SEC Media Days continue today, and Joker Phillips and Kentucky got placed in the early morning start time. With the 9:30am slot, Joker took the stage with Danny Trevathan, Stuart Hines, and Morgan Newton. You already missed our guys, probably, but coverage of the rest of the day is streaming at ESPN3.com. Let’s take a look at what went down this morning when Joker hit the mic:
– Re: paying/compensating players, Joker said it’s “great that we’re having a dialogue” about the subject.
– While, Glenn Faulkner is not yet officially eligible, Joker said they expect him to be eligible soon and that the paperwork in underway.
– Coach has some very hopeful things to say about where the program is headed, and he kicked that off by discussing the Rise theme of this year: “Our theme this year is Rise. Rise means not just going to bowl games. It means competing for championships. We are doing a lot of things to elevate this program.”
– Joker calls on new guys to step in and “fill the void” of those lost in order for the team to continue to success, something we’ve all been hoping for.
– Joker said the UK players have gotten “a lot bigger, a lot stronger, and a lot leaner.” Those are always encouraging words to hear from a head coach, especially when the optimistic-Joker starts discussing the goal to win the SEC, citing the fact that the Cat have “beaten some of the best teams in the league.” Beating them consistently is the next step, he said. Joker thinks UK is “very, very close” to getting “over the wall” of being an SEC East contender.
– Joker asked his players after the bowl game “Are you ready to do the right things, with the right attitude, with the right maturity, with the right focus…every day.” He sees this is necessary for continued rise/success.
– On coaching, he mentioned the positive addition of Minter running the defense. Joker called Minter a “mentor”…Minter the Mentor, that rhymes. Also, Rock Oliver has made the players “look different“. Good to know. Joker also still talks to Rich Brooks about what’s going on, except he has a voicemail from him he has yet to return. He’s one of those guys.
– He accidentally called Larry Warford by the name Paul, his cousin and former player. Not sure why I even wrote this down.
– Joker is against eliminating kickoffs. Thank you.
– Joker made a nice point about having 5 Kentuckian coaches who “want to be there” (3 former UK letterman) and how it takes passion/”juice” to give your all to this team and program as a coach.
– Joker addressed athletes using Twitter. There is a staff member who monitors it all. He said a tweet is like an interview, and never goes away. Now, he tells the players to imagine “Dear General Manager” at the beginning of every tweet or public message because people do pay attention.
Since going off the stage, Joker has done interviews with ESPN and CBS. The player took the stand after him, and we’ll get some updates of any gems they dropped.