LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips and the UK football team recently finished a tough stretch of three practices in about a day's time. And with their two-hour practice Wednesday afternoon, the Wildcats started yet another stretch of practices with Phillips saying he is anxious to see how his team responds to what is being asked of them.
“We concluded a 24-hour period yesterday where we had three practices and we have started another 24-hour period where we have three practices,” Phillips said. “That is what all teams are doing this time of year. Our last practice yesterday, I was really proud of our coaches because they did a really good job pushing our players and they did a good job responding in that last practice. Now, I want to see how they are going to respond in this next 24 hours. We just finished one today and had a lot of energy.”
Phillips said the team had a redzone scrimmage Wednesday with the both offense and defense “going after each other” with high energy levels. The head coach expects the same tomorrow in the team’s two-a-day practice slate.
“Tomorrow morning will be a physical practice and then we will take the pads off tomorrow afternoon and do more of a passing emphasis tomorrow afternoon,” Phillips said. “We need to continue to push the guys and this is the time of year where everyone in the country is mentally shot because of a lot of meetings and banging but we have to continue to push.”
Wednesday marked the last day for the Wildcats as far as the team staying on campus. The Wildcats moved out of dorms Wednesday morning in order to accommodate the move-in of new students later this week. Phillips said so far, he feels the team has improved in several different areas from last season.
“I think we will be better throwing and catching the ball. We have done a good job here on the practice field but you have to take it to the game field,” Phillips said. “That is a huge emphasis of ours to be better in that part of the game and not just throwing and catching, but big plays after the catch, too. We have guys that have the ability, but again they haven’t done it in the stadium or on game day. I feel a little bit better about that only because of the emphasis we put on it this spring and this fall, too.
“Defensively, the thing that I am pleased with is our number ones (first team) know this defense and they have been in it two springs, a season and a fall camp. I feel better about their understanding (the defense). We have to continue to build depth at the twos (second team). They have to know it as good as ones and I am not for sure they are there yet. Those twos are one play away from being able to step in there. Those guys have to learn what to do because I feel really good about the ones.”