The Kentucky football team received a day off on Wednesday. After the Hump Day reprieve, they returned to action for Practice No. 6. Defensive coordinator Matt House was pleased with today’s practice and explained how his secondary is progressing through camp.
“I definitely think they’re a year smarter, a year more experienced. They’re communicating better. They’re understanding concepts better. You can tell they’ve put a lot of work into the summer.”
That wasn’t the only thing we learned during today’s media session.
1. No Jordan Jones
Jordan Jones is still not completely integrated into practice. After suffering a shoulder injury in the spring, House said the 2016 All-SEC selection is currently sidelined with a minor ankle issue. Jones has spent quite a bit of time on the sideline over the last year, but it doesn’t concern House too much.
“There’s probably rust and truthfully, it’s a lot different seeing it on the grass than in the film room.”
While Jones isn’t seeing snaps, a trio of talented young linebackers are competing for playing time. Even though none of them have played a down SEC football, House sees plenty of potential in Jamin Davis, Chris Oats and DeAndre Square.
“I’m encouraged. I think Jamin, Chris and DeAndre have all flashed. All of them have had learning moments too, but I’m really, really encouraged with that group.”
2. Matt House has a Voice
Normally, it’s difficult to discern what Kentucky’s defensive coordinator is saying. That hasn’t been the case so far this year. A week into training camp, it’s remarkable that he is not hoarse. It’s probably a good sign, but House refuses to admit that screaming is to blame for his persistently strained vocal cords. “I’m telling ya, it means I’ve adjusted to the allergies.”
3. The Offense Ended Practice
Mark Stoops likes to end practice with a big play. It doesn’t matter if it is the offense or the defense, practice just needs to end with a BANG. Today the offense put the exclamation point on practice. House didn’t clarify who it was, but his remarks about the difficulties Dorian presented the defense lead me to believe it was Baker.
“We felt Dorian today,” House said. “Dorian made a nice play. It’s good to see Dorian back.”
4. Boogie’s Badass Bandana
The outside linebacker let’s his play do the talking.
5. Josh Allen Flipped
Boogie and Josh Allen are playing on different sides of the defense. Last year, Allen was a Sam linebacker. This year Allen is stepping over to Denzil Ware’s former home as the Jack linebacker. Boogie will fill Allen’s former position. House said Allen’s move should give him more opportunities to rush the passer.
6. Don’t Hit the Quarterback
This is actually common knowledge, but it comes with more caveats than you might think. During the team period of Saturday’s open practice, defensive end Calvin Taylor Jr. swatted a ball from Terry Wilson’s hands. “I got in trouble for that, but it’s just a natural movement,” Taylor pleaded.
I spent about 20 minutes talking to the defensive line and their coach, Derrick LeBlanc. I have a feeling you’re going to like what you hear (especially about the nose guards) when the profile hits the front pages of Kentucky Sports Radio dot com.