UK Hall of Fame linebacker Wesley Woodyard retired from the NFL in 2019 after 12 seasons in the league with the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans, and now he is a Little League baseball coach and realtor in his new life after football. He is also very active in his charity, the 16 Ways Foundation, and on Tuesday he called in to Kentucky Sports Radio to talk a little football and promote an upcoming 16 Ways event in Lexington.
First, the football.
Woodyard, a two-time bowl game champion himself, spoke on how Kentucky’s current bowl streak has helped the program’s rebuild, and how the Kentucky brand is carrying new weight in the NFL.
“Now high school kids can visualize themselves coming to the University of Kentucky, having a chance to win the SEC East, and having a chance to play in the NFL at the next level,” Woodyard said. “Coach Stoops is doing a great job.”
Speaking of the NFL, Woodyard explained how he believes Liam Coen’s new NFL-style offense will translate to SEC football. Woodyard knows the pro-style offense from his NFL days, and can speak to the challenges it creates on defense, as well as anyone.
“It gives you more than the typical, we’re lined up in a running formation and they know we’re going to run the ball left or right,” he explained. “But with this formation, it is going to make the opposing defenses, especially the linebackers, it’s going to make them rely more on knowledge of the football game as opposed to their athletic ability. It’s going to make guys think more and I think in the SEC, the best way to beat a fast defense is to make them think. It’s going to give a few wrinkles to their game plan coming in, they’ll have to prepare for other things.
“Most of the time, that’s the biggest thing for coaches,” he said of giving opposing defenses as much as possible on film, the biggest benefit he sees in what Coen brings from the Rams. “It keeps guys off balance, the unexpected plays and just that preparation is going to cause teams to be a little worried about coming up against Kentucky.”
Woodyard also named his favorite game as a Wildcat, his favorite moment, and a time he got in a small fight as a team leader.
Then there is what Woodyard is doing off the field with his 16 Ways Foundation. Coming up on July 23rd in Lexington, Woodyard will be in town for his Fourth Annual 16 Ways Golf Scramble at University Club. Spots are still available for a team of four for golf, lunch and a 16 Ways gift bag, all to support the charity work at 16 Ways. Read more and sign up here.
Listen to the entire interview with one of BBN’s favorites, or hear two hours of UK Football talk on the show’s podcast below:
Listen to the KSR Football Podcast’s takeover of KSR with Freddie Maggard, Charles Walker, Adam Luckett and me:
The UK Football coaching staff will host Wednesday’s show.