Kentucky Has First Pads Practice of Spring

March 24, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. –  The Kentucky football team had its first full-pads practice of the spring Saturday afternoon with a two and one-half hour workout on the Tim Couch Practice Fields.

The team spend the first half of practice in position drills before beginning the contact work. The Wildcats began with a three-on-three blocking/tackling period, then went into team periods. The team periods featured full contact blocking and upper-body tackling but did not tackle to the ground in order to minimize the risk of injuries.

"We got a lot done today in terms of fundamentals and technique," Coach Joker Phillips said afterward.  "We did a lot of physical work also, did some three-on-three, team pass skeleton and team pass (drills).  We got better with our technique things and still need to find out who our physical guys are, guys who are willing to whip the guy on top of them."

Phillips was asked about the performance of sophomore quarterbacks Maxwell Smith and Jacob Russell.  They are handling the QB duties in the spring with senior Morgan Newton sidelined while recovering from shoulder surgery.

"Those guys have a long way to go but they did some good things today," Phillips said.  "Both Smith and Russell throw a really nice catchable ball and we made some plays in the throw game, especially in skel (pass skeleton).  That's the thing -- are you throwing it to the right people?  They are throwing it to the right people and that's the thing you want to see.  There were some plays made in the pass game but we have to get better at it." 

The coach is also pleased with the competition he's seen in the first three practices of the spring.

"There's really good healthy competition that everybody's trying to help everybody.  Everybody's headed in the same direction, we have the same goals, getting each other better. Offense trying to get the defense better, defense trying to get the offense better.  It's working well for us, we have to continue to create some competition every day.  In every drill we do (there) has to be some type of competition."

Kentucky will continue on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday practice schedule for the next four weeks, culminating in the Blue/White Game on April 21.