Live chat with inside linebackers coach Ron McBride took place May 11, 2004
Dustin Cordell : hey coach, do you feel that this will be a great year for players such as Durell White, Chad Anderson, or Dustin Williams, or maybe two or all three of them? thanks alot coach.
Ron McBride : In order for our defense to be successful, all three of those players have to have a great year. They've put themselves in a position to have a great year. Certain things have to be done this summer that will ensure their efficiency during the year. Chad needs to work on speed and explosiveness. Dustin needs to improve his ability to bend and play at a lower pad level. Durrell needs to continue to work on strength and his ability to play in space.
Frank Pruitt : Assuming that Dustin and Chad are the opening day starters, who else will see time and in what rotations? Will our depth at this position allow us to keep the starters fresh for the 4th qtr? Thanks Coach!
Ron McBride : Right now there are five linebackers that all have experience and should be able to have playing time. The surprise of the spring was Dennis Johnson. Justin Haydock and Jon Sumrall both have performed well and should be able to help us. We look forward to Tedd Bullock and Gabriel Wallace coming in to bolster the inside linebacker position.
Dan : I noticed that LB Dennis Johnson was recently named a “King of Spring” by a college football site. Do you think Dennis will be the anchor of our defense? If not who do you think will be?
Ron McBride : Right now, going off of spring, Dustin Williams had the best spring of the linebackers. Dennis Johnson showed the ability to make plays that the other backers can't make. He has a real burst to the football.
Paul, Troy OH : Mr. McBride, I was just wondering how the team was going to look this year losing as many seniors as you did. Also, I just had wondered if you had heard about An Excellent Linebacker/DE that we have up here at Troy named Todd Denlinger. He has currently recieved offers from Pitt, Virginia, BC, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Duke, and Maryland... Check him out if you can because he is the best player to come out of Troy since Ryan Brewer who played at South Carolina, and now plays in NFL Europe
Ron McBride : This is Coach Caragher's recruiting area. If you know this young man, it would be very important he come to one of our summer camps so he can learn what Kentucky's all about and so we can work with him.
Dan : Do you expect a LB to lead the team in tackles this year, if so who would most likely achieve this?
Ron McBride : The defense is designed so that the inside LBs and the safety should lead the team in tackles. If the defense is effective, that's what should happen. Last year, Chad Anderson and Dustin Williams were among the league leaders in tackles so we expect them to continue their success in that area this fall.
sue : Coach...I know you are from Utah...did you know Coach Rick Majerus and were you friends with him? If so, what was he like? Thanks Coach. I think you are great.
Ron McBride : Rick and I are very good friends. We would go out to dinner every Wednesday night and talk about athletics. These dinners were very special because Rick eats forever. Rick presently is in Hawaii. I don't know what he's doing there, but he says he's boogie boarding. I'd like to see that. He's one of the more interesting people in athletics. In other words, he's a good trip.
Kitty : Durell White received several recognitions as a freshman last year. How has his spring been and what type of player do you thik he will become?
Ron McBride : I thought Durrell had a very efficient spring. I think he can become a very good player.
Kitty : As an experienced post-season coach, what do you feel are the main goals UK has to achieve in order to become a successful program?
Ron McBride : The team as a whole has to learn to finish and play efficiently for four quarters. We need to learn to make plays when they're there and learn how to be tough when things are not going well. We need to learn to be a consistent football team and execute all phases of the game.
Kitty : As my favorite coach on the staff, I'm interested in what drives you personally in your profession and in life.
Ron McBride : I love the competition, I love the teaching, I love the profession. Every day is an exciting day to me. I think in order for you to enjoy this profession, it has to be a passion with you. The most enjoyable part of it is seeing young people develop into special people - see them graduate, have a future and learn how to handle adversity when it comes up in their lives.
Kitty : Can you give us some specific reasons the coaching staff named Chad Anderson UK's Most Improved Player?
Ron McBride : A lot of that has to do with maturity - him handling responsibility and him being accountable for positives and negatives and then being able to respond to these things in a positive manner. With Chad, it's all about growing up and competing to be his very best. The more responsibility he accepts, the better he will be.
Layne : i eep hearing that U of L will be one of the best off. teams in the country. Will we be ready for them the first game of the season
Ron McBride : I've watched a great deal of film on Louisville from last season and they are a very good offensive football team. The quarterback is very efficient, he understands coverage and he understands where to put the football. I'm very impressed with him. I think their offensive line is very efficient and taught extremely well. Will we be ready for them? We'll work hard this summer and we'll be ready to play.
Bill : Coach- can you tell me what the most important factors are for becoming a great team?
Ron McBride : I think there are a lot of factors. First, obviously, personnel. The better the players are, the better chance you have of being a great football team. Second is chemistry. All great teams have great chemistry. Third - you have to have great leadership at the top - that means your leaders have to lead. Fourth - there are always seven or eight plays during the season that turn it one way or another. You have to be prepared to make those plays and then you have to make them. Fifth - the coaching staff has to do an outstanding job of teaching and preparing the players to be their very best. Sixth - the people in our weightroom have to make sure that the players are developed to their max.
ukathletics.com : We want to thank Coach McBride for joining us today. The next chat will be with Coach Dunn.
Ron McBride : I'd like to say to the fans here that of all the schools I've worked at, you people are loyal to the last man or woman and you deserve a football program that you all can be proud of. That's what we're here to accomplish. We look forward to seeing you this fall at Commonwealth. Go Cats!