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Stoops says he’s already seeing a change in Max Smith


During today’s SEC Coaches’ Teleconference, Mark Stoops said that his team is “looking forward to getting back on the field” to bounce back after the Western loss, and he’s already seeing a change in Maxwell Smith after naming him the starter on Monday:

“Yeah, I do. I’m starting to see a change. I think it’s probably been a difficult situation for the quarterbacks throughout spring and throughout summer and camp. We all know there’s been a good battle going on there, and it just seems like with that, nobody really jumped forward in a leadership position. So I think Max going out and playing well last week at the end of the game and seeing that the team needs some leadership, I’m looking forward to see Max go out there. So yes, I anticipate — I have seen a change, and I anticipate him to continue to lead us. We need that.”

Stoops hasn’t been afraid to keep it real when it comes to Kentucky’s weaknesses. Unlike past coaches, he doesn’t sugarcoat how bad the Cats are in certain areas, especially defense:

“As you know, good run defense comes from everybody, and we were not very good, really, at any level of the defense, whether it be the front, the linebackers or the secondary.”

Stoops also said that he’d be interested in playing Western again, although they’re not on the schedule in the next four years, and he fully expects other teams to use Kentucky’s rough start against them in recruiting:

“Oh yeah. There’s definitely going to be negative recruiting, but we can’t worry about that. The only thing we do is build strong relationships with the players we have committed and continue to recruit other players that we are recruiting. So it’s a never-ending cycle. We’ll continue to battle all the way till signing day on quite a few prospects. You know, so that’s never ending. We feel very good about the commitments and the relationship we have with these commitments. I think that they’ve seen negative recruiting, they’ve heard the negative recruiting and they’re going to continue to hear the negative recruiting. Sometimes that helps you.”

So far, Kentucky’s 2014 commitments have said that the opening loss against Western didn’t come as a big surprise, and if anything, it affirms their pledge to play for Stoops because they know they can come in and compete for starting spots right away. Keep it up, Drew Barker…

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.

20 Comments for Stoops says he’s already seeing a change in Max Smith

  1. Do whut?
    2:22 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Funny. I guess Stoops disagrees with Roush’s weak rationalization…er…,excuse making…er….defense of the defensive line. My bigger concern, however, is a claimed change in Smith. What change? This is my number one question mark with this staff. Anyone who watched game tape from last year should be able to see that Smith consistently operated on a different level than Whitlow. I still expected Smith to be the starter right up until Whitlow hit the field. The fact that Stoops and Brown didn’t recognize the obvious on the quarterback position is not a good sign. More strangely Brown who obviously knows how to run the Air Raid with much success chooses a kid who doesn’t come close in anyway to being the prototypical Air Raid quarterback while sitting a kid who is exactly that. Makes me think Brown wasn’t given much autonomy in regards to the decision. If that is the case we have bigger problems than just picking the wrong qb.

  2. rick
    2:28 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    #1 , I agree with you. Just look at game tape from last year and what the heck were they watching in pratice this year. Any one could tell Smith is the better Quarterback.

  3. Reailty
    2:33 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Max Smith would be second or third string for most BCS schools.

  4. Cats
    2:37 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    #1 Does this not remind you of Boyd/Lorenzen when Brooks first came in? All the coaches and media would talk about how incredible Boyd was in pratice and how “multi-dimensional” even though Lorenzen had clearly proved himself from seasons past. In order for a quarterback to be mult-dimensional they need to have that first and most important dimension… THROWING THE FOOTBALL

  5. Cats
    2:39 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Of course Brooks worked out so I’ll definitely give Stoops/Brown the benefit of the doubt

  6. blueneil
    2:41 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    I like the fact that Max seems to be able to run through his progression and hit that 2nd and 3rd receiver. Whitlow doesn’t seem to have that nailed down yet. His poise in the pocket sets him apart from Jalen as a quarterback right now.

  7. Rockfield, KY
    2:43 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    I figured Whitlow started because the staff had questions about the O-line coming in and knew if they had a rough statrt that Max would probably get hurt. At least with Whitlow in there is the ability to escape. It turned out that our O-line wasn’t too bad and Max was the better QB.

  8. Do whut?
    2:49 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    #4 I see your point and I’ll throw in Tim Couch running the option under Curry and Uzelac to boot. That isn’t to say that either Smith or Whitlow are Couch but it is an example of taking a kid with a specific skill set and putting him in charge of an offense that requires an entirely different set of skills. The difference being in this case instead of fitting a square peg into a round hole the staff changed the shape of the hole, throwing out the entire offense we were promised to suit the quarterback they chose to be the starter. Why bring in a coordinator ( whose previous qb threw for over 4000 yards last season) only to change the base offense?

  9. rick
    2:50 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    #3, Smith is probably has good as 75% of the div one quarterbacks , he just doesn’t have the team mates some of them have.

  10. BBN
    3:00 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Darrell Bird on Cats Pause has an article that says it best about the Qb situation

  11. Do whut?
    3:02 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Addendum: it’s probably an overstatement to say the staff threw out the offense to suit Whitlow but it certainly felt more like the spread option than the Air Raid. Darrell Bird had an interesting take on why the staff may have made the decision to start Whitlow despite knowing Smith was the better option saying that Smith backed them into a corner with his practice performances and rather than lose the locker room the staff may have risked losing the game.

  12. Mr. Obvious
    3:31 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Max Smith will start

  13. ebell55
    3:32 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    For all the hate and dislike for the previous staff they did have it figured out that Max Smith was the best QB and Bud Dupree at LB is better for our defense as a whole. Lets let the previous staff hate go. They are gone! Randy Sanders is the QB coach at Fla St where they have a stud Freshman QB. Jokers at UF and Cassidy is at Wku who just kicked our tail. I want Stoops to be successful but lets stop trashing the previous staff.

  14. ushouldno
    3:40 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    The two most important qualities a successful QB can have is good decision making and accuracy. Maxwell has the upper hand in these categories. I feel he will be more successful in going through his progressions and put the ball where the receivers have a better chance of catching. I feel he will put on a clinic Saturday on how to execute the Air Raid.

  15. Jacob Brooks
    3:50 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Please stop with the bullshit regarding concerns over stoops picking whitlow.

    Whitlow had a bad game. That’s it. The staff doesn’t lack judgment for picking him. He out performed smith in the scrimmages, at practice, and at the blue/white game. He didn’t just out run smith, he looked like the better passer as well. Are they supposed to start the guy who played worse in all the big moments?

    Whitlow played better in the off season and showed no trouble throwing the ball. Unfortunately he shrunk a bit under the big lights and smith played better. Stoops also probably realized the defense is so bad they have to try a qb that can sling it 40 times a game.

    Max will start vs Miami and they’ll evaluate after… But enough with the “its s real concern if they thought whitlow was better” trash. We fans know maybe 1/60 of what stoops and brown know.

  16. RICK
    4:02 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    #15, Don’t like what we have to say don’t read it. Any one that watched Smith and Whitlow last year knows Whitlow cannot out throw Smith.

  17. It's not that simple...
    4:20 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Whitlow started because: (i) he earned the right; and (ii) the coaching staff was concerned whether the offensive line would be able to protect a less mobile pocket passer (Smith). The O-Line (other than the ridiculous number of false starts) actually played relatively well. Whitlow didn’t–at least when it came to the passing game. Smith looked better when he got his chance. The coaches have made it clear there is not all that much difference between the overall talent levels of the top three QBs so we should allow the coaches an opportunity to see how the team develops and to determine which QB makes the most sense, most of the time. Even if Smith becomes the primary starter, I imagine Whitlow will see plenty of action in Wildcat package situations, especially around the goal line. All in all, I am optimistic.

  18. Do whut?
    4:32 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    #15 the fact that we know “1/60” of Stoops and Co. Is the point. Someone with 1/60 of their knowledge could easily see Smith is the better game quarterback and more than obviously better suited to the offense we’re supposed to be running. Therefore if these fellas have 60 times the football knowledge than any of us shouldn’t their poor choice of quarterbacks be of concern? Also I find it curious you consider scrimmages, practice and the blue-white game to be the “big moments”. For most of us the actual games would be the “big moments” and that is exactly where Smith outshined Whitlow. Why the staff went with Whitlow is probably better explained by Darrell Bird’s column than it is by your insulting, condescending bit of tripe.

  19. Bro
    5:54 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    You mad bro?

  20. Chuckle
    6:11 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Just a side story. You’re not very good on offense either. Play those freshman and let them make mistakes and fumble away the game. Your wide receivers had -1 yards at half time against WKU.
    Your offensive line had about 8 false starts. Significant improvement now that we lost to WKU and you had one week.
    Makes me chuckle