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Former Stoops assistant gives thoughts on Kentucky’s offensive struggles

UK football headshots. 2-11-16 Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

UK football headshots. 2-11-16
Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

A former Kentucky assistant under head coach Mark Stoops is speaking out on Twitter regarding the Cats’ offensive struggles to start the season.

Lamar Thomas, who was the wide receivers coach under Stoops for the 2016 and 2017 season shared his thoughts during UK’s loss to Georgia. Before he left Lexington, KSR’s Matt Jones reported that Thomas’ contract was not renewed “for one particular reason,” but a need for overall change at the position.

After Thomas’ departure, Stoops turned to Michael Smith who came to Lexington from Arkansas. Prior to this season, Smith resigned as the wide receivers coach.

Kentucky’s struggles in the passing game have been evident over the past few seasons. While last year was not much of the fault of the coaching staff, the lack of production this season is causing issues for this team as a whole.

On Twitter yesterday, Thomas spoke out about the offensive struggles for the team.

“Dang i mean you have been thru 3 wr coaches in last couple of years , its time to start getting a down the field passing game!! The Tight-ends and the wide-outs wanna play 2 !! #whynot. #throwit #tiredofwatchingtherungame”

When asked by a fan how they could improve, Thomas added the following:

“They dont do enough in practice. Not enough individual time to work on getting off press . Alot of blocking and bubble drills though. Smh !!”

One of the retweets on Thomas’ first tweet was by none other than recently resigned coach Michael Smith.

This obviously leads us to ask multiple questions. For one, is this just an example of two disgruntled former assistants taking shots at an old boss? Or is this really part of the problem for the struggles this offense has endured this year?

The big discussion across the Big Blue Nation is that the wide receivers just don’t have the talent to make plays. Fixing that obviously has to start with recruiting, but if you never pass the ball and have former coaches calling out current ones, how can you do that successfully?

Article written by Sam Gormley

Follow me on Twitter @GormleyKSR; "The Whitest Man in the World"-JRock

40 Comments for Former Stoops assistant gives thoughts on Kentucky’s offensive struggles



  1. peaches76
    1:09 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Receivers not getting open all season. And we’re supposed to have talent so….?



  2. blueballs80
    1:13 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    He actually has a point but we still need the run game. We have 3 featured backs we can use in the passing game as well. Look at Kansas Chiefs offense. They use RPO formation and the backs are also recievers and they use their tight ends not to just block.



  3. CatfaninCinci
    1:15 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    I believe that. I really do. I had a friend that played D-1 ball WR tell me there’s tons of technique involved in breaking press and getting separation. He echoed these very things.



  4. JTT15
    1:27 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Our passing game does not look like any other teams in the SEC. Watch all the other games, other teams with inexperienced QBs out perform our kids each week. We are developing several positions into NFL talent, but WRs and QBs aren’t one of them. Kyle Trask hadn’t started a game since middle school, you don’t think he has been coached up? Come on



    • boomroasted09
      3:13 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Amen! Couldn’t have said it better myself.



  5. Gogh Big Bleu
    1:29 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Lamar has had a few interesting tweets recently. It does seem like he’s right. I wish things worked out better for him with UK. It could have been a personality fit, or recruiting results, but for being able to teach WR skills, he didn’t win ships at the U for no reason. He knows WR skill, and how to teach it. I seriously doubt his training/teaching skills were the reason he was let go.



  6. clarks
    1:33 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    These dudes recruited most of the wr on team. It’s very obvious that we dont have speed at wr position.half the time looked like Georgia db not running full speed covering our wr at full speed.



    • IndianaSucks
      4:36 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

      How can you tell a receiver’s speed when they’re only allowed to run 3 yard slants or run to the nearest defender to block.



  7. mashman 93
    1:36 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Our Coach wants to win games 10-7 and this is his fault. Blame Gran all you want, but Stoops is the real culprit.



  8. Middy
    1:42 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Receivers should always have the initial advantage… they know where they’re going and the DB’s do not. I don’t believe our WR’s are so bad that they don’t have enough athleticism to get open. Lesser athletes are getting open and catching passes against the same teams over the past few years. There’s technique to get off press and maintain body position between ball and defender. I’ve assumed it’s mostly scheme and a lack of willingness to take risk downfield. On television you can’t really see what the WR’s are doing. Apparently they’re losing at the snap. The fact Smith is backing up Lamar is eye opening. Not a good look for recruiting.



  9. bramstoker
    2:04 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Wow. Shots fired? Pretty harsh thing to publish about a coach that has been so successful. Stoops plan is to compete first with physicality, then strike with the big play. Thats shouldn’t surprise anyone. WR coaches that are on board with that are few and far between but that’s because of self serving reasons.



    • blueballs80
      2:13 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Not harsh, it is the truth. Another thing to point out is our OL line is primarily taught to run block and our pass blocking needs more work. We have to get innovative and catch up on the offensive side of the game. We can still use the run to set up the pass but if we can’t pass for 200 yards a game, opponets will stack the box and we will the laughing stock of the SEC.



    • TBW3011
      4:38 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Pass blocking is fine. Only passing in absolute OBVIOUS passing situations doesn’t help.



    • IndianaSucks
      4:37 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Wake me when the so called big play happens because I haven’t seen one.



  10. sprtphan
    2:08 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Pot has been stirred.



  11. UKgrad80
    2:17 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    The facts back up the two former employees!



  12. Rick_S
    2:18 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Great, another football post



  13. BigBluSoTru
    2:23 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Lamar is just a big mouth still living off the high of the U heydays. He did the same thing after he left U of L running his mouth . he just a sore loser who is not as revelant as he once was .



    • Bluehender
      2:38 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

      He did the same thing after he left UL? That’s not something UK fans would know much about, because we couldn’t care less about UL. Why you want to troll a UK website? You must really get a kick out of it. I suppose it’s a sad time to be a Louisville fan..



    • bigbluebg
      7:48 am November 2, 2020 Permalink

      Looks like 95% of people agree with LT.

      Our WRs don’t expect to get the ball. It’s that simple.



  14. Dr. Tom
    2:34 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Blueballs80 makes a good point about UK’s OL doing a better job of run blocking. A&M’s offensive line last night against Arkansas was a thing of beauty protecting QB Monds. His jersey didn’t even have to go to the laundry after the game!!



  15. Bo T'Load
    3:14 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Seems on par to me.



  16. Bo T'Load
    3:14 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Seems on par to me.



  17. 859bornandraised
    3:37 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Is he wrong tho?



  18. TBW3011
    4:36 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Someone who left before they started isn’t a “disgruntled former employee”. It’s someone who saw they mistakenly accepted a job opening posted in the 1950’s and wanted the hell out.



  19. Papaw
    6:24 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    He’s right



  20. HackRichards
    7:25 am November 2, 2020 Permalink

    DUH! This has been the most obvious component of the whole season! Last year we had a qb who could not throw very accurately so it was overlooked. This year the wideouts cannot get open or drop the ball when they do.



  21. Big Sexy
    8:31 am November 2, 2020 Permalink

    I’ve been saying this for a few years. All Stoops wants to do is run the ball. He should’ve been a coach at Nebraska in the 70s and 80s. He doesn’t get or develop passing QBs. What WR would want to come to UK now? YOU CANT WIN IN TODAYS FOOTBALL WITHOUT A PASSING GAME!! Glad Lamar spoke out. Hopefully Joey can develop into one. If not, hopefully he will play Beau and not bring in another Terry Wilson to play over him.



  22. juiceisloose
    9:49 am November 2, 2020 Permalink

    There has not been one game of balanced rhythm to the offense since Gran has been here. Hell not even a drive. There is no flow. There is no confidence to the offense. It’s been painfully obvious we need new leadership of the offense. For years now. How the hell this man still has a job is beyond me



  23. OKB
    10:12 am November 2, 2020 Permalink

    Look. Stoops has charted his course. He’s figured out who he wants to be as a head coach. He’s figured out who he wants to be as a defense. He’s figured out who he wants to be as an offense.

    How many Defensive Coordinators has UK cycled through? Has the defense changed much? No. It’s Stoops defense. Big, talented lineman stacked up in depth. Hard nosed, vanilla, great at what they do, know their limitations, disciplined, stingy.

    How many Offensive Coordinators has UK cycled through? Has the offense changed much? No. It’s Stoops offense. Big, talented lineman stacked up in depth. Talented RBs stacked up in depth. Run-first QBs stacked up in depth (well, that’s the intention, lots of those have left, but they’ll bite on the Beau talent and not let it escape, Sawyer came with the OC), RPOs, counters, bubble screen heavy, take a couple shots downfield each game that always go out of bounds or 10 yards over the receivers’ heads intentionally so as not to throw a pick), control the ball, control the clock, play the field position game, TEs and WRs used primarily as run support.

    This isn’t going to change. This is what you get with Stoops. This is what he believes gives UK the best opportunity to win games. Although I don’t like his style of ball, his problem is not actually his style. His problem is that he doesn’t sell what he believes.

    This will necessitate a change in OC. He’ll go to the well with a pass/run balanced OC that has a good name and a good reputation at recruiting. Stoops will make him run the ball first just like he has the last three OCs. He’ll make him recruit the best WRs and QBs that he can capture until the playbook is once again betrayed by the evidence like it is now that he has no real intention of passing the ball. Then he’ll rinse and repeat just as he’s done the with Shannon, Neil, and Eddie.

    Shannon and Neil lived to pass the ball again. Eddie will too. Stoops will continue to throw out a clunker or two or three every year and will continue to get us to bowls and plug along in the middle of the SEC East, and most will be happy with that. Stoops may very well win an SEC East title one year with this exact scheme. To win the SEC or the NCAA a lot of the great offensive minds will have to disappear from the horizon for a great defensive team with a one-dimensional offense to win bigly. That’s not me talking either – ask Saban.



    • justgettingstartedbro
      10:32 am November 2, 2020 Permalink

      Absolutely the best response I’ve seen on this! Wow!



    • UKinIN
      12:12 pm November 2, 2020 Permalink

      The only reason I disagree with this is the first half of the Southern Miss game where Barker was throwing the ball everywhere and WR were making plays. But you’re probably right that after Barker got hurt and UK discovered the Boom and Benny offense Stoops hasn’t looked back.



  24. KYJelly
    10:45 am November 2, 2020 Permalink

    Of course they’re bitter they were let go. If you were fired because of poor results when you knew you weren’t the problem, you’d be bitter too



  25. ukflyguy
    12:09 pm November 2, 2020 Permalink

    Kinda hard to take his comments seriously when he got fired from the two Power 5 jobs Thomas had, and the best he has been able to do since is a arenaball job in Utah. If Lamar was all that and a box of crackerjacks why can’t he find another P5 or NFL job.



  26. bbn606
    1:55 pm November 2, 2020 Permalink

    I hate to hear ex-coaches comment but UK needs to discover the forward pass beyond a bubble screen for two yards or less.