting on to your defensive coordinator for what may be insubordination, then you deal with it.  Sounds like Joker is dealing with it and doing it in a professional manner.  I don’t think Scape Goat accusations are appropriate since the changes Joker has demanded resulted in much better results.  Matt Jones has been forced to do this to Drew Franklin a time or two as Drew has tried to remove the photo of Kige several times.

  44. Beavis

    Appropriate manner ??? Yelling at each other on the sidelines and at practice in front of the players ????

  45. Swordfish

    GO TOPS ! ! ! !

  46. Andrew Jackson

    They s’posed to be SEC