Joker Phillips faces the masses at SEC Media Day today.
After a largely dormant offseason as a Kentucky football blogger, I tried to sneak in and get a press pass for SEC Media Days. I've never been, and figured that a trip to Hoover, Alabama this week would be just the thing to get the juices flowing for the upcoming college football season. Not surprisingly, my request was rejected (what, the SEC doesn't want a random Kentucky lawyer who hasn't written about football in six months to have a press pass, how dare they?). So, like you, I'll be "watching" today's press conference through the Twitter updates of some "real" journalists.
The title of this post should probably be "Things I would ask Joker Philips if I got a press pass to SEC Media Days and actually had the cajones to speak up" or, more succinctly, "stuff I'd like to know". Without further adieu:
1. Are you getting the support from the University of Kentucky you believe you need to become a competitive program in the SEC East?
2. Do you acknowledge that you will be at a significant talent disadvantage in at least seven of your games this year?
3. What is your plan to combat this disadvantage, or do you think it is best to line up and play mano a mano with all the heavyweights and hope for the best.
4. Who do you believe will emerge from your deep but largely untested receiving corps to soak up all of the catches your team is going to need to be successful? Besides La'Rod King, are you pinning your hopes on the young guys like Demarco Robinson or Daryl Collins, or are you expecting veterans like E.J. Fields to do the trick?
5. Same question regarding your Tight Ends?
6. On paper, you have a pair of experienced ends in Taylor Wyndham and Collins Ukwu. Each has shown flashes, but neither has been that consistent guy who you can count on to put pressure on the quarterback. Can we expect one of them to step up or are there other things you'll try to do to apply some heat this year?
7. Your defense is dangerously thin at linebacker, in fact it is probably one of the biggest problem spots on any SEC team. What do you plan to do to combat that and, as a part of that, are you counting on any true freshmen to step in and contribute at that spot?
8. The punt return game absolutely crushed your team last season. During spring you had a laundry list of guys trying to step in as a returner, just as you did the year before. Is it just a matter of finding the right guy, or do the problems on that unit run deeper than that?
9. Its hard to deny that the Louisville game could be the linchpin of your season. Considering it is your first game, that is a lot of pressure. If that game doesn't go as you hope, have you thought about how you'll motivate your guys to keep going?
10. What are your realistic goals for this season?