Football Head Coach Rich Brooks Press Conference

Jan. 16, 2009

Head Coach Rich Brooks

On the return of juniors Micah Johnson, Jeremy Jarmon and Trevard Lindley...
"The 2009 season looks a lot better because Micah Johnson, Jeremy Jarmon andTrevard Lindley will be playing defense for us. It is a little surprising thatall three are returning, but they still have things they want to accomplish.All of them expressed the desire to get to another bowl and climb the ladderin the Southeastern Conference. They want to be a factor in the conference championship.Our chances of doing that are better with these three players who in variousways, have been named to the All-SEC defensive teams. I feel that Micah Johnsonand Jeremy Jarmon can significantly improve their ratings by staying. TrevardLindley can improve his position by getting in the weight room and doing whathe has done the past few years. Strength will be very important for him. Whatwe have accomplished as a team could not be accomplished with selfish people.They are outstanding young men, and they have proved that on and off the footballfield. On a national picture, they will be among the best players at their positionsfor the 2009 season. I am excited to have them back."

On Trevard Lindley decision to stay...
"He received a second-round evaluation, which is very high. Others who have gottenevaluations that high, haven't held up to that level. If you are projected thathigh, you probably won't slip past the fourth round. You may improve yourself,too. I saw projections that had him late first round and in the second round.I don't know exactly what went into his decision. Lindley will graduate thissemester and he wants to work on a second major or advanced degree. Educationis important to him and that was probably a part of the discussion. Also, helistened to former players who are in the NFL. They said they missed their timehere (at Kentucky). The NFL is a wonderful experience in many ways, but it certainlyis not college football."

On Kentucky's continued improvement in the past three years...
"We were a few bounces away from having two or three more wins, and we were alsoa few bounces away from having two or three more losses this season. In thisleague, that is how it will probably be every year. The good news is that wedon't roll over and play dead when something goes wrong. We are winning games.We come from behind in the fourth quarter and we battle and compete in most everygame. I would like to have a Southeastern Conference Championship run and a BCSrun. We want anything that keeps us from being just above .500. A few years agothat would be fairly significant, but it is no longer looked at that way. I'mglad that is not the case."

On losing 16 starters...
"Everyone has those problems every year. We had holes to fill last year, andwe didn't fill them as well as we would have liked, but we were still a goodfootball team. We should be better on offense and I hope we don't slip on defense.I hope we step it up. I believe we have a chance to do that. The addition ofMark Crawford will give a big body on the inside and will help replace MyronPryor."

On Derrick Locke...
"Derrick Locke will not be in contact in the spring, and we will have to evaluatehis progress as we go into the summer. Hopefully he will be ready to go fullspeed in the summer."

On giving new titles to Coach Randy Sanders and Joker Phillips...
"Coach Randy Sanders has earned the right to move up and resume some of the dutieshe had while he was the coordinator at Tennessee. Randy has put his input intothings, and that will expand a little bit. He has been an outstanding coach.Coach Joker Phillips' position doesn't change, and the two of them have workedwell together. Joker will pay more attention to the management of the program,and he has more comfort knowing that Randy has his back."

On offseason surgeries for injuries...
"We have had three offseason surgeries. Braxton Kelley had his shoulder repaired,and he probably played the last six games of the season with the injury. MikeSchwindel and Justin Jeffries also had their shoulders repaired. Schwindel'scareer may be over because his shoulder is pretty bad. Justin Jeffries will notparticipate in contact drills, but he should participate in other drills. I'mhopeful that Braxton will be rehabbed in three to four months."

On the quarterback position...
"Mike Hartline is the quarterback until he does not perform well enough or someoneperforms better than him. We will have three scrimmages of significance in thespring, and we will decide after that. We will have additional players in themix come summer and fall."