Coach Brooks Answers Questions Following Practice

Dec. 6, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a week off, the Kentucky football team returned to the Nutter Field House for a practice Saturday morning. Here are some thoughts from Coach Rich Brooks after the workout:

On how practice went today …
“It was a pretty good practice. We got a few guys back out there. (Jeremy) Jarmon was a little limited in reps but moved around well in practice. Marcus McClinton looks like he is ready to go. Ricky Lumpkin is running straight ahead, so, I am hopeful to have him back in practice next weekend. We are just thankful to be practicing this time of year and trying to get better.”

On the status of Randall Cobb
“I think he is doubtful (for the bowl game). We’ll know more after finals in two weeks whether he’ll be able to get any practice time on the field or not and have a chance to play.”

On his confidence in Mike Hartline running the offense …
“I think he’s fine. He came into the Tennessee game and moved us (down the field). We’re getting back to the things that have really gotten our program to where it is today in post-season play and that type of offense. We’re anxious to see who steps up on the receiving end with this extra practice time.”

On the injuries to key players this season …
“They’re not all lost. We just have some young ones that haven’t quite done it yet. To lose the two key guys that were not only catching the ball but, in (Derrick) Locke’s place and Dicky (Lyons’) place too, some help in the return game, hurt our ability to continue to progress as an offense as we went through the latter part of the year. We have to have somebody else step up and fill those roles. We didn’t do it as successfully as I wanted the last five or six games, but certainly this extra practice time will help us identify somebody to step up and take their place.”

On the team’s post-season routine …
“(The dead period for recruiting) starts the 21st, I think. The weekend of the 19th - that Friday, Saturday and Sunday – is the last visitation and it goes dead that Sunday night. Our coaches have been on the road recruiting and we will continue to do that the next two weeks.”

On his thoughts on the bowl season …
“It’s not official until tomorrow night. We have a pretty strong indication of where we will land but you never know what will happen in our championship game today and whether we get two up, or not two up, into the BCS. So, that can always throw a wrench into everything and that’s why we have to wait until tomorrow night.”

On whether this team deserves to play in a bowl game …
“Well, you know, 6-6 qualifies you for a bowl game. Some 6-6 teams don’t get to go because they play in conferences that don’t have the bowl tie-ins that the SEC does. It’s very tough. I’m not happy that we didn’t win more games, but are we eligible? Yes, we are. Are we glad to be going? Yes, we are. Will it help us to get better? Yes, it will. Let us not forget that Alabama, who is in the SEC Championship game and undefeated, went to the Independence Bowl two years in a row, prior to this year, with 6-6 records. Did they deserve to go? I think that they probably did and they benefited from that and now they are in the SEC Championship game.”