The annual Blue/White Game is only eight days away. Up until this point, the team has spent most of the time installing new schemes and techniques. Now it’s time to polish the final product.
“I wanna see us tighten up,” said defensive coordinator Brad White. “These last couple of days, we put in a couple different things. There’s just been a few different techniques that we’ve put in and so there’s going to be some learning there. There’s going to be some growing pains. They may not look the cleanest. Trust me, I knew going in it wouldn’t be the cleanest, but you need tape to teach off of.”
The coaches have thrown a lot against the wall. Now it’s time to see what has stuck.
“Let’s tighten the screws. Okay, I’ve understood it from 20,000 feet above, let’s bring it down. When we get into the spring game, we should understand what we have to do and every single technique coach is asking me to do at every single position. That’s what I want to see,” White said.
Things started a little slow. By spring’s end the defensive coaches want to see their guys playing fast.
“Obviously, you wanna stop the run and you wanna play physical when you’re the inside linebackers coach. That’s what my goals are,” Jon Sumrall said. “Just continue to improve. Don’t take steps back, take steps forward everyday.”
The defense has only a little more than a week left to improve. We’ll find out next Friday if the final product is clean enough for White’s standards.
Now I can’t get this song out of my head. Thanks, Coach White.
Bohanna is “The Real MVP”
Tuesday we learned Drake Jackson and Quinton Bohanna are having epic battles in the trenches, described by Q as the kind of battles that, “wake you up in the morning.” Today the UK nose guard received more praise from his peers.
“Quinton’s looking great,” said outside linebacker Boogie Watson. “He’s helped inside a lot because when he’s rushing from the middle, that just helps the edges out so much. In run defense, he’s clogging up the middle, taking two gaps at a time. He’s definitely been the MVP of the spring on defense by far.”
After a frustrating 2018 season that was plagued by ankle injuries, Bohanna’s never felt better. It’s a big reason why he’s taken a step forward. Bohanna knows opposing offenses better than ever before and he said, “I’m getting off the ball, being more disruptive. My hands, they’re quicker.”
Sumrall’s Having a Ball
The former UK linebacker now has 11 practices under his belt as the Cats’ inside linebackers coach. Now that Jon Sumrall’s had some time to soak in the experience, he’s loved every minute.
“Coach Stoops is awesome. He’s amazing. He’s done an incredible job of creating a culture in this football program. Just having the opportunity to be a part of that is something special for me,” Sumrall said.
“Everybody here is really good. The players are hungry. Obviously, great things have happened here. But our goal isn’t to rest on what’s happened. It’s to continue to push, get better and move forward. Everyday’s been fun and I’m enjoying every minute of being here, hopefully helping this program to get better.”
Meet Brandin Echols
Praised by Terry Wilson as a disruptive “ball hawk” in the secondary, the JUCO cornerback talked about his transition into the SEC. He’s already noticed a difference in the speed of the game, but he has one extra benefit under his belt: he previously played wide receiver. Knowing the nuances of that position have given him a leg up through 11 practices.