Kentucky Has Another Good Practice

April 1, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. –  The Kentucky football team had another solid effort during its sixth practice of the spring Friday morning at the Nutter Training Center.

“We had a good day today,” Coach Joker Phillips said after the two and one-half hour workout.  “I really liked the enthusiasm and the way we threw the ball today.  That was one of the things that stood out the most.  We threw it and we caught it.  It was one of the better days that we’ve had this spring so I’m pleased with that.

“Defensively, they continue to fly around.  We have to make sure they know what to do, though,” said Phillips, in reference to the new defensive systems that are being added in the spring.  “They have to understand the total packages that we’re putting in.”

Phillips noted that his two primary quarterbacks, junior Morgan Newton and freshman Maxwell Smith, had another good day throwing the ball on Friday.

“The quarterbacks have a lot on them,” Phillips said.  “They have to know a lot in our offense because sometimes we give them two or three plays to get in and out of.  I really like the way both of them, when they know what’s going on, the way they step and throw and deliver the ball.”

Phillips was asked about the progress of the linebackers, in addition to the obvious outstanding play of All-American Danny Trevathan.

“I think Ronnie Sneed is playing fast,” Phillips said.  “He looks comfortable out there in the new scheme.  He looks like he knows what’s going on.  We’re playing Winston (Guy) and Ridge (Wilson) as linebacker-type guys and they are playing a lot faster. 

“The thing we have to do is create some depth at the position.  Qua (Huzzie) is coming off ankle surgery and he’s struggling a little bit to do the things he needs to do.  Avery Williamson is a guy that needs to continue to come along also.”

One of the position changes of the spring involves trying redshirt freshman Miles Simpson at the hybrid safety/linebacker slot that Guy is playing.  Simpson came in last August as a running back, moved to safety during the 2010 season and now appears to have found his home closer to the line of scrimmage.

“I really like moving Miles Simpson to that position,” Phillips said.  “He backs up Winston Guy and moving him closer to the ball makes us more athletic also.  He does (have the natural playing instincts).  That’s what we like about him.  He’s really fluid in his movements at linebacker.  He just has to learn our whole package.”

There will be some scrimmaging at end of Saturday’s practice and the coaches are eager to see how the Wildcats perform.

“One  thing we want to do is try to find out if our guys are in the right positions and who is going to fly around, play with enthusiasm and make plays for us,” Phillips said.  “We need playmakers at the skill positions on offense.  Defensively, we have to be a great tackling team.  We want to be a team that creates turnovers and negative-yardage plays.  That’s what we’re looking for tomorrow.”

Saturday will be the last practice of the spring that will be open to the media and public.  Practice begins at 1 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium and is expected to end approximately 3 p.m.