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Monday’s Football Press Conference Notes

There’s a sort of calmness over the Kentucky Football program as we head into the final weeks of Joker Phillips’ tenure as head coach. The inevitable has happened. Both Phillips and his team knows he will not remain with the program following these last two games and the anxiety of a decision is no longer a dark cloud hanging over their heads from week to week. Moving forward allows the players to focus solely on football and working on salvaging what’s left of this season. Phillips met with the media today as a lame duck coach, but still maintaining his professionalism while at the helm of the program. In the video above, Phillips speaks on a physical Samford team, the UK Football program going forward, and his personal plans for the future. Take a look.


-Besides the players out for the season, Kentucky is pretty healthy going into “Senior Night.” LB Jabari Johnson (unknown) is day-to-day, while S Tay Neloms (hamstring) is expected back to practice this week.

-Phillips gave a memorable quote as he exited the presser. When asked if he would help Mitch Barnhart figure out who’s Kentucky’s next football coach should be he said, “Nobody ever asks the guy on the way out, ‘Hey, I know you did a shitty job while you were here, but help me out.'” No doubt, coach. No doubt.

-Senior DE Collins Ukwu thinks the bye week helped the team relax, especially after the news of Phillips’ dismissal. “It seems like everybody is a lot more energized and we are all ready to get back to playing football.”

-Ukwu knows his last game in Commonwealth Stadium will be emotional, but he’s ready for it. “My mom is going to be there so I know it’ll be emotional. Hopefully I’m not boo-hooing or anything like that. Its been a nice four to five years for me, though. I have a lot of memories with Coach Phillips and Coach Brooks, so it’ll be pretty sad knowing it’ll be my last time in this stadium.”

RB Jonathan George said that more than anything this team still has it’s pride to play for. “We’ve got a great group of seniors that keep us looking at the positives. Those guys have continued to push the younger players to do the best job they can.”

-When asked if it feels different to go into a game you know you are supposed to win, DL Tristian Johnson referenced the famous 2007 upset of Appalachian State over Michigan. Johnson remembers watching that game in high school and said that taught him “no win is guaranteed in football”.

-I asked Johnson if there are any particular characteristics that he wants in the next Kentucky Football coach. He replied “Not really. I can only control what I can control. Whoever they choose, I just have to trust it’s the right decision and go work hard for whoever it is.”

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

12 Comments for Monday’s Football Press Conference Notes

  1. BB
    2:45 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    So glad Joker decided to finish out the season. Hopefully we’ll have a great crowd at Commonwealth to give Joker and the seniors a great send off.

  2. SteveM
    2:55 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Damn!…thought this was about announcing Petrino as the new coach.

  3. RYNO
    2:58 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    I just saw Mitch Barnhart eating lunch with Mike Tomlin at the Jerry’s Restaurant on Lexington Rd.

  4. BBB
    3:00 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Petrino Petrino Petrino. Let me help find a new coach. Hire Petrino and forget everyone else. No Dykes, No Brown, No Pease, No Leach. No Petrino? Next step. How to hire a new AD. No Barnhart.

  5. Han
    3:21 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    The newest rumor over at RR (and a name I’ve said all along we should at least call just in case he’s got the itch) is old Iron Jaw Bill Cowher. Cowher stepped away from coaching to spend more time with family, but then he immediately got into commentating. People wondered back then if he’d take a college job in North Carolina.

    Is there any chance Mitch did actually reach out to him to consult on the coaching hire? Last time he did that, the consultant (Brooks) said “How about me?”

    I know, ridiculous pipe dream (and Cowher isn’t even a college coach), but you know Coach Cal would back that move being a Steelers fan, and how huge would that be? He walks away from CBS to revive his coaching passion in the toughest conference. If any NFL coach could thrive in the smash mouth SEC, it would be him. And if any name could make even a fanbase largely filled with Bengals fans let go of Petrino, it’d be a Super Bowl winner.

    (As a Bengals fan, I hated him for years, but it’d be an insane hire.)

  6. UKChillfan
    3:31 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    T Johnson is a smart kid!

  7. theWilkman
    3:54 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Bill Cower/Rex Ryan/Jon Gruden are not walking through that door. Sure they could do it, but they won’t. Sorry to burst your bubble(s)

  8. What did Joker say
    5:04 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Pulling Sweat to concentrate on academics. Is that what Joker said? How about telling it like it is. Obviously Sweat is failing classes. Who misses a football game to concentrate on academics. Our new coaching staff cannot be like the current coaching staff. There is no reason to be academically ineligible!!!!

  9. What did Joker say
    5:10 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t ask any questions media. Along with Sweat, maybe the whole team should stay home and concentrate on academics. Laughable!

  10. Harvey Wall Banger
    5:56 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    To UKs new coach. Clean house of the coaching staff. Recruit, recruit, recruit. You need to look at kids attitude on and off of the field, and their academics in high school. It hasn’t happened at UK in the past 3 years. Clean house Mr. New Coach.

  11. Han
    7:47 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    7) Probably won’t does not equal never would. Plenty of people earnestly believed Cal wouldn’t leave a title contending Memphis with the top recruiting class coming in, even for UK, especially since we had fallen so far.

    Naysayers always say nay.

  12. Mountain man
    9:34 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink