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Joker Speaks About Quarterback Play

During his post game press conference Joker Phillips was asked about the Quarterback play during today’s match-up against Florida in Gainesville.  The topics that were covered included Maxwell Smith’s health status, the play of Morgan Newton, and why he waited so long to play Freshman Jalen Whitlow.


First and foremost in his opening statements regarding the overall performance Joker was quoted as saying.

“Our kids competed hard, moved the ball offensively, but our turnovers didn’t give us a chance field position wise in the second quarter. It put us back in a hole and our defense had to go back on the field a couple of times in a row and it made it tough for those guys.”

When asked about the injury to Maxwell Smith and why he didn’t suit up today.

I was not prepared to do that. My kid. I treat him like he’s my kid and I just did not want to do that. Max wanted to go and was willing to take a shot, but I was not willing to do that to him, to our our football team. I treat him like he’s one of my kids and I wouldn’t want to risk one of my kids being out for a significant amount of time. We’ll get him back next week and I didn’t want to risk that.”

In regards to Newton’s performance and the multiple interceptions he tossed.

He was throwing it to the right person. We just weren’t very accurate. We had a chance to hit a wheel route up the boundary at 10-0. Daryl’s fast enough to stick that thing in the end zone and he didn’t. Two plays later, it’s an interception.”

Had a chance on third down to hit (George) running a whip route and we overthrew it and it was an interception. The next play, the ball was intercepted for a touchdown. Again, it wasn’t very accurate. Again, for us to be successful offensively in this offense, you have to be able to throw and catch and we didn’t today.”

Why it took so long for him to replace a struggling Newton with true Freshman Whitlow.

“It’s a tough place to ask a true freshman to come in. We decided we were going to give him one more series and then they scored, so we decided to give him one more and by that time it was out of hand, late in the game.”

Article written by Jonathan Schuette

42 Comments for Joker Speaks About Quarterback Play

  1. BigBlue
    7:05 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink


  2. DUH
    7:08 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    This is one clueless MFer! Why in the h$&@ would you not pull Newton before half? I give up!

  3. ukcats!
    7:12 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    We were going to give him one more series (and then he threw a pick six) so we decided to give him one more…excellent logic there…

  4. Disgrace
    7:15 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    This guy is an idiot and needs to go pronto! HE lost the game for our team more so than the players and the AD needs to wake his a$$ up and fire him!

  5. Vinny
    7:16 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    The man is clueless, he should do the respectable thing and resign

  6. lexslamman
    7:16 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Can we stop talking about football for 8 or 9 months, please?

  7. bung
    7:16 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch applied at Kansas….help him get there…Newton averaged throwing within 4 yds of his receiver…Tim Couch is available as Coach…

  8. Dave in Bangkok
    7:21 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is clueless. Completely clueless!

  9. Joker Thoughts
    7:21 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I am convinced Joker wants to be a good steward of our program, a leader for these young men, and most of all bring home victories. I am also convinced that good intentions do not produce a strong program, great players, or victories. This program needs more than a nice guy that loves KY football… I sit with plenty of those at the home games and they are getting ready to hang it up out of frustration. I love my CATS, Joker, and the kids on this team but we need to produce a product. We are paying for a nice Mercedes but we keep getting the keys to the Geo Metro…

  10. bung
    7:21 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    so…can you unredshirt?

  11. blah blah blah
    7:31 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    blah blah blah newton blah blah blah coulda woulda shoulda blah blah blah i’m a big dummy blah blah blah make plays blah blah blah

  12. Mike
    7:32 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    How bad is UK football??…as if we didn’t already know..We have not scored in the 1st quarter of any game since Nov. of 2010. Be nice to know if that isn’t some type of a record. Joker is the problem and not the solution. He and some of his goons are a cancer on this team. Pretty strong words!!…Pretty pathetic football!!!

  13. SonsOfAnarchy
    7:44 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    9-I want a great big house on lots of land. I want millions of dollars. I want my whole family and family for generations to come to be set for life and have it made. Guess what…..never gonna happen. Joker can say hes a KY boy all he wants and he wants great things for the program. But as a coach he aint worth the toilet paper he wipes his ass with. Its the same crap after every game. “We need to do this” (repeat sentence 10 times) “we didnt do this” (repeat sentence 10 times) he is not head coach material. I never liked the idea of the coach in waiting but 3 years ago I was willing to say “Hey, give him a few years to do his thing”. Times up things have gotten worse to the point he has taken this program all the way back to the beginning of the Brooks era. If Barnhart does not fire Joker at the end of the year, a petition needs to be started for the removal of both Barnhart and Joker

  14. mark
    7:46 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    There has to be someone better on the bench than Morgan Newton this was his opportunity and he blew his chance. When Morgan newton started the 2nd half I quit watching.

  15. SonsOfAnarchy
    7:47 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Oh and Newton isnt even worth being the back up water boy. Atleast if Whitlow had that kind of performance it could be justified. Newton is the biggest waste of scholarship to ever wear a football uni

  16. Big Rich
    7:54 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I love how Joker uses phrases after getting beat by WKU, and a 31 pt drubbing
    1. We have an opportunity to do great things
    2. We are on the edge of something good
    3. 1 great play away from breaking it
    4. We need to re-group
    5. I like our chances
    6. That field goal was a yard to the left. We keep trying
    7. At one point we had 6 freshman on field, we r throwing them in

  17. bigbluen502
    7:55 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    At the end of the day the athletic department is selling a product and now that the diehards who have been buying this mediocre trash for years are going to stop ponying up the dough they are finally be forced to go to the board room and look this thing over. That is the only way they makebchanges ever, take away fan generated revenue at a sizable rate. As fan base we have absolutely been more than patient,kind and understanding bottom line this is a horrible product that is grossly over priced and its time we stand up and makd it known.

  18. Mike
    7:56 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    BARNHART…..How much longer do we have to continue to suffer??..How much longer do we have to suffer being the laughing stock of major college FB??….How much longer are you going to sit on the sidelines while the seats around become more empty each week??…How much longer before you find the guts to do the right thing and fire this guy??

  19. Chokeintosh
    8:01 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Over the last few weeks we’ve seen automacintosh become Chokeintosh. That by itself is saddening. What’s painfully clear though is joker has absolutely no sense of momentum. He also clearly seems to lack developmental skills. Newton has looked pretty awful every year under center yet joker still has no problem throwing him out there. Last year we could clearly tell smith had the superior touch, yet joker rode newton till he broke. Now we can clearly see whitlow has the fire and skills to be everything newton isn’t. How long till he finally gets that kid some field time?
    Like I said earlier, Spurrier would’ve yanked newton in the first half. That’s why he’s a superior coach. He can see cancer on the field and remove it before it spreads. Joker needs to go take some lessons on in game leadership, tonight..

  20. flyingdfish
    8:04 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    The best thing about this was back before the season when Joker stated he was having a real hard time determining who the starter was going to be. He said “it was close”. I think he was confused by Max Smith’s number 11 being close to Newton’s number 12. Otherwise they are a galaxy apart in talent. He has totally lost the fanbase.

  21. J A Brooks
    8:26 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    How can anyone say Joker Phillips is not the worst coach in America?

    If you can honestly watch Newton play in comparison to Whitlow and Smith and say that he is even remotely as talented as either than you have no business coaching D-1 football.

    The dude just doesn’t have “it”. I’m talking about Joker and Newton.

    Newton cannot complete a 5 yard pass and never has been able to. Name one more college QB that can’t throw an accurate pass 5 yards away from him… there’s none. He has no feel for the game, he has no accuracy. He’s a big kid with a big arm and that may have worked in Carmel Indiana but not in the SEC. The absolute failure on the coaching staff’s part to recognize this is SHOCKING. I am telling you the level of incompetency surrounding this staff is as bad as I have ever seen in college football or any staff for that matter.

    Joker’s defense of Morgan… “He threw it to the right person…”
    Joker’s take on his offense… “We have to be able to throw and catch…”

    Soak up those pearls of wisdom everyone. We are truly in the presence of an other-worldy football mind.

  22. Mr. Wrestling II
    8:34 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Well, at least there is one less game we have to endure Joker as the head coach here–he will do a fine job as Charlie Strong’s WR coach next year.

    Somebody go ahead and order him a U-haul for December.

  23. Big T
    8:38 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Why wait till DEcember? Do it now – not fair to these kids

  24. kingrex
    8:48 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I love UK. If this were enough to be coach then everyone on this board would have been interviewed for the job. I venture any of us could go into a family’s home and get them excited to have their child play football for us. We all know his reputation as a football tactician came from the performance of the offense when we had Woodson and the talented players around him. I think for us it was a confluence of events based largely upon luck. After all we did beat LSU, but somehow went 7-5. I think the difference is we had a head coach overseeing everything while Joker was the offensive coordinator. I am sad for Joker, but honestly, he should be lifting heavy things at a night shift somewhere, not heading a football team in the SEC.

  25. holy crap
    8:52 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    i’ve been to 2 World Fairs and a goat [email protected]#$%…and i’ve NEVER seen anything like this! joker’s gotta go

  26. Tim B
    8:54 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Joker- It’s a tough place to ask a true freshman to come in ? wtf ? how about a true senior ? I would rather go down with a Freshman anyday.

  27. jaws2
    9:27 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I thought Mitch should have let him go last Sunday, but we have no one on staff capable of being an interim head coach. Now I’m not so sure if it wouldn’t be best to let him go now and just give the reigns to anyone on the staff. Joker has lost this team and the fans with only one possible win the remainder of the season.

    Joker seems to be a nice guy and all but I said the first year that he had zero leadership skills because he his way to indecisive. He showed this with the QB situation every season he’s been here. I’ve held season tickets since we’ve been in Commonwealth, but I told my wife I will not attend another game until Joker is gone.

  28. RuppWorker
    9:31 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    He didnt want to risk his kid getting hurt so he set his other one up for failure? Joker should have made this decision to start Newton during the week not gameday. Newton is a great kid and I am not blaming him for nothing. Joker knows these players inside and out he should have known this was going to happen, or at least pulled Newton to save some embarrassment. I dont understand Jokers obsession with Morgan Newton. From choosing him over Mossakowski to trying to make it a competition between him and Max Smith when obviously it never has been. Joker needs to go!!

  29. Batman
    9:58 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I should’ve let this guy drop from that building instead of tying his leg via my cool batrope.

  30. shinny
    9:59 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    You know he could be listening to Sanders.Sanders said after the game that Newton could fire the ball better than Max with his injury. Yep those were a couple of bullets way over the heads of the recr’s kinda like last year and the year before. Good call coach! Wonder what Brooks thinks as his house comes tumbling down.

  31. Pharmboy
    10:16 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    12-we scored in the first quarter in 8 of 12 games last season (2011). Not sure where you get nov 2010. There are plenty of things to complain about without making bogus claims.

  32. J A Brooks
    10:34 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    30) You have to be able to make decisions like that for yourself when you’re a head coach. If he can be convinced by an assistant that Newton is a viable option then he’s more clueless than I thought…. wait, nevermind its not possible to be more clueless than I think Joker is.

  33. Short Sleeve Bob
    11:04 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I just hope the next coach will at least wear short sleeves when the temp is 100 degrees.
    What is up with the long sleeved wind breaker?
    How can you take a guy seriously that wears long sleeves when it is 100 degrees?

  34. dave
    11:14 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    31- i believe he is referring to the streak of not scoring an offensive TD in the 1st qtr for like the past 12-14ish games.

  35. Kelly J
    11:46 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know what is more depressing…today’s game or reading this blog…LOL..

    Obviously, Joker is going to need some sort of miraculous turnaround to save his job. I think the empty seats in Commonwealth are more damaging to Joker then Internet blog talk…

    I feel bad for Joker and I don’t think he really has been given a fair shake. I know most…especially on here don’t agree with my assessment. Fact is people wanted to fire Joker before the end of his first season. Losing Cobb early and really the ineffective QB play of Morgan Newton have been Joker’s biggest down fall.

    In today’s game, the defense played solid enough in the 1st half…the running game looked good…it was the QB play. If Smith plays…I think it’s a totally different game. I don’t know if we could have beat them but I don’t think we get blanked and I think it’s a far more competitive game. But…Smith didn’t play and Newton…well…I feel bad for him but he’s just not a 4 star QB. He really should have been switched to another position. Smith is so much better then Newton…

    I think who ever coaches next year will get a good QB with some good WR’s and RB’s….I think the offense is improved this year and I think it will be better next year with the young talent developing. I think the defense will be better but it’s still going to be a bigger concern then the offense next year. I see some hope for next season…I am afraid that with the bad start we have had this year coupled with the tough schedule..well…it looks like it might get even uglier. Which of course could very well lead to the end of the Joker era. Again, I know most don’t agree with me but I think Joker really don’t deserve the treatment he is getting from fans… In the end, it will be Barnhart’s decision…

  36. Hey Kelly J
    12:25 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    @#35 – Let me give you some simple facts to help in your assessment of Joker

    1. We haven’t scored a 1st Qtr TD in 16 games….Keep in mind we have played WKU twice, Kent St, Central Michigan, Jacksonville St….That is a lack of preparation and coaching
    2. There has been a QB competition for 3 straight years involving Morgan Newton. If you watched last year and this year….how is that possible? How can you be so bad at evaluating talent that you think this kid is a legitimate option to start at QB at ANY level
    3. He has run off, kicked off, or had academic issues with over 30 juniors and seniors that HE recruited to this program
    4. He ran off Mossokowski. I am not saying he would’ve been the answer, but he never gave the kid a shot and watching Newton that was a HUGE mistake.
    5. He took a team that routinely won 6 games and has diminished them to a team this year that will be very lucky to win 3
    6. His in game awareness is abysmal. Delay of games to START overtime, delay of game kicking from your own end zone, not playing players and saying he forgot. Leaving Newton in for any amount of time

    Starting to get the picture? I’m not sure what you expect from a coach, but if you think this is ok you should start cheering for Pee-wee teams.

  37. Kelly J
    1:47 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Routinely wins 6 games? How long you been following UK football??? LOL

    The greatest coach in the history of UK football from a bowl stand point is Rich Brooks…and why don’t you go check Rich Brooks record the first 3 years!!!

    Newton and Mossokowski were both obviously over rated…but when UK signed them every UK fan I knew was ecstatic!!!

    I have no doubt you were one of the guys screaming for Newton to play over Hartline…

    The biggest single problem for Joker since becoming a head coach was the same as the single biggest problem UK just had with Florida…Newton. I don’t want to pile it on the kid but basically Newton has never lived up to expectations and it just wasn’t Joker that believed Newton would develop into a good QB…go check Newton’s HS profile. Lot of coaches coveted Morgan Newton…and unfortunately he just hasn’t worked out at QB at UK…

  38. BigBlueFever
    2:02 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Title should read “Joker Mumbles About Quarterback Play”….He is an absolute joke of a coach and should be fired immediately!! Where are all the Joker fans and sunshine blowers? I was hoping they would be on here telling us how good this team is…I see they have all gone into hiding.

  39. Stan
    7:37 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    This quote from our fearless coach shows how out of touch he really was/is.

    “It’s a tough place to ask a true freshman to come in. We decided we were going to give him one more series and then they scored, so we decided to give him one more and by that time it was out of hand, late in the game.”

    The stupids comment he has made in a while. ” by that time it was out of hand, late in the” game.”

    No kidding? Out of hand,ya think? This idiot has no clue,by the end of the year the program will be next to dead.We are in deep trouble in football, which WILL AFFECT ALL SPORTS EXCEPT BASKETBALL.

  40. Unbolted harp
    9:52 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Joker hasn’t a clue. The freshman QB is not getting any reps in practice? What are you thinking??? The only possible backup to Smith needs to be practicing, and it’s not Newton. Close the upper deck next week, you’ve lost fans Joker. Do you hear us Mitch.

    10:13 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    uk REALLY sUcKs!!! Pray for pity is about your only option at this point.

  42. Van Wilder
    3:37 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Every time I listen to Joker speak, the more convinced I am that the man is retarded.

    Not trying to be funny, but he just lacks general knowledge.