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Video: Football focusing on basics in first day of spring practice

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Doesn't it seem like Kentucky's streak-busting win over Tennessee was just a few weeks ago?

Well, that's clearly not the case, as the UK football team held its first day of spring practice on Wednesday morning. It was the first of 14 practices leading up to the Blue/White Spring Game on April 21 at 6 p.m. in Commonwealth Stadium.

"It was fun to be back out here for sure, not only for the coaches, but the players too," head coach Joker Phillips said. "We've had a lot of things going on this offseason with the weight program and school and all that stuff. We had this great weather and we've been inside, so I think this has been a great time to get out here."

The Cats enjoyed clear skies and warm temperatures with a focus on improving. To do so, Phillips and his coaching staff are first installing the basic schemes and tenets on both offense and defense. To get to the point where the players are able to play as fast as the coaches want, these first two days before the team suits up in full pads on Saturday are all about teaching.

"We're in shorts, so that's the time you want to do as much teaching as you possibly can to lead up to Saturday when we put on the pads," Phillips said. "We've got another day Friday that we'll go in shorts again."

With so many young players in position to contribute early, Phillips said that less material was thrown at them than in previous first days of spring practice. He was pleased with the way all the information was absorbed and retained.

Even though most of UK's newcomers are not yet on campus, the first day of spring was not without new faces. Mike Cassity and Pat Washington went through their first practice as Kentucky assistant coaches. They have been quickly and successfully integrated.

"The thing that we've done is we've hired good assistants," Phillips said. "I think the players understand that we've hired good guys that are great teachers."

There are also a few players working out at new positions, headlined by former running back Marcus Caffey at cornerback and Bookie Cobbins moving from quarterback to wide receiver. Cobbins figures to infuse some much-needed play-making ability into the receiving corps, while Caffey, with his size and athleticism, "really looks like a guy that could help us," according to Phillips.

We'll have some spring football features in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here are videos of Phillips and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders talking about the spring:

Phillips




Sanders




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