Live chat took place Thursday, April 14
catfan1967 : Hey coach,congrats on your carrer move.In your opinion,as an alumnist,former player,and now coach.What has been the biggest obstacle for UK football to become a perennial success?
Chuck Smith : The biggest obstacle is confidence. You got to have confidence and to get that you have to win. It's an uphill battle. You have to start from the ground up. We have to work on the little things and the guys have to understand that the little things will make a difference. Once they understand that, I think they'll start experiencing some success. And with that success will come confidence.
Sean : Coach, How do we plan to attack from the linebacker postion since the switch to 4-3. More blitzing? More coverage from the LB's?
Chuck Smith : In the 4-3 defense, the linebackers play an important role because they're not only involved in stopping the run, but also in the pass coverage. So we need athletic linebackers that can play both the run and the pass.
Drew : How has Raymond Fontaine looked this spring and do you think he is ready to become a full time starter?
Chuck Smith : Raymond has been a good leader and role model this spring. I really appreciate his attitude and effort and I think that will pay dividends for this football team in the long run. I know he wants to be a great player and I look forward to him having a big year, this being his senior year.
Terry Janes : How does it feel to wear blue again? Has the LB position changed since your playing days and if so how? Also, what can the strengths of our LB group be?
Chuck Smith : I'm very excited to be a part of the UK football program again. The LB position has changed since I played here because the game has changed. When I played, it was much more run oriented and now teams are throwing the ball so much more. So it takes a different type of athlete to play the position.
Logan Curry : Your Boyle Co. Rebel football teams were a pleasure to watch. I'm sure coming to the college level is a totally different atmosphere, so what do you think you will miss come game time not being at the high school level?
Chuck Smith : I love Friday night games. When Friday night comes during the fall I will certainly be thinking about high school games. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed every minute of it although I am looking forward to my new challenge.
Scott Reynolds : Have you done any recruiting for UK yet and will your successful tenure as a high school coach in KY be an advantage in landing the best players in the state?
Chuck Smith : Yes, I've done a little recruiting so far. It's actually one of the things I have enjoyed the most. I really enjoy watching high school players on tape and evaluating their ability. I also enjoy meeting the players and their parents and learning more about them. I think that my success in Kentucky high school football will help me recruit Kentucky high school kids - no doubt about it - because they recognize the success my high school team had.
Scott Reynolds : Do you hope to have a set rotation at the end of spring drills and what position will Joe Schuler help the most?
Chuck Smith : At the end of spring, we hope to have an idea of what position we're going to play our players at, whether they're going to be a strong side, middle or weak side LB. We are evaluating their progress daily. Joe is having a great spring practice. We're looking for great things from Joe this coming fall. We've tried him at the strong and middle LB position. He looks good at both.
Mike in Louisville : Thanks for your time coach Smith and best of luck to you. I would like to know how your players are responding to conditioning this Spring and what are your areas of primary focus(IE, tackling basics, stance,position, etc). GO CATS!
Chuck Smith : Our focus this spring has been primarily on fundamentals - making sure that we're sound in terms of taking on blocks, shedding blocks, making sure we're in position to make plays. We have also focused on installing a new 4-3 defense so obviously some of our practice has been on the responsibilities a LB has in the 4-3 defense.
Rob : from what you have seen so far, who is someone you have been impressed with?
Chuck Smith : I've been impressed with the attitude and leadership of Raymond Fontaine and Jon Sumrall. They have been good role models for our younger linebackers in terms of work ethic and attitude.
ukathletics.com : We'd like to thank Coach Smith for joining us today and thanks for all the questions. Next week we will be joined by defensive backs coach Steve Brown.
Chuck Smith : I enjoyed being on the chat today. The fans have been wonderful in their encouragement to me. I'm very excited to be back at Kentucky and eagerly await the coming season.