Live chat took place April 11, 2006
Ed : This past year our LB's would not always stay in their slots but would try to do too much. Are they doing better at being disciplined and covering the gaps assigned?
Chuck Smith : Sometimes when the linebackers are young, they will try to do too much and freelance like they did in high school. A year of age and experience should make them more disciplined.
Chris : Will we see our lb stepping up and assisting our d-line n stopping the run?
Chuck Smith : We hope that the linebackers are more solid with their run-stopping responsibilities this year. I believe with a year experience, we would be much more effective in stopping the run, not only as a linebacking corps but as a total defense.
MARVIN : Who of the walkons are making a move for playing time at the linebacker spot? Hope this program takes a step foward. Se ya on Saturdays.
Chuck Smith : Patrick Barnette has been very impressive so far this spring. He's from New Jersey and transferred here from Wagner College. He's got a lot of potential in the fact that he can run, he's smart and learns quick and we think he has a bright future. He's seeing some action on the special teams.
David Rodgers : Getting beat by the opponent because he has more athletic ability than our defense is acceptable. Getting beat by assignment mistakes is not acceptable. For example, in obvious passing downs, the linebackers do not cover the tight end and running backs running delayed routes. What is being done to correct this?
Chuck Smith : I think a lot of what you say is true. A lot of that had to do with the youth of the linebackers last year. When you count on young guys to compete against juniors and seniors, like our opponents in the SEC are playing, then mental mistakes are going to happen. I think you'll see a big improvement in the lack of mental errors this year than last year. This spring there's been a big improvement in the mental mistakes and that has a lot to do with experience.
Cats Fan : Who is the anchor is your linebacking core today?
Chuck Smith : Wesley Woodyard is really the inspirational leader of our group. Joe Schuler also has very good leadership skills. If I were to pick two, those would be the ones that have provided the most leadership.
Tylo Williams : tell me the truth do you think we will do better this year than last year?
Chuck Smith : Absolutely. I think with the experience we have returning and the attitude and work ethic that our team has demonstrated during the offseason, we will be much better than we were last fall. I think the closeness of the team is very impressive. Last year because we were only 3-8, it would have been easy for the team to divide, but through that adversity, the team stuck together and stayed close and tight. That's very encouraging. With that attitude and with experience of the young guys, it gives us a very positive outlook for this year.
Mike Y. Owensboro Ky : How much will Micah Johnson Contribute next fall?
Chuck Smith : Micah has a great deal of potential. He is a very talented young man. We need to get him up here on campus and start learning the system. There's no way of knowing how much any recruit will play until he actually gets here and we get to see what he can do on the field.
danny : hello coach, do you think UK has the talent and depth at linebacker that will match the top SEC teams?
Chuck Smith : Absolutely. I really like this group that we have and I really like the recruits coming in. The only thing that they lack at this point is experience. But talent wise, we are as good as the other SEC programs.
JOHN HORTON, PROSPECT,KY. : WHO WOULD START AT LINEBACKER IF THE SEASON BEGAN TOMORROW?
Chuck Smith : Because the freshmen aren't here and Braxton Kelley is injured, then the starting lineup at this point would be Joe Schuler, Ben McGrath, Wesley Woodyard and Johnny Williams - who's having a really good spring so far and could play some.
Landon Mulhall : Coach, how is Braxton Kelley recovering from surgery? Also, with all the linebackers returning besides Fontaine how do you see guys like Micah Johnson, Sam Maxwell, and Maurice Grinter fitting in? Thank you.
Chuck Smith : Braxton is really working hard with his rehab program. He is a great talent and we really need him to recover fully. We do have a lot of LBs returning and we have some really good ones coming in in this recruiting class that are going to add a lot of depth to an already solid group. We need depth - last year the LB corps had too many reps and had to play through injury because we didn't have depth. So the fact that our depth will improve with quality will make us that much better of a defense.
dan : do all football coaches have mustashes
Chuck Smith : Not all of them look as good as I do with one. ha ha.
Aaron : After a year, how does coaching at UK compare to your years at Boyle? Is the college level of coaching what you expected? Thanks and best of luck this year, you are the man.
Chuck Smith : The college game is very different than the high school game. It's a lot faster. There's a lot more detail in terms of the schemes. It has been what I've expected and it's been real enjoyable to this point.
Corey Thompson : How do you like the new coaching environment? How do you think of Alfonso Smith's progress? I played in the Waggener vs Boyle game #24 RB/OLB.
Chuck Smith : I really enjoy coaching at the college level. It's been a great experience. Alfonso is a pleasure to be around. He's obviously an offensive player so my time with him is limited, but he's a great talent and a good person. I predict a bright future for him at the University of Kentucky.
: Which defense will we run the most this season, 4-3 or a 3-4.
Chuck Smith : We are a 4-3 defense so that's our base and primary defense.
John : With Grinter's size and mobility, why is he not playing LB, a position we need more depth at?
Chuck Smith : He is playing LB at this time. He is showing progress daily and he's doing a good job learning the assignments and responsibilities. Once he has those down, I would expect big things from him.
Bryce Copp : When are the walk on tryouts, if there are any?
Chuck Smith : Anyone interested in trying out for the team should call Steve Hellyer in the football office at (859) 257-3611. Tryouts are held at the beginning of the school year in August.
Josh from Harrodsburg : Have the linebackers gotten bigger and stronger this season and how have they progresses throughout the spring practices?
Chuck Smith : The linebackers have worked hard during the offseason and they've put on some weight and some strength. Their hard work in the offseason has paid off for them.