Mark Stoops Wednesday transcript

Coach Mark Stoops has one more full practice before the Blue-White spring game and before he sends off his new team for the summer. What are some of the messages he has for them? How is he feeling about chemistry? Will he be adding any new players for the fall? Here’s what he said.

OPENING STATEMENT: “Good practice. I was very encouraged. We got a lot of good work in. Good, physical day, went a little longer, got some good situational work done, defense responded well, had a good day today. So overall, pleased.”

HAS HE SEEN IT CLICK FOR SOME GUYS? “Yeah, I think that’s the big thing. Rather than individual, I think more as a unit I’m feeling it more and more right now, as a team. I feel more guys getting themselves in a position to be successful, working harder, buying in all the way and understanding concepts. So we’re getting there.”

IS THE ON-FIELD COMMUNICATION IS GOOD RIGHT NOW: “Sometimes. Coaches are still coaching every play, every rep. We want to do things right. It’s still frustrating at times, but some of that’s to be expected. We’re just trying to keep on limiting those errors and mental mistakes and the communication. I think on both sides of the ball we’re getting better, but we’re nowhere near where we need to be.”

ON SENSING THE PLAYERS ARE READY TO SHOW WHAT THEY’VE LEARNED AT THE SPRING GAME: “I think they are. I think they’re excited. I’ve commented on it before, but I think they feel the excitement and the support that they have and they want to go out there and do well.”

ON THE WIDE RECEIVERS: “They’re getting better as a group. The effort’s better, the attitude’s better. Again, we’re not where we need to be. We need to continue to get better. We need more guys to step up, but coach is getting the most out of them.”

WILL NEW TRUE FRESHMEN RECEIVERS PLAY, HELP PUSH RETURNING GUYS IN THE FALL: “Yeah, we definitely think there will be some guys that can come in and get in the fold and hopefully help us.”

ON WHETHER IT’S POSSIBLE UK’S INCOMING CLASS MIGHT STILL ADD A PLAYER OR TWO: “Possibly. We have room for maybe one more, so we may possibly go out and look for a linebacker or wide receiver that can come in and help us.”

WHAT HE’S MOST PLEASED ABOUT THIS SPRING: “I’m pleased with their overall attitude. Again, I keep on saying it: It’s not where we want it to be, but I see the improvement. I see them wanting to do things right. I see their attitude being good, and their effort. That’s what I’m most pleased about. We have good players; they need to be led and they need to be put in position to be successful and we need to improve in all areas, but I see them wanting to do that.”

HAS TRUST BETWEEN PLAYERS AND COACHES IMPROVED THIS SPRING? “Yeah, it’s better. Again, it’s not a finished product and probably never will be. We’re always working on those relationships, but it is getting better.”

WILL AT LEAST ONE OF THE QUARTERBACKS BE GOOD ENOUGH TO RUN OFFENSE? “Yeah, yeah, definitely. I’ve said it over and over again and I still feel that way: The all have different strengths and they all can help us win.”

ON THE MESSAGE HE’LL SEND THE PLAYERS OFF INTO SUMMER WITH: “Just to build on what we’ve done. We need to constantly strive to get better each and every day, and control what they can control.”

ON WHAT HE’D LIKE TO SEE IN THE SPRING GAME: “I need to see – I want to see just good football, on either side. I just want to see good competition, good effort, good execution and make good plays. I don’t want one side or the other to be successful because the other side is not playing right or busting plays and playing inept. So I just want to see good ball.”

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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