Stoops not happy after Friday practice

MARK STOOPS

“Little bit of a disappointment today. Very poor day, to be honest with you. Very frustrated. Had to start certain segments over again today. Just very weak mentally, physically. Just a very average day. So very disappointed.”

ON IF HE HAS ANY IDEA WHY IT WAS A BAD DAY: “No. No. Not tough enough.”

WAS IT A GOOD WEEK OTHER THAN TODAY? “Yeah. I tell you guys the truth. I tell you when I come off. If I’m happy, I tell you. If I’m disappointed, I tell you. There’s no game, there’s no reason. I don’t have it on my calendar to be mad today. Just disappointed.”

DID PLAYERS SEE A NEW SIDE OF STOOPS TODAY? “Yeah, probably. Parts of it, yes.”

ON HOW LOUD HE WAS TODAY: “I was loud. I was not happy, let’s put it that way. Like I said, just – we got to have some more pride about what we do. We got to have some more leadership. We got to have some more toughness. And we didn’t have any of that today.”

WAS IT POOR ALL AROUND OR JUST PARTS? “All the way around.”

WAS IT AN EFFORT ISSUE: “Yeah, believe it was. Mentally weak. Physically weak. Just a lack of focus to details and pushing yourself to do the right things. Just execution. You know, execution always looks worse on the offense because they’ve got to do things even on error. So I was just disappointed all the way around, because I thought we were very poor execution-wise on defense and on offense.”

GLAD TO GET CORNERBACK NATE WILLIS PRACTICING: “I was. I did see some good things from Nate. I do. I think he’s got some good ability. It’s good to see.”

ON WHAT WILLIS DOES WELL AND HOW CLOSE HE IS TO READY: “Oh, we’ll get him ready. We’ll get him ready. That’s the good thing about corner. It’s very hard in application, but really pretty easy in theory, really. You’re not reinventing the wheel as far as assignments with cornerbacks. But if they can cover somebody they can help you.”

LOOKING AHEAD TO SATURDAY’S SCRIMMAGE: “I just want to see where we’re at. Because you know – if you go back to the spring, it’s still very hard to judge where we were at as a program because we didn’t have everything in, and the 15 days and all that. Now with a couple weeks of practice here in camp, with quite a few practices under our belt, we’ve got to see what we can do. On both sides of the ball. And who we have that can make plays.”

DOES HE WANT PLAYERS TO BE MAD AFTER THIS PRACTICE? “I hope so. If they’re not, then we’ve got real issues, because I’ve said all along, I believe we have good kids here, and they mean well, but we have to have some toughness to us, some fight about us, or we’re going to have a long year.”

ON NOT BEING ABLE TO AFFORD A WASTED PRACTICE: “Yep. We wasted it today. That’s exactly what I told them, we wasted the day. Wasted the morning.”

WAS TEAM FEELING TOO GOOD ABOUT ITSELF? “Maybe. I don’t know. I try to be honest, like I said. We got a message. I think they know we got a lot of improvement to do. And I don’t want to — it is what it is. I’m not going to sit here and beat down negatives every day. We’ve got to get better, and we know that. They’re working to get better. But today we didn’t.”

DID ZA’DARIUS SMITH PLAY? “No.”

ON CODY QUINN’S ANKLE? “He’s out right now. He’s out today.”

DID THIS KIND OF PRACTICE HAPPEN AT FLORIDA STATE? “Unfortunately, yes. When you’re going through this many practices, there’s going to be some that are not as good. But we can’t afford it. We’re not good enough to waste reps and to go out here and go through the motions. And more than anything, it’s just our habits and our attitude that we need to change and we need to get better. And that’s got to come – our coaches do a great job. We’ll motivate when we have to. I’ll motivate when we have to and all that. But you have to have some of that from the team. Some pride about that that comes up through the team that pushes everybody, that gets everybody on the same page, and have some pride about what we do.”

DID PLAYERS KNOW HE WAS UPSET? “I think they had a pretty clear picture of it today. They could see when I’m upset.”

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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