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Booger McFarland clarifies comments about Kentucky’s coaching staff

Last night, ESPN’s Booger McFarland drew the ire of the Big Blue Nation when he said Josh Allen would benefit from better coaching in the NFL, which many perceived as a shot at Mark Stoops and the Kentucky coaching staff.

“He definitely can be elite and I look forward to him getting better coaching,” Booger said on ESPN’s broadcast. “Right now he is winning off of pure athletic ability.”

This morning, Booger came on KSR to clarify those comments, which he insists weren’t a slight at Stoops or Kentucky’s staff, but rather a message to all players coming into the NFL.

“I’ll say it again: I look forward to when he gets to the next level and gets professional coaching at that position because he’s not a finished product. Everyone loves to jump to conclusions when you say one thing when you conversely mean another, but that’s not the case. I love Coach Stoops. I love what they’re do at Kentucky with player development, etc. but he’s not a finished product. He’s not ready to go and dominate the National Football League right now.”

“It wasn’t a slight against Kentucky coaching,” Booger added. “It’s what every prospect needs in this draft. Kyler Murray, all these guys have to get better, man.”

When Matt argued that the comments felt targeted towards Kentucky, a program that isn’t in the NFL Draft spotlight that often, Booger said he was simply breaking down Josh’s game as someone who used to play his position.

“Because as a former guy that rushed the passer, I can see exactly that because I know the descriptive details on how to rush the passer. If you watch him when he turns the corner, sometimes he takes an extra step. Well, guess what, we don’t have five minutes to break down techniques of an edge rusher, so what I mean by expert coaching is this: when you turn the corner, you’ve got about two, two and a half seconds in the National Football League to get to the quarterback because the best guys, the Brady, Brees, Roethlisbergers, that ball is coming out. So, as a pass rusher, you have to take the least amount of steps possible to get to the quarterback. Josh will refine his pass rush when he gets to the National Football League, meaning, just for conversation’s sake, let’s say he takes seven steps now to get to the quarterback. Well, I think he can do it in five and a half or six. That’s what I mean.”

Ryan Lemond had to put his two cents, standing up for Stoops and his staff for developing Josh from a two-star prospect into a top ten draft pick; Booger said he gets it.

“Often times in life when you say one thing, everyone assumes you’re automatically also saying the other thing has to be true on the opposite spectrum and that’s totally not the case. I think both things can be true. He can have had great coaching, he developed as a two-star prospect, but does that mean we’re satisfied, we’re finished? No. I look at is as, we’re drafting him not for what he’s done, we’re drafting him in the National Football League for what is he going to project.”

Pitchforks down?


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

67 Comments for Booger McFarland clarifies comments about Kentucky’s coaching staff

  1. chrislarkey
    11:32 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Way to back track to try to save face.

    • randyt
      2:45 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Much ado about nothing BBN. The man explained his comment; No malice intended.

  2. Ridge Runner
    11:35 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Ummmm… so why did ya just say it to Josh, Boooogggggger?

    • Ridge Runner
      11:37 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Look, he’s a decent guy overall just wish he woulda said.. “I shouldn’t say something to one that applies to all of them”.

    • notFromhere
      1:02 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Ridge runner nailing it. THAT IS THE WHOLE point. Well said

    • mashburnfan1
      2:34 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Same crew said Houston misused Oliver when he was selected. Not sure if it was this clown or not but was same crew. They/he can say what he wants today, it was a bad thing to say about both programs and I hope both programs can find a way to do something about it.

  3. Bluebloodtoo
    11:37 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Your job is talking to an audience. That means effectively communicating in a manner that THE AUDIENCE CAN UNDERSTAND. You aren’t talking to NFL coaches, so don’t say things that only they would understand. It’s your job to communicate effectively.

    • Keets
      12:05 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Don’t think anyone disputes that NFL position coaching will be a step up from UK, or at least “should” be. It’s the “Right now he is winning off of pure athletic ability” portion that was the kicker… Reading his quotes here, still not sure Booger realizes that.

      I think Booger simply slipped/failed on live tv. Today he could have acknowledged that it came out wrong and that his TV comments should have been more clear (by talking about steps to the QB). Yet, his quotes here read as excuses for his unclear commentating while also trying to divert with “often times in life” society talk and people incorrectly assuming comments are mutually exclusive, etc. (which, I do agree with; but he’s reaching when applying it to this).

      Knew Josh was gonna be a high pick, have your prep work done and be clear. Simple.

    • Keets
      12:08 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      (Meant to post that generally, not as a reply)

    • Bluebloodtoo
      12:16 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      By the end of it, it worked just fine as a reply too 😉

  4. Smyrna_Cat
    11:47 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Geez, back of BBN. Much ado about nothing. And from a “Booger”, too.

  5. dane82
    11:48 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

    the white-hot rage i feel toward this scoundrel will subside nary an ounce until he admits that josh allen is the best pass rusher who ever lived, and that mark stoops is one thousand times better than paul bear bryant.

    nah, i mean he’s right, isn’t he? if you don’t get better coaching at the pro level than at the college level, something’s wrong. commentators are called upon to give quick soundbites with little opportunity for planning (at least at something like the NFL draft, where you don’t know the subject you’re going to have to address until you’re put on the spot). if you want to dissect everything they say to find things to be upset about, you definitely can.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      12:06 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      I totally get the arguments. I believe he’s a good guy. I believe he didn’t mean to send that message. However, the whole point of putting an expert on this job is to communicate to an audience. If you have to come back and clarify later, you probably don’t know your audience very well. I get paid a lot less than him to communicate to an audience. I would ( and do) get chastised by my boss when i do the same thing.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      12:17 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      You can take that mess elsewhere. No one remotely implied he needed to use those types of superlatives. You’re being much more unfair to Cats fans than anyone has been to McFarland. His comment was asinine. Stoops has put multiple elite edge rushers in the league. It’s one thing to say it will be great to see him with even better coaching in the league but to say that he was living off of athleticism alone is insulting to the staff. You can minimize all you want but at the least it was a poorly thought out comment. Kind of like yours.

    • njCat
      11:24 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      GTFO dude. He made what he claims is a general comment, but only about Josh and HIS coaching.

      He could have said something like his technique has improved tremendously, but that he will continue to develop at the next level – because that’s what ALL players do.

      Instead he made what came across to, well everyone but you I guess, as a slight on the KY coaching staff… and in one of their brightest moments to boot. Totally took the wind out of everyone’s (aside from yours I guess) sails.

      He’s a clown for saying it and a bigger one for not just outright apologizing that he completely botched the point he was trying to make.

      He’s dead to me.

  6. JT919
    11:53 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

    He’s either willfully ignorant or just an ass.

  7. makeitstop
    12:00 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t think he at all intended it as a slight to Stoops and Matt House and Brad White. In fairness, he usually compliments Kentucky, and he WAS an All American who went on to be a darn good pro whose job was just like Josh’s to go get the QB and create havoc. He was a solid tackle, bigger and not as fast as Josh but he has a pair of super bowl rings and played for the inventor of the Tampa 2, Monte Kiffen, maybe the best DC of our generation. All due respect to our staff, that Tampa D was the best I ever saw, and Monte is a genius.

    • notFromhere
      1:00 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      He was EXPECTED to be an AA from HS onward. Big difference. He may have meant something else, but he was nowhere close to saying it right

  8. addyjaxlarkin
    12:02 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    He was right in the beginning.. we are terrible at player development and are extremely overrated in the football world right now. We will be lucky to win 4 games this season. We are a basketball school and nothing else.

    • az1006
      12:05 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      I’ll bet you $10,000 we win more than 4 games.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      12:07 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Take your “We” somewhere else, please. The rest of “We” don’t agree with you.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      12:26 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Then go watch basketball and give up on football because you clearly don’t know diddly if you think this staff doesn’t develop players.

    • ClutchCargo
      12:28 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      This troll sucks at trolling. Why give him the satisfaction of a reply?

    • DirtyDave
      12:29 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Can you spell Citrus Bowl or Penn State…. no didn’t think so!

    • My Dixie Wrecked
      1:09 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      You want people on a Kentucky site to spell?

    • notFromhere
      12:58 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Troll cant even find his team’s website. You got off the short bus at the wrong stop… jaxoff

    • cats646
      3:14 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Fuk you

    • dcforuk
      7:44 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Don’t dignify his post by even replying. Crap, I just did

  9. chardun20
    12:18 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Josh should get better coaching in the NFL, but so does everyone in the draft. Why say it about Josh and no one else in the draft. It seemed like a slight to the UK football program to me. There was other pass rushers in the draft, not just Josh.

  10. DirtyDave
    12:27 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Not a finished product as an announcer/analyst!!!needs professional coaching/training.

    12:28 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    I never thought it was a jab at the staff as well bc I knew what he was trying to say. Like others mentioned, he speaks highly of Stoops and UK, he just worded his statement where it could be taken out of context. Much like any professional sports league, they pay you. That means you eat sleep shxt that sport. No classes, just train, practice and play. Every professional team has a coach for each specific position now, not just coordinators in the common positions. Hell they might have 3-4 guys at each position to coach, train and run sports analytics on every day. No program in college gets this much training, attention, time and yes coaching. So yes, Booger could’ve worded his statement better, but what he’s saying can be said about every player. Should’ve said “But I know Josh Allen will put the work into being a more polished complete edge rusher” after the first part about relying solely on athleticism

    • dcforuk
      7:47 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      It reveals a bias (that others have against UK football) that they do not even realize. Just gotta keep proving folks wrong. When you start working out on January 1 your body will not break down the muscle for several weeks because it thinks you are kidding. It’s going to take a couple of more years of success to continue to turn around peoples mindsets against Kentucky football

  12. CatfaninCinci
    12:41 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Behold the power of BBN on Twitter… Within 24 hours, he’s clarifying

  13. notFromhere
    12:47 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Booger was too short and too fat to play as an edge rusher. He couldn’t drop into coverage. He never had the responsibilities that Josh had. No, not good enough, Boogs.

    all I’m going to say about it from here

  14. meeksfor3
    12:56 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Say what you mean or mean what you say. If he meant that about Kyler Murray and others why didn’t he say it about others? Why didn’t he say it about guys who were projected 20-30th and went 4th?

  15. My Dixie Wrecked
    1:03 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    FiveThirtyEight did a statistical analysis of player development in NCAA football for the past few years. If a team did more with less, they scored high. Kentucky ranked #96.

    • UKLugo
      1:15 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Out of…????

    • meeksfor3
      1:58 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Let me guess Bama, Clemson OH St and all the other players ranked at the top despite being full of 5 and a few 4 star players?

    • My Dixie Wrecked
      5:47 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      No. If a team was full of 5 stars, they didn’t rank so high. It was about doing more with less. I believe Air Force was #1.

    • dcforuk
      6:06 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      As my High School journalism teacher quipped on the first day of class “News is what the news media says it is”. I think some of the other posts are legitimately asking “based on what”. Maybe the rankings are what the rankers say they are?

  16. UKLugo
    1:14 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Uh, hell no. He comes on KSR, taking two steps back and says all of this to UK fans. Recruits heard his original comments, not what he said today on KSR. The damage is done and it was a low blow. College coaches ARE professional coaches. The extra step thing is probably not due to coaching, but the level of play. How does Booger get on TV anyways. And MNF??? What the hell is going on?? The guy can hardly speak English.

  17. KYCat4EVER
    1:52 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Nice clean up BOOGER… but you did NOT verbally distinguish between PROFESSIONAL COACHING and COLLEGIATE COACHING on National Television… and THAT alone is UNPROFESSIONAL on your part and you owe Stoops and BBN a huge apology instead of a weak attempt at a “morning after excuse”!


    • ClutchCargo
      3:03 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      So a guy says something ridiculous about UK coaches and all of a sudden you have sand in your vagina? Got it.

  18. cathatter
    2:00 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    come on now, get booger a cold one! this is the same coach that allowed two wide receivers on the other team to go unguarded for two td’s in the same game!

    • dcforuk
      2:53 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Different specific identified risk.

    • cats646
      3:18 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Also the same coach that turned our program around.
      10 wins motherfuker.

  19. mj4uk
    2:03 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Problem with the whole thing is recruits watch the first round of the draft. No offense to KSR I love it, but not many recruits will never hear his rebuttal on the radio.

    Potential fallout from this was last night. Regardless of the meaning of it, it sounded bad. I hope he used an opportunity tonight to provide an explanation as well, but I don’t think we will see or hear that

  20. dcforuk
    2:59 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    For all you with little ones preschool age to elementary age, pick up a small tube of toothpaste on your way home for each child. Get around the kitchen table and give each the toothpaste, a paper plate and a spoon. Then, put a $20 bill in the middle of the table. Ask them to empty out the toothpaste on the paper plate and then say the first one that gets the toothpaste back in the tube gets the $20. When they are on to you (the older elementary kids will be rather quickly), share with them that words spoken can never be put back in!

  21. UKani
    3:29 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    As a person who is BBN and born and raised in Lexington KY and played that position at that level as well Booger McFarland was spot on. UK fans will understand it as better talent gets to UK and we have more draft picks. Right now this is foreign to most…

    • njCat
      11:36 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      What in the world are you even talking about?

      He dissed the UK coaching staff on national TV while recruits and fans were watching. He didn’t say this about Joey Bosa did he? Did HE have professional coaching at OSU? Is that why? Or is Bosa, a five star athlete who showed nowhere near the improvement that Allen did, head and shoulders better than Josh? Please explain ‘position player’?

  22. dcforuk
    4:28 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    If you are referencing the quotes today then I agree with you. We are all challenged to embrace the goal to say what you mean and mean what you say. I am challenged with that just as much is booger is

    • Bluebloodtoo
      6:13 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      But you aren’t getting paid to address an audience.

    • dcforuk
      6:59 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      As someone said further up…….say what you mean and mean what you say!

  23. satcheluk
    4:36 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    It was an unfortunate comment that took a bit of the shine off JA’s/UK’s rare big night in the spotlight. Not malice, but I guarantee it’ll be used on the recruiting trail.

  24. dcforuk
    4:54 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    I do think it reflects a bias. CS Lewis writes that when you turn on the lights in the basement cellar quickly the rats in the basement don’t have time to hide. In other words, I think it is a demonstration and a reflection of perhaps even unintentional bias. I think all of his comments today were fine and accurate. In other words, he made a lot of noise heading to the basement cellar so the rats today had time to hide……

  25. makeitstop
    5:31 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    I spend enough energy explaining my own thoughts let alone McFarland’s, but the answer to the most asked question “couldn’t u say that about everyone” is yea, but not everyone chases QBs and fights off O-Line w more skills than u ever play against in college, left to right, which he happens to know bc he did it. He didn’t throw passes, block lineman, break up passes etc, he did anchor the edge and rush so he knows from whence he speaks. It was inartful for sure, but not inherently inaccurate nor at all malicious.

    • makeitstop
      5:35 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      And by the edge, I don’t mean the End, but w the Bucs, he played inside of where Josh will, and they work in Tandem so it’s like Andre Ware talking about what a receiver needs to do or Collingsworth pointing out how the QB could help the receiver. I never thought about needing to cover that ground in one and a half fewer steps but a guy who got paid millions to do the same thing does.

    • dcforuk
      5:41 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t Think anyone has any issues with all of the comments today. I like booger and I like his analysis but he did say “better coaching” I believe didn’t he? I do believe that if it was a school like Alabama that the language would’ve been something to the effect of “when he continues to get coached up in the NFL like he was in college” vs “better coaching”. It’s just another example of continuing to grow the program and the image iand the reputation and fighting the bias. I think it’s a kin to a person working to get in shape that has historically not been in shape. Both his body and other people think that he’s kidding until he stays at it for an extended period of time

  26. mcp157
    7:16 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    He should have said more coaching!

  27. BackinBlue
    8:40 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    ‘This bullsh$! I want ‘bush’, pan down…..’


  28. Wildcat homer
    7:06 am April 27, 2019 Permalink

    Cheap shot

  29. BlueDiz
    1:29 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

    McFarland was not fishing for words. He knew exactly what he was going to say. His intention was to damage the reputation and recruiting capabilities of the UK coaching staff, and he succeeded. His explanation on the KSR radio show was not an apology or a believable perspective to what was said. Even if it had been an apology, the damage was done. Shamefully we had to listen to Matt suck up to the ESPN establishment. It was pathetic. While the greatest draft in UK football history was going on, the KSR crew had been talking about possible basketball recruits most of the week. Probably more shameful is how Matt obviously restricted the criticism of his staff during the breaks. Ryan was dead on about what he said about Booger’s criticism. Booger was totally off base and should have been called out. While Ryan may not be an ESPN wannabee, he is a true Wildcat fan in every sport. Matt’s first allegiance is obviously to ESPN.

    • dcforuk
      3:59 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

      IMO, wrong and wrong. Wrong that it was intentional. It reflects a bias against Kentucky football. No malice. It is what he believes — that UK football is still inferior. We can continue to use as motivation. Wrong about Matt and Ryan. You need a good cop and bad cop. You need both honey and vinegar. I like Booger. I did not like his biased proverbial basement!