Phillips: Saturday's Scrimmage "Big for a Lot of Guys"

Aug. 20, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. –University of Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips was not pleased with his team’s performance on the practice field Friday afternoon heading into what will be a key scrimmage in determining several position battles Saturday.

“(The scrimmage) is big for a lot of guys but we didn’t practice (today) like it was big,” Phillips said. “We slumped around and wasted about an hour and a half of practice to get ourselves better. We better show up tomorrow. We are going to find 70 guys that are willing to fight through some things, aliments, bumps and bruises and want to play football. We are going to find them tomorrow.”

Phillips said earlier in camp that he thought several players were “saving themselves” and not going all out on every play to get better, something that he feels happened again Friday.

“Definitely looked like it today, especially during our special teams’ period,” Phillips said when asked if he thought this was another case of the players saving themselves.

Phillips did say however that several players are out, or being restricted due to injury, but that should serve as an excuse to the other players.

“We got some guys out, there is no question (about that),” the first-year head coach said. “But we might have some guys out during the season, too, and we expect those guys that we are working with to step up and practice, compete and do the things that it takes to win in this league. We can’t waste a day and I feel that we have wasted two and a half days since we have been practicing.”

Phillips did say that most of the veterans on the team are practicing really hard and that he is going to rely on them more to push the other players.

One of  the biggest position battles tomorrow will be at quarterback. Phillips said after Friday’s practice that he is looking for a combination of things out each quarterback, telling a reporter that he was looking for “all of the above.”

The head man is hoping the quarterback position works its way out because, he said, it is important for the team to know who the leader at that position will be.

“I would like for it to work its way out and I would like for that to happen tomorrow,” Phillips said. “But if it doesn’t, then we will have to keep going. It is up to them.”

The scrimmage is not open to the public or the media.