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Spring practice notes from April 9

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- I went out Friday to talk to offensive tackle Chandler Burden, who is making a switch from the defensive line to the offensive line. I'll have that story and a preview of the offensive line next week.

- While I was out there, I witnessed a little altercation between the offensive and defensive line. While he doesn't condone fighting, head coach Joker Phillips welcomed the extra aggressiveness. "You've got to mix it up every now and then," Phillips said. "It's a violent sport. Sometimes you wear your emotions on your sleeve and you get caught up in it. We're fine with what's going on as long as we leave it on the field. A lot of energy here today."

- Phillips hopes that part of the extra energy was for UK's first major scrimmage of the season, which will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium. The scrimmage is open to the public. Phillips called it an important scrimmage for the young players to see where they're at.

- Of course, there is an important three-way battle going on at quarterback. Phillips said all three - Mike Hartline, Morgan Newton and Ryan Mossakowski - threw the ball very well at Friday's practice. Phillips liked their ability to throw the ball down the field. He's anxious to see not only who gets the ball in the end zone but how they run the offense. Tempo and getting in and out of the huddle quickly will be important in Saturday's scrimmage. The quarterbacks are expected to get equal reps in Saturday's scrimmage.

- Phillips said the development of the receivers has also helped in the improvement in the quarterbacks and said the receivers are just as big a part of the passing game. "That helps the quarterback's confidence," Phillips said. "Andre (Woodson) felt comfortable throwing it up because he knew Stevie (Johnson), Keenan (Burton) and Dicky (Lyons) were going to make a play for him. Sometimes those guys have to make plays for them also."

- The first-year head coach raved about the offensive line, telling reporters that he "loved" what the linemen have done in spring practice. Phillips said they're taking pride in their play. Despite losing four starters, they're playing fast and running off the ball instead of "oozing off the ball," as Phillips described it. Former coach Rich Brooks called last year's line the most athletic line he had while he was at UK, but Phillips believes this line might be even more athletic. He also liked the fact that four of the linemen are from Kentucky because it means a little bit more to them to see this team succeed (more on this in the Burden feature).

- Kentucky remains in good health heading into the first scrimmage. Only defensive end DeQuin Evans, who is still recovering from a sprained right knee he suffered in last week's practice, will not participate.

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