Phillips Asks Wildcats for More in First Two-a-Day Practice

Aug. 11, 2010

Cat Scratches: Football Video Update

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky football team held its first two-a-day practice of the young season Wednesday at the Nutter Training Facility practice fields.

First-year head coach Joker Phillips stressed after both practices that he wanted more out of his team, saying that the players did not have the concentration level he desired.

“The effort is there, however our concentration was not there today,” Phillips said. “We have got to continue to install so we are putting more on them. We had way too many missed assignments and way too many dropped balls today. It didn’t get better this afternoon.”

The head coach compared the lack of concentration to patching up a dam, meaning that once you patched up one hole in the dam another one would show up that you would have to go back and patch.

“For us to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves then we have to get every hole patched up and are consistent in the way that we approach practice," Phillips said.

Phillips was looking for more focus in the players after the morning session. Phillips said that some of the players were pacing themselves which will lead to the coaching staff becoming more demanding.

“We said going into the season that we were not going to let these guys pace themselves,” said Phillips. “We are not going to allow this team to do that. There are way too many players right now that are pacing themselves. We have to demand more and get more out of them.”

The first-year head coach believes that part of the problem could have been that the players were looking ahead to the afternoon session. Phillips said that the coaching staff started to “prod” the players but not all responded.

Phillips was also pleased with the work of some of the younger and newer players at practice, including freshman Donte Rumph. Rumph, who spent the past two seasons at Fork Union Military Academy, will be looked upon to provide depth at the defensive tackle position behind veteran Ricky Lumpkin.

“Every rep that (Donte) Rumph gets is a positive rep,” said Phillips. “He doesn’t really know how to get lined up all the time and doesn’t know all the calls, but every rep is positive.”

Head Coach Joker Phillips
Morning Practice Quotes
8/11/2010


On practice and starting to demand more from the players …
“We said going into the season that we were not going to let these guys pace themselves. We are not going to allow this team to do that. There are way too many players right now that are pacing themselves. We have to demand more and get more out of them. A lot of that has to do with the fact that these guys are thinking about the next practice. This is our first two-a-day practice and we have a lot of guys thinking about the next practice.”

On what he does when the players start to have that mentality …
“Yeah (we stop practice), we yell, scream and try to prod them like we always do. Some went and responded and some didn’t. We have to get them to practice better this afternoon.”

On if the heat is bothering the guys a little bit …
“I don’t want to blame anything on the heat. I think that mentally, we were worrying about the next practice which isn’t until (this afternoon). We have to get our priorities straight.”

On what positive he took out of this practice …
“I really like these young guys again. Every rep that (Donte) Rumph gets is a positive rep. He is up to three, four or five reps in a row. Every rep he gets is big because he is a load and can help us. He doesn’t really know how to get lined up all the time and doesn’t know all the calls, but every rep is positive.”

Afternoon Practice Quotes
8/11/10


On the practice …
“The effort is there, however our concentration was not there today. We have got to continue to install so we are putting more on them. We had way too many missed assignments and way too many dropped balls today. It didn’t get better this afternoon. Our effort was good and that was one of the things that we were trying to do is push them to get better through their effort because our effort towards the end of the morning session was not good.”

On if lack of concentration is typical this time of year …
“Yes, it is like trying to patch a hole in a dam. Once you get one hole covered then you have to patch one somewhere else. For us to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves then we have to get every hole patched up and get consistent in the way that we approach practice.”

On him raising the bar and becoming more demanding …
“If we want to continue the growth of this program then we feel that we have to be more demanding on our athletes. We have to ask more. So many times we go into the dorm at night and they have a lot of energy. That tells me that they have more and we have to demand more. That is why we are raising the bar.”