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The First Four Impressions From the Football Press Conference

Darin Hinshaw (left) and Eddie Gran. (UKStoopsTroops | IG)

Darin Hinshaw (left) and Eddie Gran. (UKStoopsTroops | IG)

There is a Plan

Last year’s offense lacked identity and leadership, Coach Stoops said it himself.  Next year’s offense is already in the process of creating both.  Eddie Gran has already met with every single player on his offense.  When Stoops first reached out to Gran, he and Hinshaw immediately began looking at the facilities, personnel and recruiting base they would inherit.  They liked what they saw and they’re already formulating a plan to adapt their system for their players.

Without getting into the nuts and bolts too much (I’ll leave that for the novel Freddie is surely writing), here are the high points:

  1. Hinshaw will be in the booth feeding Gran information on the field, who will call the plays.
  2. Hinshaw has a “passion” for molding QB talent; Gran emphasizes physicality from his running backs.
  3. It is a multiple pro-style offense.

To expound more on the “multiple pro-style” offense, Hinshaw described it as an NFL offfense that was adapted to go fast.  We’ve heard every one of Stoops’ OC’s say “We’re gonna go fast,” so it’s understandable to approach with caution, but you should focus more on the “multiple” aspect.  It’s the best part of the no-huddle pro style from early in Hinshaw’s career, combined with aspects from Gran’s time at Auburn and Florida State, with a “take what the defense gives us” mentality.

It’s a system we cannot understand completely on Day One, but it’s a system nonetheless.  It will have a solid structure that has in-game checks and balances between Gran and Hinshaw.

Stoops had to do some SERIOUS Recruiting to Keep this Staff Together

When Mark Stoops took the stage before Gran and Hinshaw, he wanted to answer anything and everything from the media regarding last season, but that wasn’t his most important point.  He wants people to know that they’re lucky to have the coaching staff that will be on the sidelines and in the press box in 2016.  Derrick Ansley received a promotion while being heavily pursued (by Georgia, even though he didn’t clarify).  Other assistants have been called by other schools, and Stoops convinced them to stick around for another year to try to finish the job they started three years ago.

Getting Gran and Hinshaw wasn’t easy either, but after Gran turned him down a year ago to give Tommy Tuberville another season, this time “I wasn’t gonna let him tell me no.”

C.J. Conrad was the First Player Mentioned by Name

Coach Gran was hesitant to call any players out by name.  They’ve looked at some tape but haven’t been able to see them work on the practice field in person.  However, he did get excited when mentioning C.J. Conrad because he has the ability to do a variety of things for the offense, allowing them to truly embrace the concept of playing “multiple.”  They were both excited to work with Drew Barker and acknowledged depth at running back, but there’s only one certainty — C.J. Conrad is going to be an important part of this offense in 2016.

Quarterback Runs will be a Thing

Will the Quarterback try to be Mike Vick every week?  No, but there will be a different plan each week for how to utilize the quarterback’s feet.  Hinshaw called it a “plus one” because every time the QB runs, they can use another player as a blocker.  It was successful for a short stint with Patrick Towles, it’s been successful at plenty of other places (especially when they play UK), and Gran and Hinshaw plan to use the QB run regularly.

Article written by Nick Roush

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

29 Comments for The First Four Impressions From the Football Press Conference



  1. kentuckyrld
    3:15 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    OK, so we have some new coaches. I have seen a lot of coaches come and go over the last 60 years and I must say that, unfortunately, with just a few exceptions, it has made no real difference. I have three questions. Will these new coaches be able to bring in better talent? Will these new coaches be able to coach the talent better than previous coaches, and most importantly, Will these new coaches create more wins on the field. At the moment I don’t get a warm and fuzzy that it is going to matter. We still have the same head coach so I have to wonder if anything has really changed. I will watch anxiously next season to see if things have improved or if it is the same old story.



    • jcatron
      3:52 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      and get off my lawn



    • leon singleton
      6:38 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Don.t worry about the quarterback running when he sees a tackle coming slide feet first.



  2. Laker Cat 18
    3:18 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    Everything I heard in the press conference was a positive for the program. I wanted to give Dawson a chance, but I questioned him from day one, specifically on how serious he was going to take his job. Seemed to joke around a lot and be a friend to the players opposed to a coach. Heard him speak at the coach of the year clinic last year where I never really could figure out the direction he wanted to go with the Air Raid. Gran will exceed expectations in that role if he holds true to the press conference comments and responses.



  3. The Rest of the story
    3:32 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    All the planning in the world will be fruitless unless there is a respectable O line and D line which is the heart of every team. I see no change in that next year.



  4. Sentient Third Eye
    3:33 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    Running our QB scares me since we only have one who is even halfway proven.



    • nicky
      3:39 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah they better think about that strategy considering our lack of QB depth



    • jcatron
      3:55 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Agreed. I love the idea of running a QB around but it may be too risky this year. I think we should try to get some graduate transfer or something from somewhere to help with QB depth.



    • ukkatzfan
      5:14 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Yes, I agree. I bet they didn’t even stop to consider our qb depth. I think they will reconsider that option once they go back and look at the experience we have at qb.



  5. ky1988
    3:48 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    Sounded like this is best oc stoops has had since coming to uk only time will tell. I like brown but he didn’t have player talent to do his offence. and Dawson wasn’t ready for big time football.



    • Sentient Third Eye
      4:00 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      I think that’s a good observation about Neal Brown. In the old days, Mumme’s Air Raid didn’t require elite talent overall to succeed (though he had an elite QB and several elite receivers). That’s helped popularize it. But then defenses adapted by recruiting speed at every position. That meant the Air Raid had to adapt in some systems and metamorph into “the spread offense” at others. The advantage that Mumme regularly exploited, lack of defensive speed at the corners, does not exist any longer in the SEC.



  6. inside info2
    4:17 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    No way he is going to be able to run QBs next year because we really only have one QB. Unless they hurry up and pick up a transfer that is eligible immediately, the emphasis for Barker will be DON’T run, watch for blitzes and don’t take any sacks.



  7. Kernel Sanders
    4:18 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    So the new OC likes to run the QB. Our HC names Barker starter for next year, and runs off Towles, who is a better runner and more suited for a pro style offense than he ever was for the Air Raid, or Dawson spread. And now we want to run our QB with only 1 QB on the roster that has ever taken a snap in D-1. And our coach stubbornly never found a couple series for him in 2015 either, until it really didn’t matter. Sounds about right for UK football. What is Gran’s buyout? $20 million?



    • UK Big Board Update
      4:21 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Go get Saban for us then…



    • kyle heavy
      4:39 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Dude… calm down. These guys are already looking at JUCO transfer dual-threat QBs.



    • Kernel Sanders
      4:40 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Would if I could. I couldn’t get a date with a supermodel either, but that doesn’t mean I would have to be happy about being stuck with an ugly woman. And like I posted above, the whole process of running off your best QB option for the type of offense your subsequently hired OC will run is yet another example of why Stoops stint here will soon be over. It’s comical.



    • dean winchester
      4:42 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      UKBB-dude we could clone Lombardi to coach and someone would complain…



    • Bluecreeker
      4:52 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Kernel – Sorry…..but it was time for Towels to go as he was not our QB of the future. Towels was a red shirt Jr. who had worked with pro developers over the off seasons while at UK. He has a NFL body and arm, but he seriously lacks accuracy and judgement. These are not issues one needs to find in a Senior SEC QB. Towels had as many interceptions as he did TD’s because he threw the ball into double and sometimes triple coverage’s. You can not hide from game tape. Being able to run the ball because everybody is in coverage and the defense is praying you will send them a lame duck on a platter does not a “running QB” make. Heck, even a blind squirrel can get a nut every once in a while.

      Keeping Towels would would have been a no win for Stoops. If he did great we would not be allowed to develop Barker and he would have been gone after 1 season, if he did horrible…….well we all know from listening to fans like you how that would have gone.



    • Kernel Sanders
      5:54 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Creeper I am not a Towles apologist. I am simply saying that when Barker FINALLY played this year, it was quickly obvious to me that he is not a running QB. Towles was the better runner, in relative terms…I am certainly not saying Towles is A dual threat QB. Towles has a big arm, and not the quick release needed for a spread offense. He is more suited for a pro style offense. Point being I think it’s ironic that the QB more suited for a pro style offense, which Gran runs, was run off in favor of a QB that they never saw fit to play until the season was lost. Not saying Towles is better or Barker is better. Just that the whole process made no sense to me. And now we have 1 QB that played very little and struggled very much and no other option.



    • Kernel Sanders
      5:56 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      And Dean Winchester, we could clone Lombardi but his clone would not come coach at UK any more than Bill Parcells was gonna walk thru that door.



    • Kernel Sanders
      5:57 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Lol damn autocorrect…meant “creeper” above, not creeper.



  8. Bluecreeker
    4:46 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    Thank the jesus somebody mentioned CJ Conrad. This is the most underutilized player on the offense IMO with Jojo Kemp coming in a close second.

    I already like what I’m hearing.



    • inside info2
      4:56 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Out O-Line was terrible last year. He spent most of the year blocking. If the O-line is better this season he will be utilized more in the passing game. If it is not, he won’t be.



    • Bluecreeker
      5:19 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Inside – I agree the line wasn’t great, but UK did nothing to stop the blitz either. A 3, or a 2 step, or even 1 step drop and a pass over the middle to Conrad would have slowed that down a bit. This was not in the UK play book as far as I could tell.



  9. dean winchester
    4:47 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    And i do get the kernel’s point, but I think sometimes you have to part ways with people for reasons that may have little to do with talent. Sometimes you dont see eye to eye and you cant work with someone. Maybe Towles left knowing Dawson was gone regardless of who came after. Sometimes a move is best for all involved.



  10. bigblueforever
    7:51 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

    4-8 next year. More blue Koolaid please!



    • UK Big Board Update
      8:32 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      You should stop watching/following UK football. Its obviously bothering you too much.



    • The Rest of the story
      8:50 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Notice Big Bore Update is happy with losing seasons and mediocre or less coaching. He is just happy making useless comments about others comments because he is the only one right.



    • Long Dong Silver
      10:36 pm January 4, 2016 Permalink

      Big board update is a stupid fool. He provides further proof with every comment. He should stop reading the comments section since it obviously bothers him so.