Thursday, April 1, 2010

Talkin' 'Bout (Spring Football) Practice, Man.

"There aint nothin' else goin' on and everybody's tired of basketball, so we talkin' 'bout spring football practice. Spring football practice, man."

I have decided to take a breather from all of the basketball speculation for a moment and focus on Kentucky's spring football practice. Joker Phillips made his debut as head coach yesterday but the practice wasn't without the old (literally) football coach lurking close by. Pawpaw Brooks was spotted on the sidelines chatting with Joker but he did not interrupt practice and let Phillips do his thing. Bravo coach Brooks.

The team practiced in just shorts and jerseys for the first day of practice but that won't last long. They begin full contact practice on Saturday. The only players on the field that were fully suited were the quarterbacks which is unconventional. I think this is due to the fact that there is a three way race for the starting job at QB. Mike Hartline (senior), Morgan Newton (sophomore) and Ryan Mossakowski (red shirt freshman) all have an equal opportunity for the starting job when August comes around.

Hartline and Newton have the experience that Mossakowski lacks. Newton was named the starter after five games after Hartline went down with a knee injury. His stats were as follows: 75-135 attempts, 706 yds, 6 td's, 3 int's and sacked 10 times. Hartline's stats were 79-133 attempts, 802 yards, 6 td's, 7 int's and sacked 4 times. Hartline went 2-3 as the starter and Newton went 5-2. The stats are extremely similar and it is understandable that there is no clear starter at this point. Mossakowski is a highly touted recruit and I would love to see what he can do. The kid is supposed to have a rocket that is as accurate as it is strong. He is coming off of a shoulder injury.

Other than the QB job and Joker's debut, there isn't a whole lot coming out of practice as of now. From what I have read the practices are very similar to those being run by Charlie Strong up in the Ville. Players are made to sprint from drill to drill and are being pushed to the limits of their abilities. Phillips was quoted as saying, "I don't want to condition after practice. I want us to play ourselves into shape." This is an interesting approach to conditioning.

I can't wait until Phillips vs. Strong I. These two guys have a load of SEC experience and have even coached together in the past. They share a friendship and each will be looking to win that first game against the rival school. Each coach has paid their dues and have earned this opportunity and then some. Their vibrant energy is a change from what each team had last year. Especially with the Cardinals.

UK's top returning stud is Randall Cobb. The junior was Mr. Everything for the Wildcats last year. He returned kicks, punts, was a receiver, took some snaps under center and as a wildcat back and threw the ball a few times. I expect him to be an All SEC team first teamer again and an All American candidate as well.

We will keep following spring practice as it develops. I might even try and make a trip to Lexington next week to watch the Cats in action.

Side Note: It took a lot for me not to write a Pitino contract extension article. I decided to write about spring practice instead. There was a lot of hate going back and forth on the website between Kentucky and Louisville fans so I decided to take a bit of a break from it as it was getting a bit tiresome. Besides, F4E wrote a nice little piece on the story. It took a great deal of self-restraint not to write a rebuttal. You got away with one for now Pitino. For now.

1 comment:

  1. When I get to a place I can search YouTube video's your post will be updated to include that instead of this picture... I love that song...