The UK Football Women’s Clinic definitely did not disappoint this year.
By the time it was all said and done, I doubt I was the only one overly excited about the 2018 season. As has become the norm, Jennifer Palumbo emceed the event and really got the women pumped up to hear from the coaches and players. Here are a few takeaways.
- Offense focused on protecting the ball. More specifically, the offensive coaches focused on what they call the “Cat Claw” to secure the ball when a player is getting hit or tackled. The most interesting point: Negative statistics like the number of turnovers, fumbles, and interceptions were cut in half from the 2016 season to the 2017 season. The offensive staff feels by focusing on ball security, they can decrease these numbers even more in the 2018 season.
- The coaches did not give us a hint who the starting QB would be in game one. We tried to ask! However, the women were able to see a healthy CJ Conrad and Dorian Baker (who missed all of last season), which is definitely promising for this year’s offense.
- The strength and condition staff do not get enough credit. Conrad, Baker, Mike Edwards, David Bouvier, and Josh Allen all took turns demonstrating some of the drills outside just weightlifting the strength and conditioning coaches put them through during practice. Coach Stoops said that this year’s team is in the best shape he has ever seen, and he was not kidding.
- Player development has become a big focus. There is no better person to run the player development program than Freddie Maggard. He is obviously passionate about the job he has been hired to do. The program focuses on how to utilize social media, developing your brand as well as things like financial planning for the future, or as Freddie referred to it, “the next 40,” or life after football.
Coaches were sure to point out that Baker, Edwards, Conrad, and Allen are all NFL caliber players, but chose to come back to, as they say, finish what they started. These are great kids and we as the Big Blue Nation should be fired up to get behind this team.
Only FIVE more weeks BBN! Go Cats!