Kyle Tucker at the Courier-Journal has a story this afternoon about Joker Phillips' displeasure with the receiving corps. Judging from the commentary provided in the story, Phillips isn't just unhappy, he's downright angry, and isn't going to take it anymore.
It's easy to overreact after a bad performance, but as a former wide receiver himself, Phillips has a special understanding of what it takes to be successful at the position, and it appears to me that his displeasure is based not just on one event, namely the Western game, but on an accumulation of things. There were rumors throughout summer camp that the receivers were having difficulty catching passes.
Whatever the case, Phillips has had enough:
"Those guys did not play well at all," Phillips said during his regular Monday press conference. "It was embarrassing watching it. If you’re going to act like a pass-catcher, you better catch the dang ball. There will be some changes at the wide receiver position."
I do not find any ambiguity in "There will be..." That seems unequivocal and declaratory, and that probably means at least one of the major droppers, Matt Roark and La'Rod King by name, just reserved themselves some time on the bench, at least for the next game. The name "Aaron Boyd" was trotted out by rod kPhillips as a possible replacement for at least one of them. I use his name in quotes, because I heard when he first came to Kentucky he was pretty good, but he has been buried so deeply on UK's bench that I wasn't sure he was still corporate.
The other name mentioned was Demarco Robinson, the freshman that excited the UK coaches so much during practice (but failed to gain positive yards on either play run for him last Thursday). Phillips can barely hide his excitement about this kid in the press, so I wish he'd just put him in the game, already. He can hardly do worse than Roark, or King for that matter. Freshman or not, a dropped pass is a dropped pass.
Phillips also let Morgan Newton know how displeased he was with some of his
stupid ass plays mental errors. The pinball interception wasn't Newton's fault, but the first and second were such brain-dead plays that Newton the freshman didn't even make them. Back then, if you recall, he was widely praised for not throwing the ball into traffic.
Finally, there is the offensive line, and Phillips had little to say about that other than an injury update, which isn't terribly positive. But I will tell you that in this writer's opinion, the offensive line play Thursday was substandard, and if that is an all-SEC offensive line, I'm Forrest Gump, and that's all I have to say about that.
Let's hope for better on Saturday.