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Joker Phillips on holding back freshmen: “To heck with that.”

Joker Phillips has been hesitant to play his freshmen in years past. The talent has been there in the underclassmen, but he’s always opted to play the veterans for their experience. This year, however, he has a new philosophy on age and experience.

“To heck with that,” he said. “Let them play.”

Joker believes this year’s freshmen have just as much talent, if not more talent than the guys in front of them. Like he said yesterday, he’s going to simplify the defense to get them out there early and gain some experience. He plans to put them on the field now, so we’re not calling them inexperienced if someone like a Martavius Neloms or Avery Williamson goes down to injury and a freshman is thrown into the fire on the road in SEC play.

Yesterday, he mentioned linebackers Khalid Henderson and Pancho Thomas as two guys who will see time at linebacker. Today, he spoke highly of cornerbacks JD Harmon and Fred Tiller. Look to see a lot of them against Kent State as well.

To heck with it.

Put the most talented guys out there and let them learn as they go.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

35 Comments for Joker Phillips on holding back freshmen: “To heck with that.”



  1. Blue Monster
    1:10 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    First!



  2. chad spalding
    1:11 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    I feel sorry for Joker because he is such a passionate coach/fan and I really want to see him succeed. My desire to see the team succeed supersedes my well wishes for Joker, so if when is all is said and done, whatever decision the program comes up with is fine with me.
    GO CATS!!!!!



  3. Beavis
    1:12 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    If they have the talent ( and why would you recruit them if they did not ) let them play. What have you got to lose at this point ? However,,,looks desperate.



  4. Diorio's Pizza
    1:12 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Free slice of Matt Jones SPECIAL Pizza during all Yew Kay Football games!!!!
    NO charge for “Extra Special Sauce!” Choker Joker wall posters for the Kitty Kiddies!!



  5. wildcat502
    1:17 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    All Joker needs to do is win at a 500 level. The administration is happy with that. The SEC splits the bowl money, so even if the Wildcats dont go bowling, we still get just as much money as Alabama, LSU, etc.
    Pay the basketball coach 5 million a year and the football coach 1.5 million. Where does our prioities lie?????????????????????



  6. Tc571
    1:19 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Wow! Look how clever! Someone made a special sauce joke. How funny and original! I only wish I was could be that clever and funny.



  7. BigBlueAces
    1:20 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    The next coach says “Thanks!”



  8. Musehobo
    1:27 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Put yourself in Joker’s shoes. You’re a coach of one of the worst teams in the SEC. You’re fan base is happy with around a .500 season. You play it close to the vest…staying conservative out of fear of getting embarrassed. If short passes, pounding the ball, and the always-safe punt rule the game, you stand the best chance to not get blown out, and maybe steal a few. I can’t really blame him for that outlook. It’s probably what I’d do.

    But now he’s only getting slightly under .500. And everyone’s turning on him. He sees it. So he throws conservative to the dogs. Maybe he should have done this last year, I don’t know. But I think we’re about to see what that kind of Joker looks like. Maybe it will be better…it HAS to be more entertaining to watch. Maybe he’ll lose more, and by more points. Who knows? But I can’t blame him.

    Who would have known we’d be happy with six wins, but not five.



  9. Wolves at the Door
    1:28 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    A sign Joker realizes how dire his situation is. Too bad for him it won’t make much difference. Like Curry, a great person, but a bad football coach.



  10. Musehobo
    1:30 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    9) Our “bad” football coach would probably bend over the ACC or the Big East. Maybe you should add some perspective there.



  11. asdf
    1:30 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Joker used to call an exciting offense back when his and Coach Brooks’ backs were against the wall and they were all in danger of being canned. Maybe history will repeat itself?



  12. UKBlue
    1:38 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    People we need to prepare ourselves, we could very easily lose this game. Vegas is only giving us 7 points, hello this is Vegas telling us just how bad we suck; we should be 15 – 20 point favorites.



  13. wldctky
    1:50 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    if joker really believes that, what didn’t he start Towles? he is the only QB on the roster with NFL potential



  14. Diorio's Pizza
    1:51 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #6 ENVY ! I bet you really do “wish I was could be that clever and funny.”
    But alas, you’re NOT!!
    Did you pass ANY GRAMMER class at BugTussle Elementary School for inbreds????



  15. buikefor3
    2:00 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #14..you spelled grammar wrong. and you may be an idiot.



  16. Earache
    2:01 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    About time



  17. Baldi
    2:07 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Then why in the crap did he not play his more talented players against UL?



  18. WB
    2:10 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #15..He is.



  19. Beavis
    2:12 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    # 10,,,,,you have one thing right,,,,the bend over part. That is what wiull happen to him anywhere he coaches.



  20. STEVE!
    2:14 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    17 – Amen, Brother! Did he only realize yesterday that they were more talented? Same question on offense. We heard all off-season how great the incoming wide receivers were, then saw Fields and McCaskill start the game. Now they are being replaced by more talented players.



  21. JBR
    2:17 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, what a novel idea from a D1 coach…play your best players…man, that’s just crazy.

    And in related news, see the below post that Joker’s pet, Sanders, will start at RB over our hyped freshmen. Sanders, who I am sure is a fine young man, has always been Joker’s favorite, and rarely produced…SAME OLD STUFF



  22. DerbyDemon
    2:21 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #8–Obviously you’ve watched a different team and coach than most of us have. When Joker Phillips starts his non-conservative approach to ball games, please let me know. “Now he’s only getting under .500.” Tell me, what in the hell do you think he should strive for: 4 wins? 3, 2? And your suggestion that by “playing it close” he doesn’t get blown out, and that UK’s fan base is happy with .500 ball. Hmmm; that IS interesting. Tell me, did you watch ANY games last year? Oh, and if his buddy Charlie Strong hadn’t pulled most of his starters midway through the third quarter this year, that game could have been much worse.



  23. RICK
    2:33 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Well how about letting Patrick in the game, we already lsot one good quarterback because he wouldnt let him in the game lets not lose another.



  24. wildcat502
    2:37 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Charlie Strong has been at U of L just as long as Joker has been head coach here. Strong took over a team that was clearly worse than ours. Where is each team today????? We beat U of L 5 times prior to the changes, lost 2 since. And with 70 % of U of L being freshmen and sophomores, the future does not look bright.
    I love Joker as a U of K alum and I wish things could`ve worked out, but……..



  25. Sissy
    2:48 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Well it’s working for the basketball team……let ’em play.



  26. bigbluecats
    2:52 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Did he finally learn a little something from Coach Cal about experience doesnt always outweigh youthful talent. Did it take Cal winning the title for him to finally see this. In all apects of sports you should always have the most talented player/players in the game.



  27. ChicagoSucks
    3:50 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    RICK,

    If you are talking about Moss, it’s a bit more complicated. We don’t know the status of his shoulder.

    As far as Towles is concerned, you might be right. I think being thrown into an inept offense last year has made a big difference for Smith. I’m inclined to take a similar approach with Towles: put him at #2 on the depth chart. If Smith regresses or gets injured, then burn Towles’ redshirt. Otherwise, keep Smith in there and let him use the chemistry he has with Collins, King, Boyd and the TEs.



  28. Joker's Seat
    3:52 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #15 – You used a conjunction after a period. Now go to the back of the short bus.

    I agree with #9. Why hold back now.



  29. Musehobo
    3:57 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    22) You made my point for me. Were the fans happy with last year? No. We were 5-7. Were the fans happy the year before? Yes. We were 6-6.

    What number of wins is satisfactory to me…or you…is arbitrary. The point is the fans, as a whole are happy with 6 wins, not 5. So we have one year under .500 and we’re calling for his head. Yes it looks bad this year, but let’s let it play out, then see what to do.

    And I never made the argument that playing conservative was the right choice. A matter of fact, I’ve disliked watching UK under Joker’s watch. My point was that it’s probably what I would have done being under the amount of pressure you’re under at a bottom-of-the-barrel SEC school. Joker’s had two years. That’s VERY little time for anyone to adjust to their FIRST head coaching job…anywhere…let alone at UK.



  30. Musehobo
    4:00 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Haha! The grammar police are making their rounds today. Technically, you can start a sentence with a conjunction. But, if you want to be picky, he really should have used some capitalization.



  31. jaws2
    4:29 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    (29) Sure, so if your logic holds up about the two years, what’s Vandy doing whipping our Arsses? There’s no way that should have happened last year and my money says they’ll beat us at home this year.



  32. Bobbysueflay
    5:18 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    That says a lot about his past years players brought in. That’s the way to build up confidence in the veterans. Tell them freshman are better. To bad uk is the only school with this problem



  33. carnifex
    6:39 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Musehobo…You said–” Our “bad” football coach would probably bend over the ACC or the Big East. Maybe you should add some perspective there.”

    A coachless Pitt team and 2 UL teams, with the UL teams being younger than we are, would like to differ with you. Maybe you should learn some history. And some math.



  34. Diorio's Pizza
    6:56 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #15 Thank you Mother Superior,now…read a real MORONS sentance:
    “I only wish I was could be that clever and funny.”
    Cow Chit Elementary should be proud!



  35. Rae
    10:23 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    34. You also misspelled sentence.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.