Coach Stoops really likes playing at the Nutter Field House. I don’t know if it’s because Lexington weather isn’t the same as Tallahassee, but I’m glad that I got the warning of the move indoors 5 minutes after interviews ended. Now on to the meat and potatoes with interviews from a variety of offensive players.
– Neal Brown discussed the QB rotation in practice today. Each QB gets one day a week to receive half of the reps, with the other two splitting the other 50% of plays. Even though they may not be taking the snap, every QB stays active throughout practice AND after practice. During practice when not in the play, the other four QBs are behind the play, making the same drops and reads as if they were in the play. They also stayed after (along with a few other positions) and worked for about ten minutes, leaving media members anxious on the side.
-Stoops thoughts on Practice #2. “It went good; felt a little better than Monday. Guys were more comfortable after an anxious Day 1, so overall it was a much better day. I thought the offense was much more efficient.” Stoops isn’t anxious to talk about QB progression either, jokingly saying, “I never had to worry about them before. I was happy when they threw it to us [the defense]. But they’re great players, they just need a lot of reps.”
– The talk from the players Monday emphasized a change of a much higher pace of play during practice. The same thing applies to the QBs as well. Max Smith talked about the difference between this year and last year saying, “There are similar plays, it’s just faster. The plays are faster and the way we practice is at a much higher speed.” It will be Max’s 3rd year in a QB competition, but the only difference to him is that there is an extra guy competing for the starting job.
– You could tell Max is very anxious to get back on the field. Being injured last year after beginning the season on a relatively high note “stinks” and he will have some rust to shake off. “I think the only ‘rust’ is really just understanding everything; getting all of the signals and all of the terms right, that’s the biggest thing I have to work on ‘getting right’. In terms of throwing the ball, maybe a little bit but I’ve been throwing all winter so I wouldn’t say too rusty.” Max is also working closely with new strength Coach Erik Korem on building some durability, adding 8-10 pounds during the offseason.
– Neal Brown commended the early work of WR Demarco Robinson, saying that, “he’s had a great couple of days. You can tell that he’s one of the most seasoned guys we have at WR.” Brown also said to check his Twitter (@UKCoachBrown); it may be a day late or so but he will be keeping his followers updated with who he thought was the best performer from practice.
Following guys had a good Day #1: Miller,Mitchell,Swindle,Sanders,DRobinson,Shields,TRobinson,Collins. See if they can do it 2 days in a row
– Neal Brown (@UKCoachBrown) March 20, 2013
– RB Raymond Sanders is embracing the role as an upperclassman leader at the Running Back position and believes that he is picking up the new offense well. “This offense is a lot simpler than the one before. We just have to get better at studying it and bringing guys along with it. I’m learning it pretty well, I just have to make sure the younger guys ‘get it’ too.” That also goes hand-in-hand by making sure the younger guys stick to the new strict dieting plan by Coach Korem. “We make sure we stay on each other about doing the right things and being in the right places all of the time.”
– Friday will be the Cats first practice in full pads, but tomorrow will still be filled with football when NFL scouts descend upon Nutter Field House for UK’s Pro Day. Offensive linemen Matt Smith and Larry Warford are expected to be drafted, but Collins Ukwu, La’Rod King, Tay Neloms, and more will be working to try and steal the eye of a pro scout. If King performs well (unlike he did near the conclusion of next season), his size could land him a spot in a fall training camp.