steve R : Why don't blocking backs/fullbacks get the ball more often?
Larry Brinson : In a lot of situations, the offense you see on the field is a reflection of the offensive coordinator's philosophy. Coach Phillips does a great job of keeping defensive opponents off balance. One of his philosophies is to put the ball in the hands of the best runner. I'm not saying our fullbacks do not possess the ability to run the ball - Terrell Bankhead had some big gains last year in the Music City Bowl. So whenever the opportunity presents itself, they will carry the ball.
John B. : With our healthy and talented trio of RB's, do you see us using any 2 or 3 back sets this year? We could probably be hard to defend in a case like that.
Larry Brinson : We have the capability in our personnel grouping to put any combination of running backs, tight ends and receivers in the game in any situation. So having 2 or 3 backs in the game at one time can definitely happen.
steve R : How many running backs do we have on our roster? How can you possibly keep them all happy with limited playing time?
Larry Brinson : Counting the incoming freshmen, we will have a total of 13 running backs. If you're referring to playing time as far as keeping them happy, that will be a very tough task. With our throwing capability being as good as it is with Woodson at quarterback, our running backs will be limited to around 30 carries per game. To divide that among 11 and possibly 13 players could not happen - unless we're way ahead. Plus the fact that our running backs also have to be good receivers too whereas two years ago Rafael led the team in receiving. Therefore being a great runner and receiver is important for a back in our offense.
Steve R : I cannot remember the game, but from where we sat we thought Tony Dixon was responsible for the win. Was it Georgia? I'm sure you recognize his talent. What is his future as a wildcat and on what skills should he improve?
Larry Brinson : Tony is another veteran experienced player that has played very well in the past. The disappointing thing is that he nursed a shoulder injury this spring so he did not see a lot of live full-speed practices. My evaluation of him was limited this spring but I see a guy with a lot of ability to be a backup for Rafael in any situation. He played in the spring game and showed signs of being the type of back he could be.
BigBlueCatFan : Hi coach and welcome to Big Blue Nation! We have some great backs in Little, Dixon, and Smith as well as some good young backs coming in this Fall. Will you try to spread the wealth among the running backs or will you go with primarily one or two backs? Thanks and Go Cats!!!
Larry Brinson : In my experience in coaching, you always want to lean on your veteran players. They have the experience and wealth of knowledge that will be an important factor in a big game. So to answer your question, we will stay with the veteran players until injury dictates otherwise.
Brian from Owensboro : Hi coach and welcome to UK. We're glad to have u here in big blue country. What have you been most impressed with since you have joined the staff?
Larry Brinson : I've been most impressed with the people that work with UK. I've been a lot of places - Air Force, Arkansas, Clemson and Rice - and I feel that the staff support here is the best I've been around.
Brad Roby : What kind of role do you see Alfonso Smith playing this season?
Larry Brinson : Alfonso is a potentially big-play player just like Rafael. He's very fast and can score from anywhere on the football field. I see him having more playing time because he's earned it this spring. He stayed healthy the whole spring up until the spring game which gave him a lot of coaching time and playing time to improve, especially with Rafael being limited this spring.
Blake Hopkins : We all know that rafael has the potential to be the best back in the sec. but with the knee injury last year it seemed to slow him down a little bit. does he have that explosivness back.. and if so, is it what it was before, or can he turn on the jets and outrun anybody now
Larry Brinson : He is fully recovered from his injury now. When I first arrived, I viewed a lot of film on Rafael to evaluate what kind of runner he is and what kind of explosion he has. Comparing him to past video, I would say that he is as good or better than he was last fall.
Jason : Hey coach Brinson, glad to have you on the staff this season. With your experience and track record of having numerous to 20 rushing teams do you think that having a great back is more important than a good line or vice versa. Also what do you think Rafael Little needs to work on to improve himself for the coming season?
Larry Brinson : I would always have a good O-Line before you have a good back. The offensive line will always pave the way for any amount of yardage you're able to rush. It all starts in the trenches. When you have a great O-line, there are a lot of holes to find. What Rafael needs to do this year is number one, stay healthy. If he stays healthy, we're going to be a pretty good team this year. One of our goals this year is for him to be the best rusher he can be but also stay on the field as long as he can.
Moncell Allen : How is the weather in lexington?
Larry Brinson : The weather in Lexington is great. I was excited about coming back home after being out recruiting for the past three weeks. Upon my arrival, it felt like I was in Los Angeles, compared to Houston where it's very hot and humid. The trees are in full bloom. I hardly recognized the place when I got back. It's really beautiful this time of year. It may not be California weather when you arrive though. Ha ha.
Chuck McClintock : Coach, glad to have you back in SEC. Looks like if we stay healthy, you'll have a good stable of backs. Do you think Bowland, AB and Jackson can spell the upper class guys some when we have a lead. Want to keep Little , Dixon and Smith healthy for SEC? Keep up the good work. Chuck
Larry Brinson : I was very impressed with Trey Bowland's and Antoine Brown's spring practice. They did some very good things. As far as them having the ability to spell out the veteran players, they certainly have the ability to do that. I was very impressed with Antoine because every practice he had big plays. Whenever we had a live scrimmage he always did something special. Trey has come a long way as a walk-on, has learned more about the system and has become better because of that.
ukathletics.com : Thanks to Coach Brinson for his time today. Next week's chat will be with defensive backs coach David Lockwood.
Larry Brinson : I appreciate all of the questions and I hope I answered them to your approval. Being that this is my first year at Kentucky, I look forward to the great fan support from all the UK fans.