Live chat took place April 27
Dustin Cordell : hey coach, i was wonderin if you think that Andre has much of a chance at seeing a lot of action this year?
Rich Brooks : Andre really improved the last part of spring practice. He goes into fall camp as the #2 man behind Shane Boyd. His playing time will depend on his continued improvement and the health and play of Shane Boyd.
Dustin Cordell : hey again coach, one last question. What do you feel our chances are of makein it to a bowl game next year? thanks coach.
Rich Brooks : We're really not thinking about bowl games at this point. We're just concentrating on going in and winning the game against Louisville. If we do well enough early in the season and get close to bowl eligibility, we can start thinking about it then.
kevin jones : how is juco qb brandon landry looking
Rich Brooks : Brandon needs to improve on his grasp of the offense and his throwing ability. He's very athletic and we're looking forward to seeing if he can improve in the fall.
hotdog : coach brooks, sometimes it seems as though shane has some trouble putting air under the ball when he throws down field, and it has cost him a little bit. is that something that the coaching staff has worked with him on in the spring?
Rich Brooks : We have pointed out to Shane on numerous occasions that he needs to work on his deep throws and get more air under them. As a matter of fact, I just had that conversation with him this morning. As soon as he's completed baseball, he needs to do a lot of throwing this summer before fall camp and work on all of this throws.
Laura Kate : Hey, Coach Brooks! How is Jon Sumerall doing and who has impress you the most this Spring? GO BIG BLUE!
Rich Brooks : Jon improved this spring but needs to get stronger and add a few pounds of muscle. He's a bright articulate young man who definitely will help us in the fall. We have quite a few players that improved dramatically this spring. Keenan Burton would be high on that list.
David : Coach Brooks, in your opinion, what would make this coming season a success?
Rich Brooks : A victory over Louisville, significant improvement in the SEC with the win/loss record, and it would be wonderful if we could win enough to get into post-season play.
Frank Pruitt : Good afternoon Coach, thanks for taking time to chat with us. As we head into year two of your leadership, please comment on your specific goals for our program this year. Thanks Coach! P.S. - I can't wait til Sep. 5th when we kick the "you know what" out of the Cards!!
Rich Brooks : I would like to see continued improvement in strength and speed of our team and adding more new players to our roster that can compete at the top level of the SEC.
Allison : Who do you feel is the strongest back going into the season? Do you not think Arliss Beach can do the job?
Rich Brooks : Arliss Beach had a very productive spring, even with the high ankle sprain. The competition will continue in the fall, but he's ahead of Draak Davis and Alexis Bwenge. I do feel Arliss has improved his play to where he can be a very good back in the SEC.
steven : has spring practice turned out better or worse than you expected and wichever it is can you please elaborate on why it is that way, thanks coach!
Rich Brooks : I was pleased with spring practice with the development of the offensive line and the improved depth on the defense. The one very negative thing from spring practice is the injury to Tommy Cook, that will likely keep him out of the fall.
ukfan330 : I was a big fan of letting Shane Boyd use his running ability last year. Will he still be a running threat this year
Rich Brooks : Shane will definitely be a running threat again this fall but it will all be from the quarterback position.
Chris(Madisonville) : Coach Brooks, do you plan on scheduling a game a week before the Louisville game to open the season. I think that would be a great idea to get a game under your belt before a big rival game. What is your thoughts on this idea?
Rich Brooks : Mitch Barnhart and I are working on future schedules but there is nothing set at this point. One thing that you can count on as long as Louisville wants to play us, we will play them.
Joe Crabb : What is your opinion ofv the offensive line?
Rich Brooks : It's a work in progress. They made great strides this spring and with the addition of Ernie Pelayo and the freshmen coming in the fall, I expect continued improvement and depth with every practice.
J.J. : LAST SEASON UK HAD THE BEST DEFENSE WE HAVE SEEN IN MANY YEARS. WITH MOST OF IT RETURNING, HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU WITH SCORING POINTS WITH ALL THE LOSSES ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE OF THE BALL ? THANKS
Rich Brooks : We have more players to replace on the offensive side of the ball and two of those players, Lorenzen and Abney, are not only high on the UK offensive lists, but also in the SEC. We need to be able to move the ball and some of it may come from a better running game and hopefully that will allow us to improve on our scoring average from a year ago. I'm also hopeful that our defense will get more takeaways and provide the offense with scoring opportunities.
Todd : Hey coach, I was curious about the schedule this year. I believe we have 11 games this year but last year we had 12. Why is there only 11 games on this year's schedule?
Rich Brooks : The NCAA had a two-year window that allowed schools to have 12 regular season games. That is gone for the next several years. There are some people who are trying to get a 12th game on a regular basis.
Brian : Hi coach Brooks. Even though we lost a great wide reciever in Derek Abney, it looks like this year's corp of wide recievers is pretty impressive. Do you think we will be trying to get the ball in the hands of the wide recievers a little more this year?
Rich Brooks : Wide receiver is the most talented position on our team. We will try many different ways to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers.
CatOnRockyTop : Is the program about where you thought it would be going into the second year when you took this job? What, if any, are the major surprises so far?
Rich Brooks : I was hopeful that we would have been able to win more games a year ago and have that upset win like we almost pulled against Florida. We hope that we can get one or two of those upset wins this year and parlay that into climbing the ladder in the SEC. There are really no major surprises.
ROBBIE : WHAT IS YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW WOODSON IS LEARNING THE OFFENSE AS A FUTURE QB
Rich Brooks : Andre needs to become a better student of the game. He made significant strides in the latter half of spring practice. He needs to assume a greater leadership responsibility and I believe he'll be working on that over the summer and this fall.
Chris Bryan : This team has a strong WR core coming back and has some nice size being added to it. Will this allow the offense to stretch the field vertically to keep teams from jamming and sitting on quick routes? It just seems like the biggest problems with the running game has been too many defensive players 5 yards off the ball and nowhere to run. Thanks
Rich Brooks : Being able to stretch the field will not necessarily stop defenses from putting eight or nine men in the box. I do feel, however, that we have more players at receiver who can stretch the field and like you, I'm hopeful that will help our running game.
Aaron Scott : Do you thank Keenan Burton can be the next Derek Abney?
Rich Brooks : We don't expect Keenan to be the next Derek Abney. I would expect that Keenan will establish his own identity and based on what I've seen this past year, he won't have a lot of trouble doing that.
Tyler : Hey Coach Brooks, I have two questions. First, what are your thoughts abotu Derek Abney getting drafted late in the NFL Draft and Jared Lorenzen not getting drafted at all? Second, who impressed you the most in the Blue/White scrimmage and why?
Rich Brooks : I'm disappointed for Derek and Jared that they weren't selected higher in the draft. The good news is that they both will be on an NFL roster this summer and have a chance to show what they can do and earn a right to play in the NFL. I was pleased with the progress of the offensive line in the Blue/White scrimmage.
ashley : How do you think that Jacob Tamme will improve the offense as a reciever? and will he be playing much?
Rich Brooks : Jacob has a chance, if he stays healthy, to be a factor for us in the fall. His size and great hands will make him a threat at receiver.
scott stephenson : I am a big fan from nashville and want to know where do you think the team is compared to last year..
Rich Brooks : Our defense is ahead of last year and because of inexperience, our offense is behind. The kicking game is ahead of where it was a year ago. Overall, we're still a work-in-progress.
george h : coach, after viewing the blue/white game saturday; I thought number 83 Kurt Myers was your best blocking TE. Will he see more playing time this fall?
Rich Brooks : Although Kurt did some good things, Eric Scott is our best blocking tight end and Kurt will have his work cut out for him to move ahead of several of the tight ends ahead of him.
Justin Arms from Paintsville : What is the extent of Tommy Cook's injury? I noticed that when he came back to the sideline in the 3rd he was in a brace that restricted movement. What do you know?
Rich Brooks : Tommy underwent an MRI yesterday and the doctor has not yet read that. We are hopeful but not very optimistic that there is not a serious injury.
Michael @ EKU : Will we get to see a lot of freshman play this coming season?
Rich Brooks : There could be quite a few freshmen playing this fall. There definitely will be a lot of redshirt freshmen playing.
ukathletics.com : We thank Coach Brooks for taking time out his very busy schedule to answer questions. Unfortunately he is unable to answer all of them, but he will be back with us in June for another Live Chat. Next week's chat will feature defensive backs coach Steve Brown.
Rich Brooks : Thank you very much for the questions. I look forward to seeing you all at Commonwealth Stadium this fall. Go Cats!!