Spring practice: Pads on, Stoops pleased

There’s something about putting on the pads that turns a bunch of individuals into a football team and Coach Mark Stoops said he felt better after Friday’s practice — the third of the spring — than he had so far.

“This was the best we’ve looked,” he said in the Nutter Indoor Facility, where UK has practiced for a third straight time because of cold or rain. “I felt a greater sense of urgency out there. We put the pads on; guys were flying around a little bit.”

Specifically, he liked what he was seeing from an improving offense.

“You could see the execution started to get better; I was very encouraged,” he said. “The tempo was not where we want it to be. It’s not where it’s going to be. But I felt like, for the first time, you could just feel the pressure they can put on you.”

D.J. Eliot, the defensive coordinator, said getting the pads on definitely helped him evaluate the players more effectively.

“A big part of playing defense is: How physical are you? And right now, I don’t know who’s physical,” he said. “So we’ll find out when we put full pads on.”

  • Players were equipped with GPS devices at practice today to track various things as a part of Erik Korem’s new high performance system. “There’s a long list of things it’ll do, but it tracks a lot of information that we’re going to follow,” Stoops said.
  • Stoops said he’s changing the practice schedule around a bit, dropping the practice originally scheduled to clean things up after the spring game and he’s holding one on Saturday instead.

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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