lagrange followers : I read that Wesley suffered a light hamstring strain on yesterday, do you forsee him missing any practices? Do you see Demario getting more playing time this year? And what kind of season do you see for Braxton this year? Thanks.......Good Cats!!!!!!!
Joker Phillips : We won't know about Wesley until tomorrow but he didn't seem to be too bad this morning. DeMoreo finished last season strong but has been out this spring with a shoulder injury. But with his toughness and his ability to play physical, he could earn a lot more playing time. Braxton is having a great spring and is playing with a lot more confidence since suffering his injury. He could become a big time linebacker in this league.
joe s. from middlesboro : hey coach, which newcomer this fall do you feel can make the biggest impact this year? Have you decided if Brandon Jackson is going to redshirt this year? Thanks coach for all your hard work!!! GO CATS!!
Joker Phillips : Just speaking for the offense, I think that Stuart Hines, Billy Joe Murphy, Brad Durham, Jake Lanefski, Phillip Hibbard plus the two JC offensive linemen should make impact for us.
Gail Brown : when are you coming home???
Joker Phillips : Good to hear from you Gail. Tell everyone in Franklin I said hello. I will be passing through in May recruiting.
kman : who does it look like will be the backup to rafael, and will Steve Johnson see more playing time at wide reciever this season?
Joker Phillips : We have two capable backs who can back up Rafael Little - Tony Dixon and Alfonso Smith. We feel comfortable with either one. Last year in Rafael's absence, both Tony and Alfonso performed really well in the Mississippi State and Georgia games - both being victories.
Donnie : What excites you the most about this years incoming class?
Joker Phillips : I think we signed a lot of playmakers on both sides of the ball - whether it's at defensive line, DB, WR, RB, QB. I think we signed a group that has a lot of playmakers.
jason : How do you see Demoreo Ford helping out the team this year?
Joker Phillips : Similar to last year. DeMoreo's presence will be felt in the run game and play action game because of his physical play. He's probably one of the toughest guys on the team who we hope becomes infectious to our offense.
BigBlueCatFan : Hi coach. I don't know if you have noticed, but we have an absolutely brutal schedule this year. We could be playing 7 teams ranked in the top 25. How do you prepare your players mentally for such a tough schedule?
Joker Phillips : We went through the same thing last year with one of the top schedules in the country - eight opponents went to bowl games, six of which won. All our players on our team came to Kentucky to play a brutal SEC schedule.
Steve- : Are our receivers running to open spots or do they try to evade defenders?
Joker Phillips : This depends on whether it's against a zone or man coverage defense. In a zone we run to open spots. In man-to-man we run to evade defenders. Both the quarterback and receivers need to know the contour of the secondary pre-snap.
Tyler : How do you keep a guy like Andre' Woodson, or Keenan Burton, who had such great success last year level headed and focused on improving this season?
Joker Phillips : Both of those guys have great character and they both keep themselves grounded. Both have set high goals and are willing to work to achieve them.
bigblueuk22 : joker with the offense that u had last year with every body returning whAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TOO IN THE 07 SEASON.
Joker Phillips : Our goal for 2007 is to run the ball better, protect the quarterback which should allow us to have even more success than 2006.
Opie : Which receivers have you been most impressed with this spring?
Joker Phillips : Steve Johnson finished the season out strong and has started off this spring the way he finished last season. I'm also pleased with David Jones, Dicky Lyons and even Keenan Burton might be better than last year.
ben : How are the offensive linemen,and the back-up quarterbacks doing
Joker Phillips : With all the injuries up front, a lot of young O-linemen are getting quality reps which is allowing them to gain experience. This will hopefully add some depth in the future. With Andre's experience in knowing our offense, it allows us to get the other young quarterbacks reps this spring which is invaluable to both.
B Squared : With the offensive breakthroughs the team had last season, elaborate on what defenses are going to do differently against us in '07.
Joker Phillips : I think defenses will pressure our quarterback and try to stop our run game.
johnny keith : do u think andre woodson could be a hiseman trophe canidate this year?
Joker Phillips : Andre does have the ability to be a big time QB. There are a lot of things that factor into him being a Heisman candidate. #1 - Winning. #2 - Andre would have to put up big numbers which we expect him to do. #3 - Exposure. If these three things happen, Andre could easily be a Heisman candidate.
Shane : With the 3 QB's does the offense change much based on their abilities? Go Cats!
Joker Phillips : No, the offense does not change. We feel like they all have the same ability. All three are drop back quarterbacks so our offense won't change if a different one comes in the game.
ukathletics.com : Thanks to Joker Phillips for his time today. Next week's guest is Special Teams/Tight Ends Coach Steve Ortmayer.
Joker Phillips : Thanks for all the questions. We look forward to seeing everyone at the spring game on April 21 and filling up Commonwealth Stadium this fall. Go Cats!