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Blue/White Spring Game Quotes




April 23, 2011

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Kentucky Head Coach Joker Phillips

Opening statement…
“A couple of our goals coming into the spring were offensively, leave the spring more efficient into the passing game. I thought at times we were gaining on it. Today, if we looked at the stats, minus the drops, we have been as consistent as ever. I think our quarterbacks proved throughout the spring that we could be efficient passers in this league. We did have a turnover. One interception and we had a couple of receivers in the wrong spot. It was kind of hard to determine who to throw it to. I thought we got more efficient in the passing game. I don’t think we were consistent in catching the football.

“On defense, our goal was to create more turnovers, and more negative plays, and I thought we did that. Today, we showed that we can attack. We were always on the back of some people. They always slithered through gaps. We also have some speed on the perimeter with Winston Guy, Ridge Wilson. All of those guys have a chance to be really good edge rushers. We came out of there able to create the things we wanted to do. We created minus-yards plays and we created turnovers.

“I was really pleased with the way our second-teamers played. That only helps our depth. That is something that we have to have. We have to have depth. I think we have a good first 22, but we have to have guys behind them. I was excited about some of the plays these kids made. Justin Henderson looks like an SEC player. Tevin Eatmon looks like an SEC player. All of this says is that we have a chance with this football team.”

On the depth of this team…
“I like it. We have to stay healthy. We have some guys that were out. (Mister) Cobble, Tristian Johnson (were out). We will get them back in the fall, and that will only help our depth. With those guys being out, this team is very similar to the 2005 team who had all of those injuries. These injuries that we had this spring gave a lot of young kids a chance to get some reps. I think it is only going to help our team.”

On Morgan Newton’s development…
“It’s night and day. If you look at it, he is one of those few guys who played as a freshman. He has started in two bowl games already, and he has two years left. As a freshman, if you saw him after the Music City Bowl, and saw him very little in the season last year, and then playing in the bowl game, it’s night and day. He now understands he is changing protections. His first year, he couldn’t have done a lot of those things. He has handled himself in the huddle. I also really like the way he has handled himself at the line of scrimmage.”

On how concerned he is with the drops…
“We had two scrimmages where I felt we were very inconsistent in catching the football. The thing that I look at is how natural they are. If they catch the ball naturally, I’m not too concerned about them. If they are unnatural in catching it, I think all of our guys are natural in catching it, so there aren’t that many concerns.”

#12, Morgan Newton, QB

On how he threw the ball…
“I threw it alright, could have made some better throws sometimes. Other than that, guys were in the right place. We just need to make more good plays. Other than that, it was pretty encouraging.”

On needing to get together with his receivers…
“We need to get better at timing but we’ll work on that over the summer. That’s what the summer is for. It’s for getting everything together, putting it all together and we scored today when we didn’t even have everything in sync. Just getting stuff together is going to be important.”

On how far he’s come since last year…
“I’m throwing it pretty well. It’s just a lot of hard work. Sometimes it’s easier when you know where you’re going to go with the ball to get your body in the right place to make throws. It’s the combination of a lot of things but I think I’m throwing the ball a little bit better.”

#25, Jonathan George, Tailback

On how the day went for him…
“It went pretty well, I felt like today was a productive day for me. I had a couple of good runs and a couple of good catches, too but there are always things that I do wrong, so I need to go back and correct them. I feel like it was a pretty productive day and a good time for me to go back to the film room and learn from the mistakes that I made today.”

On working with Raymond Sanders as a pair…
“Every time Raymond and I come out on the field, we both encourage each other with, ‘Good run’, or, ‘You’re doing good’, or, ‘Keep your head up’. Even if it was a bad play, we both still encourage each other to come out and do well and play hard every play. It’s just a good chemistry between us and we both understand the game.”

On the depth of players in his position…
“It’s helping me by pushing me more. I just want to come out every play and go hard. I want to get as many carries as possible to try to get myself better every play.”

On whether Coach Phillips has mentioned his role on the team…
“There hasn’t been much said as far as that is concerned. We’re all taking reps. Spring is a competition to get yourself up, and he’s really encouraging everyone to come out every day and work hard to try to earn your position.”

#48, Ridge Wilson, LB

On his thoughts during the scrimmage …
“I am really just playing. I am trying to react instead of thinking about a lot of stuff at once. I am trying to have fun with it. Just pin my ears back and play with the God-given talent that He gave me.”

On why he thinks they changed the format …
“We wanted to play the (first-team) against the (first-team) and the (second-team) versus the (second-team). Even though we went against one another, the coaches wanted to get unity within the team and come together. It helped the team come together. That’s why we played (first-team) versus (second-team). Overall, I feel like today was a great day.”

On if he feels he is where he needs to be …
“It’s not about if I am able to play that position for my body type. It’s about learning what to do and when to do it. I feel like the more and more I learn the defense, I can react rather than just keep thinking.”

#87, Brian Adams, WR

On the overall game and his performance …
“It was a lot of fun. We did some good things on offense. I made some drops myself, personally. I think I had three. They were obviously not easy, textbook catches, but I need to make those plays. That will be something that I need to get better at. I also need to get into better shape. Right now, I feel like I’m in good shape, but not where I want to be. Not where I can play a full game and not have to come out. I have to just keep working in the offseason. Once again, it was a lot of fun to come out here. Yeah, bad things happened today, but we did some good things as well. I’m really excited about it.”

On connecting with Morgan Newton
“We put in a whole lot of work, and really it’s not necessarily the extra work, it’s the lack of focus. It’s really not watching the ball all the way in, trying to get a feel. I had a fumble, which is inexcusable. We cannot have that happen. That’s just me trying to make a guy miss and not holding the ball tight to my body. That’s something we can’t do and that’s something we need to get better at in the offseason to get ready for next year. That killed us last year, and we can’t do that this year.”

On his one-handed catch …
“It was all right. Obviously, it’s pretty fun to get out there and play. I have been blessed to play. Coach (Joker) Phillips has been great. Coach (Tee) Martin, Randall (Cobb), Chris (Matthews). I have had a tremendous group of people around me that have helped me along as a receiver. It’s my second year playing receiver. I’ve learned a lot, but I also have a lot left to learn.”

On playing two sports …
“I am pretty tired, but I am tremendously blessed. (Strength and conditioning coach) Rock (Oliver) has helped me keep my legs fresh and it has allowed me to play both sports. Today I got a little tired, but it was at the end of the scrimmage. Now, I have to go over to baseball. I am doing all right. I just have to keep working on it and get into better shape.”


 

 

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