Jan. 16, 2009
On the return of juniors Micah Johnson, Jeremy Jarmon and Trevard Lindley...
"The 2009 season looks a lot better because Micah Johnson, Jeremy Jarmon and
Trevard Lindley will be playing defense for us. It is a little surprising that
all three are returning, but they still have things they want to accomplish.
All of them expressed the desire to get to another bowl and climb the ladder
in the Southeastern Conference. They want to be a factor in the conference championship.
Our chances of doing that are better with these three players who in various
ways, have been named to the All-SEC defensive teams. I feel that Micah Johnson
and Jeremy Jarmon can significantly improve their ratings by staying. Trevard
Lindley can improve his position by getting in the weight room and doing what
he has done the past few years. Strength will be very important for him. What
we have accomplished as a team could not be accomplished with selfish people.
They are outstanding young men, and they have proved that on and off the football
field. On a national picture, they will be among the best players at their positions
for the 2009 season. I am excited to have them back."
On Trevard Lindley decision to stay...
On Kentucky's continued improvement in the past three years...
"He received a second-round evaluation, which is very high. Others who have gotten
evaluations that high, haven't held up to that level. If you are projected that
high, you probably won't slip past the fourth round. You may improve yourself,
too. I saw projections that had him late first round and in the second round.
I don't know exactly what went into his decision. Lindley will graduate this
semester and he wants to work on a second major or advanced degree. Education
is important to him and that was probably a part of the discussion. Also, he
listened to former players who are in the NFL. They said they missed their time
here (at Kentucky). The NFL is a wonderful experience in many ways, but it certainly
is not college football."
"We were a few bounces away from having two or three more wins, and we were also
a few bounces away from having two or three more losses this season. In this
league, that is how it will probably be every year. The good news is that we
don't roll over and play dead when something goes wrong. We are winning games.
We come from behind in the fourth quarter and we battle and compete in most every
game. I would like to have a Southeastern Conference Championship run and a BCS
run. We want anything that keeps us from being just above .500. A few years ago
that would be fairly significant, but it is no longer looked at that way. I'm
glad that is not the case."
On losing 16 starters...
"Everyone has those problems every year. We had holes to fill last year, and
we didn't fill them as well as we would have liked, but we were still a good
football team. We should be better on offense and I hope we don't slip on defense.
I hope we step it up. I believe we have a chance to do that. The addition of
Mark Crawford will give a big body on the inside and will help replace Myron
On Derrick Locke...
"Derrick Locke will not be in contact in the spring, and we will have to evaluate
his progress as we go into the summer. Hopefully he will be ready to go full
speed in the summer."
On giving new titles to Coach Randy Sanders and Joker Phillips...
"Coach Randy Sanders has earned the right to move up and resume some of the duties
he had while he was the coordinator at Tennessee. Randy has put his input into
things, and that will expand a little bit. He has been an outstanding coach.
Coach Joker Phillips' position doesn't change, and the two of them have worked
well together. Joker will pay more attention to the management of the program,
and he has more comfort knowing that Randy has his back."
On offseason surgeries for injuries...
"We have had three offseason surgeries. Braxton Kelley had his shoulder repaired,
and he probably played the last six games of the season with the injury. Mike
Schwindel and Justin Jeffries also had their shoulders repaired. Schwindel's
career may be over because his shoulder is pretty bad. Justin Jeffries will not
participate in contact drills, but he should participate in other drills. I'm
hopeful that Braxton will be rehabbed in three to four months."
On the quarterback position...
"Mike Hartline is the quarterback until he does not perform well enough or someone
performs better than him. We will have three scrimmages of significance in the
spring, and we will decide after that. We will have additional players in the
mix come summer and fall."