In any sport when there is a coaching change it will affects the day-to-day work of the players. For each coach it is different; some bring their own staff, some guys keep things exactly the same, and others only shake up a few of the normal things players must do everyday. Coach Stoops does a little bit of both, completely overhauling the staff and schemes, while maintaining some normalcy with the players by not shaking up their routine too terribly much.
Last season’s secondary unit coached by Mike Cassity wasn’t particularly the best we’ve seen at UK (I’m being too generous). The young group saw many hardships throughout the season, however it is easy to teach young dogs new tricks. Coach Stoops’ perspective is much different, hiring both a cornerbacks (Derrick Ansley) and a safeties coach (Bradley Dale Peveto). While it may seem a little strange to split the secondary unit up, Coach Peveto begs to differ, “It’s really pretty common now-a-days It’s like any other position. Safeties and corners are different techniques. There are many times when there are five DBs in the game, it’s hard for one guy to coach them all with the different schemes and techniques…to have eyes on them every play, we divide them up with a coach for each spot.” Having the extra man power benefits the players more while helping Coach Stoops sleep a little more sound each night. As a matter of practicality it also makes sense, after all they are two different positions, “The safeties’ techniques mirror each other, and the corners’ techniques mirror each other, yet they’re totally different from one another. There’s a little carry over, but it’s a whole different animal. To have two coaches is the way to do it.”
Big picture changes are very transparent to the general public, but the small things can have an even greater impact. For those that aren’t in college, you may have forgotten about the struggle; the struggle of getting out of bed in the morning. Sometimes I had trouble just waking up in time to catch the END of practice last year, but luckily Coach Stoops remembers the struggle, “if you get them up at 5:30 in the morning…I highly doubt they’re going to bed at 9:30 like they should.” Some of you old-fashioned folks might appreciate a 5:00 AM workout everyday but from a practical standpoint, you can get much more out of a player after they wake up from a good night’s sleep. For Senior DT Donte Rumph, it’s one of the nicest Senior gifts he could have received, but don’t think these guys still aren’t up early. “Camp is still camp, but the amount of rest they give us at night is unbelievable. It really does help us a lot with our focus and our day-to-day performance. It’s still the beginning of camp, but it’s really going to pay off towards the end.” Coupled with Coach Korem’s High Performance program, the staff has made it a prerogative to go to great links to prevent injury. After two days it seems pretty successful, but there is a long road ahead.
In case you missed this.
More Notes from Practice
– Coach Stoops informed us today that J.D. Harmon is unlikely to be a part of the team this season. J.D. made a name for himself as a walk-on, leading the team in interceptions for the season after catching two interceptions against Missouri.
– The first practice is always the most exciting, but can sometimes leave a hangover for Day Two. Coach Stoops liked what he saw, but did see a few guys ‘milling around’. The look on his face when he sternly said, “I’m not going to tolerate it”, put the fear of God in me.
– Coach was actually eager to express to the media how well some of the young guys played. WRs Alex Montgomery and Ryan Timmons both made a couple of outstanding plays early on that Stoops was really impressed with.
– Max Smith discussed with Matt yesterday on KSR the status of his separated shoulder recovery, leaving it rather vague. Well just how bad is it exactly? Bad enough that Max is taking fewer snaps in practice. Injury prevention is essential, but will it deter Max from winning the starting spot?
(I was THIS close to forgetting about Max. Coach Korem’s gotta get ME in better shape for these two-a-days.)