Sunday’s football practice notes

Notes featuring shells and kitty litter …

  • Kentucky had its first practice in shells on Sunday and Coach Joker Phillips seemed pleased with what he saw. “It was a good day,” he said. “We got some good film. We’ve got to watch the film to see who actually separated themselves today when we put the pads on.” The coach said it’s not uncommon to see some separation once the shells go on. “There are some guys who are real good shorts players and guys who kind of take a step back. Some take a step forward when they put the pads on.”
  • After practice ended, there was still a group of players working on a drill as the others exited the field. It led to a reporter asking about it and Phillips said it was a learning exercise about the importance of turnovers — both forcing them and not coughing them up. It was a mixed group of players from both offense and defense. “That’s our kitty litter; it’s a drill I did way back,” Phillips said. “We go over there and recover fumbles and get hot and sweaty and help everyone understand how important turnovers are to this football team.”
  • UK’s lack of created turnovers (just 16 last season) as well as the balls it gave away were the difference in a winning season and a 6-7 season. “We’ve got to create them and take them away. If we’re going to close this gap — and we keep saying we’re very, very close — turnovers is going to be a huge part of it.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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