By all accounts, Kentucky's football practice yesterday was not a good one:
"They hadn't put pads on in a long time," defensive coordinator D.J. Elliot said. "I thought they'd be excited. I thought they'd be flying around. I thought we'd have to slow them down, not speed them up."
Lack of effort, physicality, or urgency for the third practice of the season is less than ideal. Bad practices are inevitable, but as a young man, the first day with pads was easily one of the most fun practices of the season. Why the football team, specifically the defense, didn't respond with excitement and effort will probably never be widely publicized so we are left to speculate as to the reasons. Perhaps most troubling is a lack of physicality was one of the team's glaring problems last season.
The comments by the defensive players that the offense got the better of them isn't altogether surprisingly, sadly. During the spring game the first and second string offensive line took their turns imposing their will on the defensive line rotations. The interior defense is the looming weakness many having pointed towards for months. Compounding the issue is lack of proven depth in several positions in the front seven. Nonetheless, yesterday's complaints seem to boil down to lack of effort.
The good news, primarily is there is still a lot of fall camp to go. Improvements and attitudes can be improved. By giving little leeway now, and publicly calling the players out, the coaches have drawn a line in the sand. More underclassmen could be moving up the depth chart if changes aren't made. To the players' credit, several said the right things yesterday about working harder.
Hopefully yesterday's practice was a mere blip on the radar, and not an omen of poor tidings.