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Can’t Make The Club In The Tub


On Tuesday Eddie Gran discussed the minor injury status of running back Mikel Horton by quoting the old football adage, “Can’t make the club in the tub.” He then expanded by saying the it would not be a smart move for any running back to miss practice time. Telling and new. Please note that Gran was not suggesting that players should practice with a serious injury.

The running back position is a mere microcosm of the Kentucky offense. Across the field competition has increased intensity. The addition of depth is being used to decrease complacency.  I like this no-nonsense approach. Gran has said all the right things that the BBN craved in fall camp. Game-day will show if actuality will meet intent.

More camp observations:

— The offense successfully moved the chains during last Saturday’s scrimmage by converting 4/5 on fourth down plays. But, it was unsuccessful on third down conversions of which Gran emphasized that his unit would continue working until results are improved. UK converted 37.43% of its third downs in 2015. Strangely, last year the Cats finished 2nd in the SEC by converting 68.42% on fourth down.

— Receivers are being praised for improved efficiency and production. That’s great and all but comments about Dorian Baker’s increased effort are more prevailing. Lamar Thomas’ group is talented. Questions at receiver have never been talented related but more so referencing heart and effort. This is early camp talk now, but those issues seem to be in the process of being addressed and best case scenario; resolved.

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

— Adrian Middleton is solidifying a starting position at defensive tackle. This is what should be happening. Middleton is now a redshirt sophomore and this is his 3rd training camp. The encouraging news from Jimmy Brumbaugh’s group is that Tymere Dubose is developing and the freshmen are competing for playing time. Dubose may have the most NFL ready skill set on the defensive front. He simply has to put it all together. Mark Stoops talked about Alvonte Bell and Kengera Daniel needing to step up in passing situations. This tells me that a variant in sub-packages, blitzes, and fronts will be used in certain passing situations to enhance pass rush effectiveness. Stoops is a 3-4 coach, but is certainly not married to the concept if adaptions are required.

— Drew Barker is in total command of the offense. Both coaches and players have bragged about the sophomore.  With an adequate armament of surrounding skill players; I still say that Barker merely has to be good, not great for UK to go bowling. Backups Stephen Johnson and Gunnar Hoak have also drawn positive reviews. Johnson needs to advance accuracy and offensive command. Johnson’s fluid ability to scramble is an unteachable yet dangerous trait. Gunnar Hoak has been steady. Hinshaw has repeatedly mentioned the rookie’s advanced pocket presence and mechanics. Hoak’s going to be a good one folks.

— Vince Marrow is best known for his recruiting prowess. He’s also the tight end’s coach and by all accounts his position group has played at an extremely high level. CJ Condrad, Greg Hart, and Justin Rigg make up a formidable pass catching trio that will also be called upon for line-of-scrimmage blocking. The threat of a TE in the passing game will open up outside receivers and finally push linebackers outside normal pass lane responsibilities. Having capable TE’s will also open up rushing lanes by preventing opposing defenses from stacking the box in order to stuff the run.



— Legs are beginning to tire as offseason conditioning is being tested on a daily basis. August’s most important practice is coming up this weekend. Saturday’s scrimmage could define the 2016 Kentucky Wildcats. A game environment will be simulated inside Commonwealth Stadium. Plays will be called from the sideline as coaches finalize one of their last live rehearsals. The scout team and starting lineup will be established as a result of the scrimmage. Afterwards Southern Miss will become priority number one.

— Transfers may not be complete. In today’s “play me now” mentality, post-camp attrition is common across the country. If this occurs at UK, then it can only be taken as a positive. Players voluntarily leaving the program have based their decision on the depth chart and playing time. Being recruited over is a part of building a football program as well as an upward surge of strong recruiting classes. 

— A portion of the BBN is in a holding pattern while showing caution to optimism. Understandable. My job is not to motivate nor persuade the fan base. KSR instructed me to report my opinion and provide former player insight to the Kentucky Football program and the Southeastern Conference. But, I can’t help but to be optimistic as a season ticket holder. 

— Why am I optimistic? Eddie Gran has me sold. Gran’s, “No selfish play”, “Can’t make the club in the tub”, and more comments lead me to believe that the offense has undergone a legitimate attitudinal adjustment. By attending press conferences and observing an open practice, his words do not seem hollow. Furthermore, I don’t think that starters were concerned about losing their jobs last season. I also don’t believe that offensive players were held accountable for effort lapses or being an insufficient teammate. Call me crazy; many do already, but a change of mindset with a talented group of skill players matched up with a solid corps of offensive linemen could lead to 30 points per game. 

Additionally, three position groups have been named in the top of the SEC by various talking heads: Running backs (SEC top 5), cornerbacks (tops), and receivers (best in the East). Add in arguably the best center in UK history and I see a solid indicator of progress.

We’ll see come September 3rd

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

18 Comments for Can’t Make The Club In The Tub

  1. Saul T. Nuts
    9:41 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

    I hope you’re right Freddie…my fingers are crossed.

  2. macsauce13
    9:50 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

    I’m with you Freddie. I’m so excited I can’t stand it. I’m not cautiously optimistic, I’m break my big blue heart into a million tiny pieces optimistic.

  3. BluKudzu
    9:56 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

    If this year is the year, hallelujah!!!!!! I am so ready for a real football team. Bring the hammer Cats leave your mark.
    I bitch and complain a lot, but this is my team.
    Thank you Freddie, that was encouraging.

    • UK Big Board Update
      10:55 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

      “I bitch and complain a lot….”

      Well, that’s an understatement. #zoloft

    • BluKudzu
      5:05 pm August 17, 2016 Permalink

      Yup, guilty as charged. No argument there. My Zoloft is victories, especially kicking Dawson’s back side all over CWS.

  4. Howdy Doody
    10:15 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

    Can I get a refund from KSR for my 10 season seats IF lollipops and sunshine does not appear ??
    You guys get in FREE. You get what you paid for….US ? Not so much…

    • UK Big Board Update
      10:52 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

      LOL, you have never been to a game.

  5. kycats13
    10:30 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

    If the attitude was poor last year and it is now changed to positive what does that say about the Head Coach and the new coordinators that have been brought in. Seems like the new coordinators are taking over the responsibilities of the Head Coach.

    • macsauce13
      10:41 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

      The new coordinators seem like they really know what they are doing. I do not believe that was the case last year. I don’t necessarily think it says anything about the head coach, sometimes a staff doesn’t work well together. Dawson was awful, I’m sure that caused some tension.

  6. pithuahua
    10:55 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

    The defensive front must improve 100 fold in order for team 105 to make that leap to the next level. Freddie talked about different packages and sub-packages that will be used to get some pressure on the QB.What worries me is not being able to get the right personnel on the field especially when we face up tempo style offensives.So how will the 1st and 2nd down personnel be when it comes to having an effective pass rush?

    • CatsfaninFL
      11:07 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

      I’d assume if you were facing an up tempo team you would keep your same personal but manage pash rushing with varying blitzes. Not ideal, but a pretty common way to handle not being able to switch out the personnel you want.

  7. The Professor
    11:26 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

    The comments, “Can’t make the club in the tub.” and “it would not be a smart move for any running back to miss practice time.” sure sound like a coach not very interested in a player’s health and well being. Player safety should be the #1 consideration. Gran has already made a couple of stupid comments so it is difficult to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:38 am August 17, 2016 Permalink

      “Please note that Gran was not suggesting that players should practice with a serious injury.” FIRST paragraph.

    • The Professor
      11:03 pm August 17, 2016 Permalink

      Gran’s comments suggest otherwise. The writer does not say he is quoting Gran with the injury statement. I can only take Gran’s comments at face value which is troubling.

  8. inside info2
    2:07 pm August 17, 2016 Permalink

    If it was anyone else, I would disregard their opinions about the team. But I trust yours Freddie. I hope you and the team prove my 4 win guess wrong.

  9. GroundControlToNumber9
    2:05 am August 18, 2016 Permalink

    Yea, Freddie share Gran’s comment because it was soaked in ‘good ole tough’ football nostalgia… AND he knew he had to defend it.

    Why did Freddie defend it clean off the bat? Because it screams… YOUR NOT PLAYING KID UNLESS YOU COME WORK YOUR BUTT OFF LIKE THE OTHERS.

    Why do coaches feel the need to say this exact phrase? Typically it’s situational…
    A) Most often it’s used because they have a kid they think is sitting out some of the summer grind. And at the end of the day the coach knows the every player gains huge dividends from the cumulative effect of these workouts leading into the season.
    B) It could be used by a coach that just want to toss a sound byte out to the media (likeability biscuits).

    I highly doubt it’s B simply due to the quote… and EVERY TIME I ever heard a coach say it to someone. It’s clear what it means.

    There are trust issues between the two… and Mikel Horton needs to either get better at communicating with his coach (so his coach doesn’t feel the need to question his desires in public).