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We Talkin’ Bout Practice

stoops media swarm

 

Today’s practice was the first practice seen by anyone outside of the team, with every media member coming out of the closet (R. Kelly style) to get a peek at the new-look Cats. Mark Stoops did his best to pull a “Where’s Waldo” in the picture above. Normally notes are filled with quotes by coaches, telling the public who they thought played well or something to that effect. When Stoops approached the podium for the media, he started by joking saying, “Nothing to report today, you guys should have all the answers.” Well if Coach Stoops gives me the green-light I’m taking it.

 

1. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. The coaches and players have not stopped talking about the adjustment of tempo since practice began. When you actually see a practice, you know why this change is so evident. Players rarely quit moving during and between drills. When QBs throw to the WRs, there is no standing around; when the QB on the right side throws, it is almost immediately followed by the QB on the left side. The offensive line could do all of their drills in one area, instead they switch sides of the field every time the horn sounds. I actually was caught in the middle of the stampede twice, trying to avoid being run over by the Giant John Gruenflabbenschnoger (I don’t think that’s the correct spelling). It does not stop when the team goes 11 on 11. When a player goes over to the track to puke, you know they are working hard. I wonder what Coach Korem’s GPS says tells him when a player is vomiting.

 

2. Even without Donte Rumph, this DLine is going to be GREAT. Losing Collins Ukwu and Taylor Wyndham should have hampered the defensive end position, but luckily Za’Darius Smith is on the roster and Bud Dupree has moved into a 3-point stance. It’s always important to pass the SEC ‘look test’; no one even looks close to NFL-ready compared to Za’Darius and Bud. Since Z came with Coach Brumbaugh, he has a lot less to learn than the rest of the group. He has the athletic ability and size to be an excellent rusher or take on a double team if need be. Bud still has a lot to adjust to. Getting hit every single play- sometimes by more than one guy- is much more physically demanding than playing linebacker and dropping into pass coverage. Even though it can get brutal in the trenches, Bud had a huge grin on his face after practice when talking about hitting someone every single play. Even with Rumph’s injury, Mister Cobble will still dominate on the inside, and they have an experienced Tristian Johnson ready to fill Rumph’s hole for the rest of the Spring.

 

3. Max Smith is one step ahead. Nothing against Jalen or Pat, but Max really is about a step faster than the two young QBs. At a position where split seconds make the difference between a sack and a big gain through the air, Max makes his reads much faster and probably has the quickest release of all 3. I will not jump the gun and say that Max will be the starter in the fall; there are still hundreds of reps for the young guys to take that can help them build on the improvements they’ve already made. Pat is playing much smarter, making better decisions under pressure whether or not to run or throw it away. Jalen’s release is quicker than a year before, and his running abilities will probably be used in a ‘Wildcat-type’ package.

 

4. The Cats NEED Wide Receivers. If you listened to the radio show, you may have heard Ryan Lemond’s fantastic pep talk. It was Lou Holtz-esque, except without all of the spit and ending on a negative note by putting down the wideouts for dropping passes (‘You guys are staying after and not leaving until you catch 100 balls’). Even though they work on catching balls during and after practice (they even use a machine to shoot tennis balls at them), there are still a lot of guys letting the ball hit them in the hands before dropping it. Daryl Collins and Demarco Robinson had a few great moments, but the Air Raid cannot operate with only 2 or 3 sure-handed receivers. Until the 4 new guys come in the fall, expect to see them work with a lot of tight ends during the Blue/White game. They may be bigger and slower, but Tyler Robinson and Ronnie Shields are big targets that run good routes and do not drop easy passes.

Demarco Robinson catches tennis balls during position drills.

Demarco Robinson catches tennis balls during position drills.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

23 Comments for We Talkin’ Bout Practice



  1. Cayts
    3:15 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    Not the game! Not the game! Practice! We talkin’ bout practice! Not the game! Not the game! Practice!



  2. I say
    3:22 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    What is that a picture of at the bottom?



  3. UKfootball...
    3:25 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    I wish I gave a sh!t about Kentucky football. I really do. 20 years of abject disappointment and futility have left my wholly apathetic though. The first thought I have when I see these football posts is “How many losses in one season and how many losing seasons consecutively will it be until we realize how ridiculous it is that we fell for it again.”



  4. Scott
    3:29 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    #3,

    It is more fun to believe. You might be disappointed but it is definitely more fun to believe!



  5. WOW
    3:36 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    #3, I would not make that statement even if I felt that way. I support the university and will not stop believing. Pretty sad attitude.



  6. Nick Roush
    3:37 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    2. I got you!



  7. Stoooooooooooooooooops
    3:44 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    3)I too get sick of seeing the football team get talked up all Fall only to have a horible team when the season starts. This year will be no different. the only difference is I think we have the right man to get things turned around. If you listen to stoops he isnt like most coachs who say how good things are, he honest and said we wouldnt be very good for a few year. he does have a plan to get better and has hit the ground running.
    He brought in Brown to run the air raid offence and said maybe people would like the offence enough to keep him around untill he could get a good defence and some playmakers in here. Stoops has hired a coaching Staff that is second to none. we might not have SEC players yet but we do have SEC coaches when we get them here! i just hope everyone will have tempered exspections and give Stoops the time he needs to get Jokers screw up fixed. it took Joker 3 years to mess up every thing brooks had done. it will take 4 or 5 years to get back to that level.
    If Stoops goes 500 next year he should get coech of the year and a million dollar raise. he will be in the SEC with Mac players! if you dont believe me just look at the other schools who recruited Jokers players you will see more Akrons then Auburns!



  8. UKfanNKY
    3:46 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    #5 THANK YOU for setting #3 straight!!! GO CATS!!!



  9. Stoooooooooooooooooops
    3:47 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    #5 i wonder if you where one of the ones who supported Joker right up untill the end



  10. Bob
    3:50 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    Still can’t believe we’re talking football in March. That’s just not right.



  11. UKfootball...
    3:54 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    10. I know right? Blind obedience is the way to go. I love it.



  12. This isn't playboy
    4:02 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    #2/I say– clearly you just look at the pictures & don’t read the articles.
    If you read the column, you’d know that’s a receiver catching tennis balls.

    #8– liked your comments but offense & defense have an “s” in them; it is not actually a fence 🙂



  13. no ish
    4:09 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    13) i’ll go ahead and answer for #2. If YOU would read, you’d notice that #6 (the author of the post) responded to #2. The caption was added AFTER #2 wrote his comment. And saying #2 so much makes me think of the scene in Austin Powers.. “Who does Number 2 work for?!”



  14. That level?
    4:25 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    #8 you say it will take Stoops 4 or 5 years to get back to the level Brooks had us? What does that mean…multi year Music City Bowl appearances with 6-6 records while going 2-6 in the SEC? Sadly you may be right. That’s about all you can expect as the perennial SEC punching bag. Maybe in year 4 we can beat Vandy again.



  15. Stoooooooooooooooops
    4:43 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    15) i think you arent painting the whole picture! i agree that we didnt win as much as any of us wanted but even in most of the losses WE WHERE IN THE GAME RIGHT UP UNTILL THE END. We could have won 8 games if a play or two had went the way. we beat the 1 team in the country. so dont act like we where that far off.
    Brooks had us where we could redshirt our freshmen which for anyone who knows anything about football knows this is the key to building a good program. so dont set there and act like we where that far off. WE went into every game knowing we could win. If you would have read what I said you would know i said ready to take the NEXT step meaning we where not where we needed to be just yet but where close. to where we would have made the extra 2 plays a game to win 8 or 9 games a year. football is a totaly different beast then basketball you cant turn things around over night.
    im guessing from your comment that you arent much of a football fan anyway. Seems like we have to many like 5 who are hopeless sunshine pumpers or you who are about as negative as they come. We need more people who are realstic and judge fairly.



  16. Leon Jones
    4:57 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    2-12 this year will look a lot better than 2-12 last year



  17. sam
    5:08 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    Nick Roush’s writing is like the Great Wall of China, you aren’t sure how he did it, it gets the job done, and damn is it impressive



  18. football school
    5:28 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    With faster tempo practices, healthy quarterbacks, a no quit-can do attitude, the fan base back & pumped up, experienced players, and several star Freshmen coming in, I’d say we’re looking at 7-5 or 8-4 THIS year and probably the Music City Bowl. Positive attitude and atmosphere could be good for two wins alone. Go Big Blue.



  19. This Is It...
    6:05 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    #19…8-4 we won’t be in the Music City…May be in some warm weather bowl…



  20. niaps
    8:39 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    If we need receivers why not use Whitlow in a slot or even wide position. The guy is dangerous with the football in open space and could be a real asset and a defensive problem for every team we face. I see him more as a Cobb type guy than a QB. But then again I am not at practice everyday and feel very confident in the coaches and their decisions.



  21. Old Cat
    8:50 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    Good to see the tennis ball machine back. I cannot understand why more teams do not use this training method, it seemed to work pretty well for Mumme when he was here. I remember our receivers being pretty sure handed.



  22. Georgia Blue
    9:11 pm March 27, 2013 Permalink

    I guess Cal didn’t have SEC type players either with all them 5 star players losing to Robert Morris. What is a SEC type player. I think it would be better to say SEC type coaches, because over the years you have been in a lot of games but got out coach in the second half. Teams made adjustment but we didn’t.