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Joker Phillips chats with ESPN.com readers

(Darrin Phegley/The Gleaner)

Seven Southeastern Conference football coaches visited ESPN early this week. Those in attendance included Arkansas’ John L. Smith, Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Alabama’s Nick Saban, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, and of course, our own Joker Phillips from Kentucky.

While the SEC coaches were wondering around ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, each took some time to chat with readers of SportsNation. Phillips joined the chat yesterday afternoon after recording a spot for SportsCenter. If you enjoy bland, generic answers, this is the Q&A session for you!

Q: Dustin (Kentucky)Coach Phillips, which player(s) have caught your and your staff’s eye so far this off-season?

A: Joker Phillips There are plenty of guys that have had good off-season’s. There are guys that have had excellent springs, excellent off-season’s. The thing we must do is be productive in games.

Do we interpret that as nobody as caught your eye? I hear Marcus Caffey, the converted tailback-to-cornerback has impressed during practice, as has senior wide receiver La’Rod King.

Q: Matthew (Sycamore)Dear Coach Philips, What talents does your team have?

A: Joker PhillipsWe think we have some young talented players along with some experienced guys that have been in our program for a long time. We are developing some more playmakers at the skill positions which should give us some chances to have production on both sides of the ball.

So if I understand correctly, Kentucky has some freshmen, some seniors, and some guys in between? Developing those skill positions will be a key progress-determiner for Mitch Barnhart at the end of the season. Was Phillips able to build on last season and move the program forward, even if the wins and losses don’t show it?

Q: Matthew (Sycamore)Are you happy with your starting QB?

A: Joker PhillipsWe have a QB competition. We have two quality guys that have played a lot of snaps in this league. Two very very talented incoming freshmen.

Maxwell Smith is your quarterback. Morgan Newton is the only threat for that to change, and barring an injury (knock on wood), Smith would need some abysmal games after the season started to be replaced. Patrick Towles is an outstanding QB, but needs time in the system and will most likely redshirt. Jalen Whitlow, the three-star athlete from Alabama will likely never line up at quarterback for the Cats. He’s too valuable in other positions.

Q: Susan (Louisville)What position will be the most improved from last year in your opinion?

A: Joker PhillipsWe feel like our DL will be our most improved. We saw a lot of that improvement start to take shape at the end of last season.

Collins Ukwu and Taylor Wyndham on the outside, Mister Cobble and Donte Rumph on the inside. Oh yeah, the defensive line is going to be good.

Q: Michael (Lou.-KY)Are we working on any fun and interesting wrinkles to the offense this year? One of reasons I think we had success against UT was that they weren’t prepared for our offensive scheme for that game.

A: Joker PhillipsWe’re developing an offense that allows us to put people in position to make plays for us. We’re developing an offense where once the kids start to make plays, they have confidence and therefore they develop into playmakers for us.

Make plays… Seems simple enough?

If you just can’t get enough of these verbose and elaborate responses, head on over to ESPN.com to read more.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

35 Comments for Joker Phillips chats with ESPN.com readers



  1. pioneer
    1:03 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    If its the same offense they used the last few years, my guess is we will have plenty of players in position to make plays, but piss poor execution will make it nearly impossible to make any BIG plays. Other than that however I am excited about football season.



  2. What A Loser...
    1:05 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    What a bunch of open-ended, asshat answers. “I don’t have anything exciting to talk about because we are horrible…therefore I am going to give vauge, open-ended answers.”

    Can see a huge difference between him and other exciting coaches in college sports. How are with supposed to get motivated with garbage like this?



  3. Mr. Obvious
    1:15 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I’m already bored with football season…



  4. Matt in Franklin
    1:16 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I’m trying really hard to support this team, but it’s getting harder and harder after listening to each interview our HC does. Does anybody think he is holding his cards close to his vest after blowing Newton up last year and then being really, really wrong?



  5. roscolio
    1:23 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I can see it now–third and long–handoff up the middle or short pass (behind line of scrimmage). works every time–not.



  6. Joker Phillips
    1:23 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I think the comments above are words. Our summer is going as anticipated. Players are passing the look test and are bigger stronger and faster.



  7. Ben
    1:25 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    What a bunch of garbage! How can someone speak for so long and say nothing! No wonder the players are confused. This is a perfect example of someone being in over his head. Very little hope for this season!



  8. 3 fan
    1:25 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    My God. That was worthless. Joker, your team is gonna be bad. Try to be entertaining or brush up your resume.



  9. pioneer
    1:25 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    #4 He is either holding his cards close, or he knows all he has is dog turds in his hand and he better just keep quiet and try and keep his job through the season. I would hope Joker learned his lesson after tooting his horn about Morgan Newton. He made it sound like Morgan was “Killa” Cam Newton. But Morgan was really more like Jimmy Neutron, only not as smart!



  10. blitzedanddazed
    1:26 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    The only reason Joker is so nonchalant about his job security is because he knows he will get a big buyout from the University when he gets fired.



  11. Laker Cat 18
    1:28 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I just hope our receivers can catch the freakin ball.



  12. Octomom condom
    1:29 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I am more useful than Joker



  13. BG Cat Fan
    1:33 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    If offense performs to the potential they showed last year and defensive line is able to disrupt SEC offenses, we can put some points on the board and surprise some people. I think Joker is keeping it low key intentionally, but we will know soon.



  14. ChicagoCat
    1:33 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Uh oh! It’s a football post! Cue all the negative posts ripping Joker for giving a lame interview because “our team is terrible”. Coach interviews and chats are always like this. Getting into specifics serves no purpose and can only hurt rather than help.

    I wonder, with all the “fans” that are already dumping football before the season has even begun, is it only for the sake of being “right” after the season is over? So you can tell yourself you knew we’d be bad? Congratulations. You’re like Randy Quaid in Major League II except for without the excitement to start the season.



  15. UKIT
    1:34 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Dude reminds me more and more of Tubby every day. Besides having a few issues with the English language – his answers to very simple questions are poor and of course, not really answers.

    Rick handed Tubby the keys to a Porsche and Tubby turned it into a John Deere riding lawn mower.

    Rich handed Joker the keys to a F-150 and Joker traded it in on a pack of chewing gum.



  16. pioneer
    1:42 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    #14 I still have my season tix there Chi Cat. I can say whatever I want about the mediocrity that is UK football. We all already know the end results for this season, and if you are a CAT you too would realize the history of UK football. I am still going to every home game and maybe even an away game. Bottom line, I still show up and support the team, and I pay my F’n K FUND so I am allowed to bitch and say whatever I want to say about UK football. I help to pay the staff’s salary, so its just like taxes and voting. If you dont vote or pay taxes, then you are not allowed to bitch. If you show up and support the team, then you are allowed to bitch, before/during/and after the season.

    Sorry for the rant….



  17. BG Cat Fan
    1:44 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I used the analogy of Tubby turned my Thoroughbreds into plow horses. Both are good but one is special.



  18. Dow Jones
    1:47 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    14 – No, Chief, us fans that say Joker will not succeed this season has nothing to do with us wanting to be “right” at seasons end. You do realize you kinda admitted we’re gonna suck by saying that? You are the kinda person that wont say something for fear it will really happen, aren’t ya? You probably also hang on to a stock for years even as it continues to lose value, just so you can say you never gave up on it. Joker is a sinking stock, and he is dragging the fotball program with him.

    Do me a favor, pull a couple of the football players aside, and ask them if they’d rather have Joker or Saban, Miles, Meyer or even Rich Brooks as their coach. Yes, it is a trick question.



  19. ThatsAShame
    1:48 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    The people bashing Joker for his answers need to go re-read most all of Cal’s press quotes. Coachspeak is coachspeak. Face it, no matter what this site posts, if it has Joker’s name on it there will be a series of people that will just come on her to complain about how bad UK FB is and how much of it is Joker’s fault.
    Its sad but if the Internet has taught us anything (and it probably has not) its that there is no shortage of negative people willing to complain about anything. That said I realize that my post by definition is now a complaint about something. The irony is delicious.



  20. lonnieb
    1:53 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Can joker please actually a question without blowing smoke up are ass.
    “We could be really good if all the stars lineup up correctly and moon shifts a little and everyone plays their absoulte best every single game”



  21. Reporter
    1:53 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Reporter: Tell me how you’re players have improved

    Joker: We have players on the team that are working hard to improve and allow themselfs the ability to maybe make a play.

    Reporter: You know you didn’t answer my question all you did was confirm you have players on your team and pretty much gave a discription of effort.

    Joker: Can you believe they are paying me 1.7 Million dollars for this product. Man only in America. If I was anywhere else I’d been fired a year ago. To bad the other UK employees that were fired this year didn’t have the same contract. Poor [email protected]#[email protected]#



  22. Rommy Goodman
    1:55 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I’m suprised we suck as a football team with such a motivating coach who speaks eloquently…



  23. RealTalk
    1:56 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve seen all of these questions, and answers on this site before! I ENJOY reading exciting things twice!



  24. Reality Bites
    1:56 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Hey ‘hardcore fans’ – you guys that rip us for saying anything negative about Joker…

    So, when Joker gets fired this season (either during or right after) – give me a few names of schools that will snatch Joker up to coach their team next season. Let’s hear ’em?



  25. pioneer
    1:59 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    #19 comparing Cal’s pressers to Jokers could be kinda shortsided. I mean really, Cal’s teams are actually good and have proven something. My guess is JC is trying to be coy and make sure his players are motivated, stay focused and dont believe the hype. Joker on the other hand…. well I think you realize where this one is going. He has nothing to be coy about, so just come out and speak the truth. Cal is a master wordsmith and media manipulator. Joker is barely a masterbator.



  26. Reality Bites
    2:03 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    19 – please tell me you are not putting Cal and Joker’s names in the same sentence. Cal could speak Spanish or not speak AT ALL and he could still point to his NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ring. What’s Joker got to show for himself, a BB&T (or whatever that BS) bowl tshirt?

    You sir, must have gone to school with Joker (equally as dumb).



  27. Mike Leach
    2:06 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Uh Huh! Hire me away from this cold, rainy a$$ dump here in Washington and Ile help you sell out all the home games, have you in a bowl and consistently kick the chit out of UT, USC, FL and oh, will look forward to the day I meet Saban and Miles. IF YOU ASK, I WILL COME!!!!!



  28. HardCoreFanpych
    2:08 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Hey#23 – I’ll tell you who:
    First off Florida…oh wait. How about USC..no not them either..uhh EKU…nope..uh…hmmmm I know I Know the Tennessee school for the Blind..There IN YOUR FACE BOOM!



  29. last place
    2:16 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Man, some of you folks are allowing Joker to make you look foolish. What are you gonna say when we win 5 or fewer games this season? Will it be us “negative fans” fault? Will it be the Legislature’s fault? Will it be the players fault? Who will be responsible?

    And to think, we could have hired any number of coaches and this could have been their down season while they built the program up. Not Joker’s 3rd season of mediocre or below.

    These are ALL Jokers kids, he recruited them all, HE WAS ON THE PREVIOUS STAFF, damn…



  30. Joker
    2:22 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    For your information, my agent has already received calls from the Hikes Point Lobos (3rd/4th grade team) and some girl from Mercy High School called to see if I would be interested in coaching the freshman powder puff team. So, I am wanted!



  31. BBN
    3:01 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    #27 – I understand the humor and seriousness in your comment. That aside, the weather in Pullman, Washington is much nicer than Lexington. There is much less humidity and the temperatures are mild in winter. It snows there but the area does not have the extremely cold temperatures like Lexigton gets.



  32. Football Man
    8:37 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    John Gruden is the man for the job!



  33. Football Man
    8:38 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I want Gruden for the job!



  34. bubba 77
    1:27 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I bet if we start off 4 and 0 all you fairweather fans will be talking smack. we will be lots better this year fellas!



  35. R Brooks
    1:31 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    joker has it going this year.