Quotes and Video from the Weekly Football Press Conference
Oct. 4, 2010
HEAD COACH Joker Phillips
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
COACH PHILLIPS: Qua Huzzie will be questionable for Saturday. Tomorrow he will have surgery on a ligament at the base of his thumb to get repaired, and we'll see by Saturday how much pain he's in. If he's not in a lot of pain, he could possibly go on Saturday, but right now he will be questionable.
The rest of the guys, Taiedo Smith will probably be out, Josh Gibbs should be back tomorrow and DeQuin Evans should be back tomorrow, but at this time Qua Huzzie is questionable and it will depend on how much pain he's in on Thursday.
At week No. 6, week opportunity No. 6 of the 12 guaranteed opportunities that we get, another big challenge. We do get to come back home for a three game stretch starting with Auburn. The thing that we have to do in preparing the guys (is) to prepare for a quarterback (Cameron Newton) who's probably playing as good as anybody in the country at the position, big, strong, physical guy, one of the leading rushers not only in this conference but in the country. For some reason they did not run it last week. I guess they were holding him for this week. He only ran for one for 11, and anybody who sees that, it's probably a sack. He's a guy that they create open opportunities in the passing game for him with his ability to run because you have to pack the box so much and you have to come up to play the run. They do some play-action with him just stepping forward, which allowed them to hit a 90 something yard pass last week. So you've got to prepare for him.
The (Auburn) offensive line is really aggressive. I like our match up, up front with our defensive line. I think those guys are playing well for us up front.
Defensively, their defensive front gives you some problems. No. 90 (Nick Fairley) especially, he's one of those guys that they've had in the past up front. But again, I like the way our offensive line has been competing, and I like the match ups.
The thing we have to do is make plays on the perimeter, and we also have to get Derrick Locke started.
Special teams wise, we've just got to play sound fundamentals and make sure we get people on the ground and protect our punter, which was one of the things the reason why we went to this punt formation was to protect the punter. We thought we had some more people that could cover punts, we had skill guys and we had linebackers that could cover punts. The thing we have to do is make sure we're punting the ball in the right direction and give these guys a chance to get downfield and cover lanes and get people on the ground.
We've given up three big returns in the punting game, which is unacceptable. Two have turned into touchdowns. We've got to do a better job in that area.
But with that, any questions?
Q. How are Randall Burden and Derrick Locke health wise?
COACH PHILLIPS: Randall will practice tomorrow, so he's fine. I didn't mention him because of that. He'll be fine. Randall Cobb will always be beat up on Saturday night, (Sunday), Monday, and about Tuesday or Wednesday is when he starts getting going. He'll be fine. I didn't mention him, also. He'll be a guy that will always be banged up and beat up until Tuesday or Wednesday.
Q. Auburn is a different team this year. How much of that is because of Cameron Newton? Has he been the guy that's kind of transformed them from a 7 and 5 team to a top ten team?
COACH PHILLIPS: Well, they were playing really good at this time last year, also, when we went down there and beat them. They're still playing well on offense. They are not throwing the ball the way they were last year. Actually they're more of a quarterback run game this year than they were last year, He's added that dimension to them. Last year they turned and handed it to the running backs. They didn't run as much zone read, but he's a different dimension and added a spark to them offensively.
Again, he's the guy you've got to stop in their offense. You stop him, you've got a chance. But they've also got a really good runner behind him, also, that if you let him get a crease, he can stick it against you. So we've got to first things first; we've got to stop the quarterback, who's a guy that can go the distance. I mean, Derrick Locke, and only a couple guys obviously there's a couple guys at Florida and a couple guys at Alabama that can go the distance on you, and he's one of the guys that can do it at quarterback position. He's the guy that touches the ball every dang snap, so you've got to account for him.
Q. How much emphasis do you think making sure you get people on the ground has affected your turnovers?
COACH PHILLIPS: It's affected it a lot, because the thing that you try to do is the second and third guy is usually the guy that you usually want to go for the strip. We're now just trying to get people on the ground, just trying to tackle the football. We've got to try to get them on the ground and worry about that later. We've got to put our hats on the ball, but usually you're trying to strip with your second and third guy. Now we've got to get them on the ground any way we possibly can. That's been a big emphasis of ours is getting them on the ground so obviously you haven't been able to strip the ball.
And I think earlier a lot of those missed tackles was us trying to strip the ball with the first guy. The first guy should never try to strip the ball. The first guy should try to secure the tackle. The second and third guys are the ones who need to be trying to strip the football.
Q. Is there a sense of urgency that you guys have got to get these things you have things you need to clean up?
COACH PHILLIPS: There's definitely a sense of urgency. I'd be crazy to say and tell you there weren't. It's always, in athletics, when you've got things you need to get corrected you've got to have a sense of urgency in that area. We'll put we'll always put more emphasis on the things that we need to get corrected and make sure the things that we the things that you think you've got secured, you've also got to put emphasis on those things, too, because those things can explode on you in a hurry if you don't.
But there's a couple things that we need to put more emphasis on than others.
Q. You mentioned week 6 of a 12 game season. Is that what you tell your team?
COACH PHILLIPS: Yeah, you're only guaranteed 12 opportunities, guaranteed. And you've got to take advantage of every opportunity to be awarded that 13th opportunity. I mean, this is week No. 6 of our 12 guaranteed opportunities, and we've got to take advantage of it. We're at home. We've been on the road at two pretty good opponents that we have to that have been battles. We come home for another big time battle that will be an exciting one. It'll be a tough game for us, but we've got to do the things we know how to beat this team. We've done it, okay, and I think that makes us feel a little bit more confident.
But you've got to do the little things, and the little things is the reason why we are 0 and 2 in the league instead of 2 and 0 or 1 or 1.
Q. A couple of your players, Ricky (Lumpkin) talked after the game and a couple guys said here late in the Ole Miss game it was the players who finally started grabbing each other and staying, enough is enough, this can't happen, instead of the coaches. How much does it change the dynamic when they're taking accountability for each other as opposed to the coaches?
COACH PHILLIPS: They listen to each other better than they do us at times. And I always like for someone else to there will be times when I'll say, hey, Randall, you need to grab this team and say this. It means a little bit it has a little bit more pop when it's coming from one of the players. So there will be times when you'll grab Danny, Danny, here's what you need, you need to go talk to this team. So I think that means a lot when the players are rallying the guys up.
We're always doing it, okay. Our staff is doing a really good job of trying to keep everybody into the game. But when the players speak up, I think it speaks volumes.
Q. There were a couple players who said that they felt like some guys were taking it the wrong way if they said you need to do something better, that they were taking it as criticism as opposed to trying to make people better. Did you see any of that?
COACH PHILLIPS: Early I did. I saw some guys that tried to lead, and it usually happens when a guy has been around here a long time and a young guy comes in here and tries to lead. I don't worry about that. I tell our guys, you don't have to be a senior to be a leader here, and we don't want that attitude, that a young guy can't tell you because he hasn't been through it. If he's on this football team, he's been through enough.
We want to take the 70 toughest, available guys on our football team, guys who have paid the price to be in the jersey. All 70 of them can speak up at any time, and nobody is to question them speaking up or look down at them because they're speaking up. I mean, we need 70 great leaders. And you have to listen to those leaders, and sometimes you see some of the older guys might shrug it off when one of the young guys steps up and says something.
It happened a lot when Randall Cobb came in here as a freshman. Now when Randall Cobb speaks, there's 69 guys listening when Randall Cobb speaks. Raymond Sanders, he's one of those natural born leaders that when he says something, I expect our football team to listen.
Q. Why was Danny (Trevathan) on the onside kick team?
COACH PHILLIPS: We want to put our 11 most aggressive athletes on the field. Our onside kickoff team is designed for Matt Roark and Winston Guy to receive the kicks. But you'd better have four other guys in front of them that are aggressive, going to knock holes in the coverage. But Danny was able to slip (through), and those two guys weren't. He was able to slip through one of the gaps and those two guys weren't, and he happened to be the guy that gets his hands on the ball. He made a great effort for it. I wouldn't do it any different.
You put somebody else on there and they're not able to slip a gap, what's the difference? Okay, what's the difference? Danny is one of our best competitors, so we put him on there.
Q. You talked about the little things that aren't getting done. How much of it is what you guys aren't doing and how much of it is just the quality of competition the last two weeks?
COACH PHILLIPS: What we aren't doing?
Q. The little things that aren't getting done. How much of it is that versus what
COACH PHILLIPS: That's our mistake.
We had a couple mistakes there, hustle mistakes. Those two penalties in the second half, those are hustle mistakes. Even the one with the kickoff coverage, I think that's a hustle mistake. Guy is busting his tail to try to get downfield to make a tackle and we get a five yard penalty, and it's close. It's close on the offsides, but it's a hustle mistake. The personal foul, that's a hustle mistake. Guys running across the field, kind of stumbles and he falls and hits the guy, hustle mistake.
Mychal Bailey's we thought was really close. The quarterback is easing up, but we tell
Mychal to play through the whistle, and he's about a yard from the sideline. It's a hustle mistake. A little mistake but it's a hustle mistake. Those are things that are getting us beat.
A couple mistakes that we had that weren't hustle mistakes, those are the things you get frustrated with, with the five yard penalties, not the 15 yard penalties. The 15 yard penalties are are usually guys making hustle plays.
Q. It looked like you were trying to work Raymond (Sanders) in a little bit more this week.
COACH PHILLIPS: Well, we moved Raymond up this past week to our second back. The reason why, he just fits a little bit more what we're trying to do with our run game, with our offense. This guy catches the ball well. He can go out just like Locke does and play in the pass receiving position. So we just think that he's closer to what our offense looks like. He's a guy that is playing like Locke, so we went with him. With all the zone stuff, he reads it a little bit better. With the stretch plays, he's got the speed to get out there, so we moved him up, and he's playing really good on special teams for us. So we want to reward guys that are doing those type of things.
Q. Are you worried about Locke taking a pounding week in and week out?
COACH PHILLIPS: He's averaging 20 carries, 20 touches a game, and that's a lot of touches for a little guy. He's a tough guy. He is a tough guy. He got dinged a little bit Saturday, but he came back strong, made some huge plays for us. Made a couple big plays down the field in the passing game.
Those are things that we want to do with our backs, and we think Raymond is a guy that can do it, also. So that's the reason why he's second.
But yeah, you do worry about him, and we'll see Donald Russell down the stretch, also. It's going to take two or three, because those guys are not real big, physical guys.
Q. Is it more what Sanders did right than what Russell did wrong?
COACH PHILLIPS: Yeah, it's more what he's done right and our offensive style right now. But Donald Russell, I mean, we're going to need Donald Russell. Those guys are really bracketed, depending on what type of game plan we go into that game with.
Yes, Jordan Aumiller did catch two passes, and we would like to get him a couple more in that game.
Q. What about if Huzzie can't go?
COACH PHILLIPS: If Huzzie can't go, we will probably put try to train (Jewell) Ratliff to be one of the guys that goes to two of the positions, the Mike linebacker and the Will linebacker with Ridge Wilson and Dufrene playing the Sam linebackers, so Ratliff will roll at both.
And then I think the young freshman is starting to come around, also. He's playing really good on special teams, (Avery) Williamson. So we'll see if he can be the backup Mike if Ratliff can't handle both the positions. But when we go nickel, our nickel linebacker all year, when one of those guys couldn't go, it's been Ridge Wilson because of his athleticism.
Q. You've been searching for consistency in the place kicking game. Did you learn a little something about McIntosh this week?
COACH PHILLIPS: Yes, I told him that after the game. He grew up Saturday, kicked two big field goals for us. The onside kick was as good as any I've ever seen at any level.
The thing we've got to do is we've got to get better at the kickoff. We've got John Daly kicking off for us. He's got a strong leg. You don't know where it's going to go. It's going to be inbounds, but some day he'll be Greg Norman. He'll be a guy that can hit it a long way and keep it in play, also. He was telling me before the game he has 11 kickoffs in the end zone. I didn't know that. And he's second in the country. That's what he said. (Laughter.) But he's first in the country in out of bounds, and that's the thing we can't do. They fail to tell you the things that he's last at, they only want to tell you the things that they're at the top of the leaderboard. So he's got to kick the ball, keep the ball in play, and we can't start the game with a short field, and a short field is when you kick the ball out of bounds.
Which is the reason why we've been taking the ball (when winning the toss). We've been taking the ball because our offense is playing fast, and we've been inconsistent in kicking the ball off. We've been taking the ball. We've gotten an offensive score every game except for one on the first series, so we've been taking the ball because of that.
Q. At some point do you let him try to kick it out of the end zone every time?
COACH PHILLIPS: He is trying to kick it out of the end zone. Well, he's trying to kick it from the hash to the sideline. We're going to move him a little bit, move him about four yards to the right. Everything he's doing is hooking and he's going to have to try to play the draw.
Q. The (SEC) west is 6 and 0 against the east this year. They've got four teams in the top 12. Is this just a cyclical thing, or anything you can see from watching the other teams in the conference that they're doing better than the guys in the east at this point?
COACH PHILLIPS: I mean, last year we won it, right, I think we were ahead of them. It goes back and forth. I mean, it's nothing that they're doing different. It's just one of those things that they have won more games than we have. Last year we won more than they did. Nothing different.
Q. A lot of the attention nationally goes to the Floridas and the Georgias. Is this a misnomer maybe that they maybe don't get as much respect as the guys in the east?
COACH PHILLIPS: They've won some championships over there. They've got respect from us. Of the last couple championships, how many have we won, four? They had two, LSU and Alabama have won in the last couple years, so it has nothing to do with respect because everybody respects this league, not just the east. You respect both sides. It's just a tough conference.
When we start off playing the west, we usually start off at their place, when we start a team over there, and they've won their road matches. South Carolina lost at Auburn, we lost at Ole Miss, and hopefully we'll get them when we come back home.
Q. Do you have any concern about the confidence of the team at all?
COACH PHILLIPS: No, I don't. I mean, that's up to us as coaches, and we haven't lost our confidence, that's for sure.
Q. What did Mark Crawford do to change and start playing better and become more of a leader?
COACH PHILLIPS: He's always been great. I think it's harder to lead after you get suspended. It has to wear off a little bit. As his suspension has worn off and been put behind him, every week you've seen Mark become more of a leader. He plays aggressive. I really like him, like the way he plays. He plays with a motor. He brings something to us on defense that we need, on both sides of the ball. He's a really aggressive guy. He's one of those guys that on the sideline is up beat, trying to get everybody into the game, and we just need his presence a little bit more on the defensive line.
At defensive tackle we play so many guys, it's just a matter of who starts the game. Luke McDermott will still play, but we just feel like Mark deserves a chance to start the game for us.
Q. There have been several games where you've had to take somebody out in the first quarter for one reason or another. Does that speak to the youth and immaturity of the team?
COACH PHILLIPS: It speaks to a lot of our youth. We're trying to teach them more than football. Running a guy, a kid, in today's world, they can run all day. I mean, as big as Mark Crawford is, running him for violating the team rules doesn't do much for him. We've got to teach them more lessons than just football. He's held accountable to this football team. Everybody is. And you don't do what you're supposed to do, we're going to take quarters (of playing time) from you, simple as that.
I'm not into running a guy because he missed I used to do that back when I was a younger coach and watch a kid run all day and get him up at 5:00 and run him, and the only person that was hurting was me (laughter). It did nothing to him.
So I just think that this sends a bigger, better message to our football team, that we mean business about every rule, because when they leave us, we're the last ones to teach them. We're the last ones to teach these kids lessons, because after this there's nobody going to teach them the hard core lessons about being the places you're supposed to be and doing what you're supposed to do. So we want to make sure that we send that message so these young men.
Q. How concerned are you that several times already this season there may have been guys who are older guys and leaders who have (been disciplined)?
COACH PHILLIPS: Well, it's a process, and this process has got to kick in quickly. It does. We've got way too many leaders on our football team that this is happening to, and I'm not sure that they truly understand that we will take these type of measures. But I think they're starting to get the message.
I shouldn't say I'm not going anywhere, because that's not my job, but I'm not going to give in to what I believe, and this is one of the things that I truly believe in, I really do.
Q. The LSU (Tennessee) game, at the end of that game, you've probably seen it
COACH PHILLIPS: I've seen highlights.
Q. LSU is running people on and Tennessee is running people on and off as a coach where do you draw the line in terms of maybe I'm trying to do too much, throwing too much stuff at them. Is that a fine line?
COACH PHILLIPS: I told you guys right before the season that a lot of the things as a coach you can't prepare for. That's why I try to sit and watch games and put yourself in that situation. That's a situation now you've got to think, keep the same personnel in there or do you try to substitute? Every time you see those type of situations come up, because there's always something crazy that you cannot prepare that you have not prepared for, and that's one of those situations.
I'm sure every coach in the country will go through his mind, how do I handle that situation. That's why we watch games. I like the night games because our team is able to sit and watch a bunch of the games and you're able to (talk to the team about it). Coach (Jerry) Claiborne used to do this with us: We'd come back in for a pregame meal and talk about the games that were on TV and give us the situation. If this situation happens, here's how we'll handle it. You can't prepare for all the little crazy things that happen in college football, or football, period. There's a lot of things that happen, but when they do happen every coach starts making a note, all right, we've got to work on this situation.
Q. Is (Nick) Melillo going to play this week?
COACH PHILLIPS: He's right now penciled to be the backup on some of the special teams. I think he could have went a little bit last week if needed, but we thought those two guys were playing good enough at that time that we didn't have to play a guy that was still a little bit hobbled. I think he'll be a little bit better this week. Hopefully we can get him in on some special teams, get him some confidence and start easing him in at the tight end position.
UK Player Quotes
#14 Anthony Mosley, Jr., CB
On his first impressions of Auburn ...
"From what I've seen, they are very much similar to the other running games that we have seen this year. They have a very balanced and explosive offense attack. They average 209 yards passing and 260 rushing."
On his thoughts of Auburn QB Cameron Newton ...
"I think he is a very good player, and he is very sound in all elements of the game."
On putting the Ole Miss game behind them, and moving on ...
"In this league you have to have an extremely short memory. You have to get things corrected and move on. We can't think about the last game or play, we just have to move on."
#98 Mark Crawford, Jr., DT
On his thoughts of Cam Newton ...
"When I think of Can Newton, I think of a big quarterback. He is a big quarterback that can run."
On playing with a lot of emotion ...
"I think we all play with a lot of emotion, but we have guys that can be quiet leaders, and every team is going to have the rah-rah leaders. I know if I make a play in a game or practice, all of that emotion is going to come out."
On who is the emotional leader of the defense ...
"Shane McCord and Ricky Lumpkin are the leaders of this team, all of the seniors for the most part. They know the kind of defense that we don't want to be, and they understand we have the potential to go to a better bowl game this year."
#69, Matt Smith, C, So.
On if he feels they let a win slip away last week at Ole Miss ...
"We made some mistakes that are definably correctable. We are definitely going to work on handling those mistakes this week and make sure we don't turn the ball over like we did. It is disappointing as an offense to how we had so many yards, but just those turnovers puts any defense in a bad situation when you give them two inside the 10-yard line. We know we let that one get away from us. We are going to go back to work and get this one."
On if the team still has confidence ...
"We still have a long way to go. We know we can compete with the best of them. We just have to come in with focus and concentrate on not making those mistakes that will shoot you in the foot."
On if the team is encouraged by the way they moved the ball on offense ...
"We are happy with the way we moved the ball. They have a great defense and a lot of guys up front. I think for the most part we did a pretty good job. We just have to take that and keep moving forward and try to limit those mistakes because we know what we can do as an offense."
On if the Auburn game is a chance for UK to prove themselves ...
"It definitely can. Now we are definitely the underdogs, not just a little bit. It is definitely going to give us the motivation to get back into it because we have to come and start winning in order to make our impact that we want to. Auburn is a great team, their defense is very aggressive and very athletic. So we know they are going to be throwing a lot of things at us we just have to come ready to work this week."
#89, Tyler Robinson, TE, Fr.
On if the team still has confidence ...
"We just have to let it (the Ole Miss game) go, forget about it and put it in the past and work to win the next week."
On how he feels about himself getting so much playing time as a true freshman ...
"I just feel more experienced. I could get better in a ton of places, but I feel that I have a little bit of experience under my belt."
On what Randall Cobb means to Alcoa, Tenn. ...
"He is just like a hometown hero. Everybody knows who is. Everybody talks about him there; just a hometown hero."
On what the "it" is that Randall has ...
"It is just want and heart. It is love for the game. He loves what he is doing and he just builds off of that."