Stoops, Brown after Saturday practice


“I thought our guys really had a good day. Worked hard. We treated it as a Wednesday practice for Western. Got a lot of good work in, so overall pleased.”

ON ASHELY LOWERY RUNNING WITH THE FIRST TEAM, WILL HE PLAY AGAINST WESTERN KENTUCKY: “Yeah, we do. I am at this point planning on playing Ashely. We will penalize him when and if these charges come about and all that. Right now, we’re just gonna move forward. There’s a lot of unknowns about that situation.”

HOW WILL EXTRA GAME-WEEK STYLE PRACTICES HELP? “It just gets us ahead a little bit. The only thing it’ll affect, it’ll help us possibly taper a little bit earlier next week. I just wanted to get ahead of the chains this week for our first game and just be prepared and just put a little extra time.”

CAN HE CONFIRM THOMAS CHAPMAN IS TRANSFERRING: “Yeah, yeah. He talked about it. He and I had a very good talk. Again, really appreciate Thomas. He’s a wonderful young man and a good person, and he was exploring those options and he and I were on the same page that if he was able to receive a scholarship then he was possibly going to explore that. If not, he was going to stay here and join us in the fall. As of yesterday, that’s where he and I left it. But expect everybody back for the most part. We should be in good shape come Monday. I know you all were out here today at the beginning of practice. A few guys dinged up and things like that, but we should be pretty close to 100 percent come Monday.”

ON CODY QUINN NOT BEING THERE. IS HE STILL WITH THE TEAM? “Oh yeah. Like I said, we should be pretty close to 100 percent come Monday.”

CAN WE ASSUME YOU WON’T BE NAMING A STARTING QB: “Yeah, I don’t see the reason to, really. I think both guys are working extremely hard, and there’s probably no reason for me to name a starter.”

ON MELVIN LEWS: “He’s coming along. He needs the work, getting here late and all that. But he’s a big body and very athletic, and we’ll bring him along and play him if needed.”

ON ELIOT SAYING THERE WILL BE A MIX OF 4-3 AND 3-4 DEFENSES: “We’ve always dabbled; we’ve always done some three-down. We’ve done it before and we’ll continue to work that a little bit.”

ON IF MOLDING SCHEME TO PLAYERS RATHER THAN THE PLAYERS TO THE SCHEME: “Yeah. Just trying to give us the best opportunity to win and just be as multiple as we can within the scheme and with what our guys can handle and execute.”

A COUPLE OF PLAYERS FROM CAMP WHO WERE SURPRISES: “I think it was a good story with Max Godby. That’s a guy that jumped out at us that I think was an unknown coming into camp and has done a very good job. So we’re very pleased and very proud of Max.

“That, and like I said, the freshmen receivers have all been pleasant surprises. Javess Blue is coming along real nice. And our guys have improved, our players. I think…Very happy with Demarco (Robinson). I think he’s been very solid, so I’ve been pleased with the way he’s been practicing.”

ALEX MONTGOMERY HAS CONTINUED TO TURN HEADS? “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. He’s really done a nice job. Yes. He’ll be…He’ll be out there playing quite a bit.”

SENSE OF URGENCY WITH OPENER LOOMING: I did. I felt good about the past two days. I think, like I said, we had a good…Some days you know you come out and everybody’s gung ho on that Tuesday practice and then one Wednesday it tapers a little bit. I thought both days were pretty good, pretty consistent.”

ON PROCESS OF PICKING A STARTER AND WHAT WILL IT INVOLVE? “Yeah. We’ll all make that decision. I mean ultimately I said before, I’ll make that call, but of course Neal (Brown) and the offensive guys work with them every day, and I’m over working with the defense quite a bit. Go with their input, but also everything I’ve seen through spring and through camp. We plan on playing both of those guys, but we’re not going to set anything in stone because if the first guy goes in there and is doing very well, we’ll let him go.”

WILL GAME CREATE SEPARATION BETWEEN THE QUARTERBACKS? Yeah, I think it will. I think it will. You know, when we go forward with that plan and what we’re going to do in that first…you know, the first quarterback…Like I said, we’ll just see how that goes. It’s no different. Everybody talks about it because it’s the quarterback, but it’s not different than any position. I mean anybody, if one person’s doing good then they’re the starter. If they’re not then the next person is in. And that’s the way it is across the board. So, and I know everybody likes to make a big deal because it’s the quarterback — and it is important — but, you know, the first guy will go and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

HOW HE WILL HANDLE GAME OPERATIONS WITH OFFENSE?Yeah. He’ll call all the plays, but obviously I’ll make all the decisions, whether it’s four-down territory or when to take a shot and have some input and things like that. But he’ll call the plays. But I’ll just be there to manage it, and like I said make the decisions on four down or punting and going for it and just, you know, here or there. Here or there think I have a home run in my back pocket (laughs).”

BIGGEST CONCERN BEFORE AN OPENER? “Biggest concern? I think just the overall procedure. That’s why we try to really put ourselves in very difficult situations all through camp and continuously work those situations. Then again, that’s why I wanted to be ahead of the chains and start maybe a couple days early just to make sure that we are all on the same page and procedurally we’re good.”

IS THERE AN OUTSIDE LINEBACKER STARTER OR WILL IT BE BY COMMITTEE: There’s going to be a committee. Kory (Brown) has got to get healthy. Khalid (Henderson) has done and nice job. And we’re working some nickel situations in there as well, just trying to find that depth, trying to find that mix.”

WILL DUPREE STAND UP WHEN MOVING TO A 3-4 OR WOULD IT BE A DIFFERENT PERSONNEL GROUPING? Yeah, we’ll have an opportunity to mix some things up. You know, I don’t want to get into great detail on that, but yeah.”



“We had a good day today. I thought today was much better than yesterday, and yesterday was not bad. We did a Wednesday practice today and I think an in-season practice, our kids had a little better feel for it, knew what to expect, and I thought they executed much better and knew what we expected of them.”

ON ALEX MONTGOMERY BALANCING SPECTACULAR, ONE-HANDED CATCHES AND THE LIKE WITH MAKING SOLID, ROUTINE PLAYS: “Yeah, he’s got great hands, and if y’all haven’t seen his state championship performance – I believe they lost the game, Cypress Bay lost the game, but he played great in the state championship game against I think it was Apopka (Fla.) in his last game in high school. But he’s got the ability to make some great plays. He has really big hands. He has really big hands, and he’s a sure-handed guy. If we can make some great plays, fine. But really, I just want to see routine plays stacked up on top of each other.”

ON WHETHER HE MAKES THOSE ROUTINE PLAYS, TOO: “Yeah, he does. He’s been consistent. He’s really – I can think of two bad days he’s had out of the 19 practices we’ve had so far. So he’s been consistent. I’ve been pleased with him.”

ON MAX GODBY BEING A SURPRISE: “Yeah, he really was. And I think it’s a lesson: He got an opportunity – Zach (Myers) got hurt – and he took advantage of his opportunity. There’s no question about it. I think that’s the way football is. Some people take advantage of their opportunities and some people don’t. He took advantage of his. It was a really neat, neat deal. It was one of those few times were I wished we actually had cameras up there (on the practice field). Coach Stoops kind of spontaneously – we knew that he was kind of thinking about it, but he hadn’t even told the staff – he tells it in front of the whole team that Max got the scholarship. And Max got a little emotional. And all his teammates – you could tell he’s very well-liked and respected by his teammates, because his teammates, they had a big cheer and patted him on the back and it was a neat moment.”

ON WHERE HE’LL CALL PLAYS FROM ON GAME DAYS: “I’ll be on the field. I’ll call the game from the field. I like it down there. I think you get a little better feel for when to use tempo, when to not. You’ve got a better feel for – I like seeing the quarterback when they come off. If they did something well or they did something poorly, I like to immediately talk to them and discuss it.”

WHO WILL BE HIS EYES IN PRESS BOX? “Coach Mainord will be. Coach Mainord will be.”

WILL GAME ACTION GO A LONG WAY TOWARD CREATING QUARTERBACK SEPARATION? “Yeah. I think so. I think so. You only find out a certain amount in practice. We’ll go in and whoever the starter is, they’ll be given some rope. I anticipate playing both quarterbacks, but obviously if one quarterback comes in and plays well, we’re not going to take somebody out if they’re playing well.”

AS A FORMER WALK-ON DO YOU FEEL A KINSHIP WITH SOMEONE LIKE CENTER MAX GODBY? “I think so. I don’t know. I feel a kinship with people who deserve things. He deserved it. Walk-on, scholarship, I just think he deserves it. He’s probably going to be in the starting lineup and starters should probably be on scholarship.”

FEEL BETTER ABOUT POTENTIAL PLAYMAKERS? “I do. I still think they have to do it in a game. I’ve got a good feel of who I think are capable of making plays, now they still have to go out and do it when the lights are on, but I feel like I have a better feel for who those guys are going to be.”

TIGHT END POSITION? “We’ve got a few that are going to play. They each have different skill sets really. Jordan Aumiler is probably the most versatile of the bunch, him and Borden, as far as being able to do it all. A.K. (Anthony Kendrick) can do all the things we want from a slot receiver and he’s not bad with his hand down. Then we’ve got traditional guys like Tyler Robinson and Ligon.”

HOW HAS BORDEN COME ALONG? “He’s getting better. You know, he really has. He hasn’t played much football. He just needs to play. He had a really good scrimmage on Tuesday. I think he had two touchdowns for quite a bit of yardage. So he’s getting better. I’m pleased with his increased improvement.”

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
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