Unfortunately, Mark Stoops didn’t give us any hints about Boom Williams during today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference. In fact, Boom never came up. Instead, we got to hear Stoops’ thoughts on quarterback coaches, red zone defense, and Shannon Dawson. Here are the highlights
Stoops is just fine with his quarterbacks working private coaches
Considering how much we’ve heard about Patrick Towles’ work with renowned quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. in San Diego, this shouldn’t come as a shock.
“I do allow them to work with individual quarterback coaches. That’s fine with me,” Stoops said. “I know it’s certainly helped Patrick Towles and improved some of his mechanics and some of the things he’s done.”
Stoops credited Chris Westry for helping improve red-zone defense
UK has been MUCH better this season at red-zone defense, and Stoops credited part of that to freshman corner Chris Westry.
“We’ve improved. Across the board we’re better. I think we understand what we’re doing better and quite honestly, making plays, making competitive plays in the red zone has probably been the biggest difference,” Stoops said. “One addition with Chris Westry being 6’4″ at corner has helped.”
Chris Westry certainly looks like the early frontrunner for Freshman MVP.
Thanks to Shannon Dawson, UK’s running game helps close victories
One thing Stoops was adamant about when he brought Shannon Dawson on board was finding a good balance between the passing and running games; that’s been evident so far, and Stoops credited Dawson for getting the running game to the point where UK can run the clock out to close out wins.
“I think if you look at our three wins, we’ve been very effective in running the clock out. That’s when everyone in the stadium and the opposing defenses know we’re going to run the ball and we’ve been able to run the ball for first downs to help close out those victories, I think that’s a huge difference right there.”
Despite the mess that was the Florida game, Stoops says he’s “very pleased” with Dawson’s playcalling so far.
“I’ve been very pleased with where we’re headed and what we’re doing offensively. I think Shannon has been a great fit. I really believe in what we’re doing. It’s not always going to be perfect, just like the week before against Florida. But that didn’t affect us one bit in our belief in what we were doing and what he was doing. It’s been very effective.”
Still confident in Patrick’s arm strength
In the opener against Louisiana Lafayette, Dawson showed us he’s clearly not afraid to open the passing game up, and Stoops said that although Patrick missed a few of those throws, he remains confident in his arm strength.
“He certainly can get the ball down the field. We’ve had our opportunities. You go back to the opener, and we had some big chunks, got the ball down the field, and missed just slightly. Maybe an underthrow or overthrow. But he has the arm power to get the ball down the field. He’s been very effective, and I see him only getting better as we move forward.”