After struggling to move the ball in the second half against Eastern Michigan, Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran knows exactly what his players need.
“(We) Need to be more physical,” was the first thing he said following today’s practice. “We needed to be physical every snap, and I didn’t think we were. They didn’t think they were either. They know. It was a good lesson to be learned.”
It all starts up front. When the run game couldn’t get going, they turned to the air, but the protection failed far too frequently. That wasn’t all on the offensive line. In fact, Gran believes he’s found the cohesiveness on the offensive line he was searching for at the start of the season.
“We’re there,” he said. “I think we’ve got a good lineup that we’re going to feel good about.”
The physicality doesn’t just apply to the big uglies. The same can also be said about Lamar Thomas’ wide receivers.
“We’re very close. I really believe that,” Thomas said. “We talk about it all the time, but we have to do our part. A lot of times that entails getting down and dirty, getting those blocks, making those touchdown blocks to spring the runners, catching the ball that’s thrown to us, lining up properly and most importantly, doing what you have to do off the field.”
The offense doesn’t need to be rebuilt. The mistakes are small ones that add up over time. To illustrate how close they are to producing a complete product on the field, they showed players mistakes from the game film side-by-side with successful execution on the same plays they worked on during practice. Gran saw the players respond and believes the complete product will soon show on gameday.
“There’s no panic. We’re close. We were close at this time last year and it all came together, so I’m excited about their response this week.”
I’ll admit, this song was stuck in my head throughout the entire post-practice interview session.