Joker Phillips seemed very pleased with the result of practice today:
"I thought we were really sharp today, flew around. This was really the first day we’d swopped scouts, meaning the down-the-line (deep reserve) defensive guys give the offense a look (simulating U of L’s defense) and the down-the-line offensive guys give the defense a lot. I thought we were better-organized than we’ve ever been around here getting those switches. A lot of that has to do with our guys understanding how we practice. There were a lot of crisp routes, crisp passes caught. Guys were really competing on defense. So I’m pleased with today and our first day of preparation for Louisville."
Good to hear, Coach. Somebody needs to tell the guys in Sin City that we are doing this well, so they can adjust their 13.5 point line against the Louisville Cardinals. Now that I've made a totally unnecessary snarky comment, let me say that I swear, on the souls of my grandchildren, that I will not be the one to break the peace we... uhhh... oops. Please excuse the Godfather moment, I was thinking about some Italian coach or other...
Well, as you can see, I'm having a little trouble adjusting to this good news.
ON HOW QB MAX SMITH HAS LOOKED SINCE BEING NAMED THE STARTER: "Comfortable. You know how that goes. Once it’s announced, the starting guy feels a little bit more comfortable, the other guys feel a little bit more comfortable with him.
I just have one question on behalf of the entire Big Blue Nation, coach. When is Ryan Mossakowski gonna see some time? We've been waiting... what's that? He transferred? Uh, okay, well, wait... (notices outdated 2010 roster)... ah, oh yeah. When is Patrick Towles gonna get some time? I know, I know, I just wanted to be the first to say it.
ON HOW THE TIGHT ENDS LOOK AND WHAT HE WANTS FROM THEM THIS FALL - We’d like to get our tight end involved a little bit more. If you can remember, I said Jacob Tamme would be our leading receiver one year; that came back to haunt me. But I would’ve taken Stevie Johnson catching for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. That’s how it works. You take away the inside, there’s got to be some stuff down the field, and then Jacob still caught 50 balls. …
Translation: Just like last year. Our tight ends that block can't catch, and our tight ends that can catch are allergic to blocking. Look for 2-3 balls a game to go that way.
Between for tight ends last year, 30 balls were caught. In 2010, 33 balls, 2009,13 balls and 2008, 25 balls. Ever since Tamme left, the tight end has been about as threatening offensively as the stuffed Maui Monkey on my credenza.
Okay, okay, I've had a little fun at Kentucky's expense. In a way, it's a reflex prompted by any favorable practice reports that tend to get my hopes up. Unlike Greg Edwards, I have a pretty good psychic callous that prevents me from getting too down after foolishly allowing my hopes to be elevated by good practice news and summarily dashed into component molecules by the impact with reality.
With all that said, good news from practice is always better than bad, and possibly the best news is that injuries after two-a-days seem to have been held to a minimum, good fortune that has eluded us for several years and particularly last year.
Hope springs eternal.