Phillips "Loved the Energy Level" at Day One of Practice

Aug. 6, 2010

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips was all smiles as he walked off the Nutter Training Center practice fields Friday afternoon, saying that he “loved the energy” level of his team in their first practice of fall camp.

Clad in jerseys, helmets and shorts, the team was divided into two groups for a split-squad practice.   Phillips said that the current freshmen are usually miles and miles ahead of past freshmen because they are allowed to come in and work out with the team earlier. However, being able to split practice the way they did allowed the freshmen to get more reps.

“When we split practice we are going to teach,” said Phillips, the first-year head coach. “That is what we are trying to do is take a substitute and have a freshman practice. We need the freshman to get a lot of work. We use to have freshman come in and they would get three practice where they had reps, but with this split practice we are trying to get them more reps and that is why we are a little slower with split practice. As we get into it and get together as a whole team, it will be a lot faster and a lot more energy. But I liked that our guys were into practice (today).”

Phillips said the team will hold two practices in helmets and shorts, followed by the next two practices in shoulder pads. On the fifth day of camp (Tuesday), the Wildcats will have their first fully-padded practice. The team will continue to practice in a split-squad format through Monday.

On Friday morning, the team held its annual media day. Coach Phillips held a 30-minute news conference, followed by a team photo and interviews of assistant coaches and players on the Commonwealth Stadium turf.

The Wildcats will have a two-hour practice Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium as part of Fan Day activities.

Fan Day Set for Saturday, August 7: The annual Kentucky football Fan Day has been slated for Saturday, August 7, at Commonwealth Stadium.  There will be a bonus for the fans this year as new head coach Joker Phillips will hold an open practice starting at 6 p.m. ET. Gates open at 5 p.m. ET, when 3-D posters and schedule cards will be given away.

“I think that it is really important for our fans to see what we do on a daily basis,” Phillips said. “We are going to be a team that has a lot of enthusiasm and energy in everything we do, including practice. I want the fans to see how hard this team is going to work day in and day out to accomplish the task of Operation: Win.”

The open practice will run until 8 p.m. ET and be followed by an introduction of the players and an autograph session. Players and coaches will sign autographs before a fireworks show closes the event. The fireworks are scheduled to take place at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET.

Here is the schedule:
5 p.m.                            Gates open
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.               Open practice
8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.          Players announced, autograph session
9:30 p.m.                       Fireworks show