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Lack of depth at Wide Receiver is taking its toll at Spring Practice


Jeff Badet finished 2013 on a high note, but today's ankle injury adds him to the extensive list of 'banged up' wide receivers.

Jeff Badet finished 2013 on a high note, but today’s ankle injury adds him to the extensive list of ‘banged up’ wide receivers.

Neal Brown’s offense entered Spring practice “grossly thin” at wide receiver and it hasn’t gotten any better.

The Cats began the Spring season without Javess Blue and Alex Montgomery, and over the course of the month minor injuries have made things even more difficult.  Today Jeff Badet tweaked an ankle, Thaddeus Snodgrass tweaked a muscle, Joey Herrick was banged up and Ryan Timmons sat out to give the soreness in his shoulder a break.

Brown joked that if he was still playing he’d even make the 2-deep, “(WR) Coach Mainord had to run some routes today. That’s DEFINITELY not good.”

Coach Mainord remains optimistic and does not believe it is a disastrous epidemic, “We’ve had guys fully healthy throughout the whole thing.  Even if a guy is taking off today, that doesn’t mean they won’t be fully healthy on Wednesday.  It’s not a matter of who’s out there all Spring, it’s a matter of day-to-day.”

Doors have been opened for guys that have been near the bottom of the depth chart.  Walk-on Cameron Fogle has improved leaps and bounds, along with the big 6’5 wideout Rashad Cunningham.

The coaches were prepared to take some minor casualties this Spring, but the lack of receivers is making it difficult for the quarterbacks.  The timing could not be much worse, but Brown is making adjustments to make sure the quarterbacks get enough quality reps.

“It makes it a lot more difficult, that’s why we were out here doing some extra work with me and Tyler catching the ball because the quarterbacks aren’t getting enough work right now.  So we’ve built in pre-practice and post-practice stuff to make sure they’re getting enough reps in the stuff we’re going to run.”

In order to mitigate the depth problem at wideout, Brown began the Spring by incorporating the running backs more into the passing game.  So far it has been nothing short of successful.

“They’re actually catching the ball better than our receivers.  I’m not sure it’s a good thing, but they are doing a nice job,” Brown said.  “We do a deal where every person should have a 90% catch percentage or higher, and all of the running backs do.  They’ve had very few drops.  We’re doing some things this Spring to get them more involved in the pass game because all of those guys that are playing can do that.”

Without a plethora of wide receivers the Air Raid might have to take a back seat during the Blue/White game, but Brown still wants to put on a show, “Tell em we’re going to throw it. We need people here.  It’s a big recruiting day Saturday, fans need to show up.”

Article written by Nick Roush

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

13 Comments for Lack of depth at Wide Receiver is taking its toll at Spring Practice

  1. BigBlue
    2:03 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Never thin on excuses

    • theWilkman
      4:14 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      When they praise the team, they’re “just being cheerleaders.” When they point to clear and obvious weaknesses, they’re “making excuses.” Which is it?

  2. Greg
    2:22 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Sounded like info to me.

  3. Teetim
    2:27 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Paging Mr. Whitlow, Mr. Jalen Whitlow. Please pick up the blue courtesy phone. Or meet your party at the Nutter practice facility. Thank you!

  4. UKfansNKY
    2:34 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Glad to see they have mentioned Cameron Fogle making improvements he is a great athlete given the chance he will make a difference!! GO CATS!!!

  5. WakeUpBBN
    2:51 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Agree with UKfansNKY. Given the opportunity Cameron should turn some heads, he can make a QB look awful good. Football can’t get here fast enough!

  6. UKfan
    3:03 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Have to enjoy a system that uses all of its athletes, not just a select few.

  7. truBLU
    3:38 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Rashad Cunningham absolutely tore it up at Spring Game last year, hope he can sneak in there and take advantage of this otherwise awful situation.

  8. CopenhagenCat
    4:00 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I swear I don’t think I ever seen a UK team ever healthy. Seems like every year 5 or 6 guys or hurt they we really need.

    • JBCat
      6:37 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      So true unfortunately.
      Can’t remember a single team where key injuries didn’t hamstring us in some way. Even when we had that good run of QB health (Couch–Woodson), we would rack up multiple injuries on other units.

      It’s a vicious cycle at UK. We’ll have promising young, underdeveloped guys that are forced into action against bigger stronger opponents due to lack of talent or injury only to see those guys get hurt or develop chronic, nagging conditions that need off-season surgery. All of which slow or prevent normal healthy development over and over again….

  9. Cindy Fogle
    5:28 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Good to hear Cameron Fogle mentioned. He is a great athlete and will definitely make an impact. When he and Drew Barker hook up it is money in the bank! He just needs to be given the opportunity.

  10. Cris
    10:56 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Compounding the wide receiver problem is Whitlow and Sheehan transferring last week.

  11. football school
    3:40 am April 22, 2014 Permalink

    Time for the staff to re-recruit Jalen. C’mon back, Whitlow, we have a better spot for you.