Live chat took place Tuesday, April 25
Mike Taylor : Coach do you think the strong showing of our defense in the spring practive period was more of an idication of how far our defense has come or that we have a lot of work to go on the offense side of the ball? Thanks and GO CATS!
Mike Archer : I think that we definitely have improved as a defense, from a physical standpoint, mental standpoint, and I think our players enjoy playing together and are having more fun. You only have fun when you understand what to do and do it aggresively and knock people down. Hopefully we can continue to build on these things and get bigger and stronger this summer and become a better defense that will help us both on offense and defense to win football games.
ALLEN ROBERTS : hey coach, has myron got rid of the cramping problem? also has johnny willams grasp the playbook better this spring?
Mike Archer : Myron Pryor has had no problems with cramps at all this offseason. He is in the best physical shape of his life and we don't anticipate any more problems in that regard. Johnny Williams had a very good spring at linebacker. He has improved in a lot of areas mentally and his knowledge of our defense. There are other areas that he must continue to improve in order for us to feel comfortable with him in the game and allowing us to win on defense.
Spencer : It appears that this years squad seems to more "TEAM" oriented. Do you see that in this years team?
Mike Archer : This team in the winter program began to become a team through hard work and some team-building that our weight and strength staff and Coach Brooks instituted. It became obvious to the coaches during the winter program that the team concepts were very positive for us. It continued in spring practice and hopefully it will continue this summer during summer conditioning and weights. Our players need to continue to gain strength and speed in order for us to become better. A "TEAM" that cares about each other will make sure that happens this summer.
Tim O : Coach, What incoming players, if any, do you anticipate seeing significant playing time this fall. The defense looked solid this spring without considering Micah and the other new players. Any early thoughts? Thanks and good luck this year.
Mike Archer : Obviously Micah Johnson is a physical specimen who can help our football team become better. I think it is unfair to him to expect Micah to be the savior of our team. We expect Micah, Jamaal Jackson, Ricky Lumpkin, Corey Peters, J.D. Craigman and the rest of the incoming class to compete with our returning players and hopefully we will find 11 players on defense that will make us better. To count on a true freshman to play a lot of plays is not fair to them. One needs only to ask Braxton Kelley about that.
Chris : With Abren's seemingly successful shift to DE and the emergence of athletic freak Lewis at DE, do you feel better about UK's ability to pressure the QB this fall? Also, can Craigman make an immediate impact at DE?
Mike Archer : Ricky Abren is a very intelligent football player and has the ability to play both tackle and end. We hope to put him in one position this fall and let him become better at one as opposed to trying to learn two. We feel like this will help Ricky become the best player possible for our team. Dominic Lewis has had an outstanding spring and right now is our #3 defensive end. In passing situations, he'll most certainly be on the field to rush the QB. He probably has improved as much as anyone on our defense. We hope that J.D. Craigman can come in in August and give us some depth at the defensive end position. We need to find a fourth and fifth end to give us the depth needed to win.
Kevin Grisgby : What do you think of the young redshirt freshmen Schwindel and Nevels..I saw a couple of nice hits from the both of them saturday, inparticularly Nevels. Is there anyway we might see both of them back in the secondary together at safeties before it is all said and done?
Mike Archer : Michael Schwindel had an outstanding spring and we are counting on him to become a major factor at the safety position. Jordan Nevels missed most of spring with a hamstring injury and it was good to see him in action Saturday. The training camp will be very important for Jordan to show us that he is ready to become a factor at the corner position. We did not get to see much of him this spring and for that reason he is a little bit behind the rest of our cornerbacks. Schwindel and Nevels are both big hitters and bring an aggressive attitude to our DBs and we like that.
East Jessamine : When evaluating a players talent, what attributes do look for in young athletes who r looking to play at the next level? Good luck this season.
Mike Archer : We are looking for players that make plays, that play with great energy and play with emotion. Obviously physical size and speed are important but having heart and a desire to succeed are just as important. Hopefully if a young man is not the biggest and fastest football player, these characteristics will allow him to be successful.
David Griffith : What do you think will be the strength of our defense this year, and do you think we are finally a top tier SEC defense?
Mike Archer : At present, I think with the emergence of Myron Pryor and the continued development of Jason Leger, Ventrell Jenkins and Ricky Abren, the defensive tackle position could be a strength for us. In the fall, Corey Peters, Ricky Lumpkin and Justin Jeffries will all have an opportunity to become defensive tackles, and I think this will give us outstanding depth at those two positions. I think that we are now becoming a more physical defense and a defense that will run better than previous years. We must continue to recruit these types of players and do a better job versus the running game to improve in the SEC. Hopefully this defense will.
Blake Hopkins : coach, with antoine gone this year who is most likely to take his place at corner... same with muhammad at safety
Mike Archer : Trevard Lindley had an outstanding spring and has proven to us that he can play in the SEC. With Bo Smith's status in question, we must find another cornerback, and the competition will be continued in August between David Jones, Karl Booker, Jarrell Williams, Tim Hargrett and some of our incoming freshmen and J.C. transfers. This corner position should be very competitive and hopefully we will find more than one SEC-caliber corner. At safety, Muhammad will be missed, but we feel that Michael Schwindel had an oustanding spring and has put himself into the mix to be a possible starter at safety. Roger Williams will return and Marcus McClinton hopefully will be fully recovered from his leg surgery. Also, Ashton Cobb and Corey Goodson will compete with these young men for a position at safety.
Kevin Autry : Maurice Grinter looked very athletic/fast in the B/W game. Is he being considered at Defensive End? Not sure of his actual height and wingspan but looks like he would be hard to contain. Thank you.
Mike Archer : Maurice has size and speed and we believe will continue to develop. He is still a long ways away from becoming a major contributer at this point. We feel like he will continue to develop and get better through the work this summer in the weight room and running. We are hopeful that he will do those things this summer.