There was a different sort of Mark Stoops on the stage.
Speaking in front of a blue-hued, partisan Kentucky Kickoff Luncheon crowd on Friday, UK's head coach seemed relaxed.
He fired off anecdote after anecdote, and funny stories about recruiting coordinator and friend Vince Marrow among other things.
Stoops seemed more calm and comfortable.
Never miss a local story.
When asked after the event at the Hyatt if his ease was related to more confidence in his team as it heads into fall camp, Stoops nodded. "I think so. ... You definitely feel more confident, as you should going into year three with a team."
Many of the Stoops quips were set up nicely by coordinators Shannon Dawson and D.J. Eliot, who joined him on the stage Friday afternoon.
When Dawson, the Cats' new offensive coordinator, said he was excited about UK's depth, especially at the skill positions, he noted it was "the most depth that I've had, which is good.
"We always struggled with that the last place I was at, but coming here, with a lot of young talented kids that haven't had a lot of experience," Dawson continued.
Before Stoops jokingly interjected: "You've been blessed not to be here the first two years."
Then there was Stoops' story of how defensive tackle Matt Elam joined him at his house to watch a mixed martial arts fight and kept the coach up late chatting.
"I looked at him and looked at my clock and it's 1:30 in the morning and I'm like, 'Matt, I've got to go to bed,'" Stoops said.
Stoops talked about how several of UK's assistant coaches have been coveted by other schools this offseason, most notably the public attempts to woo Marrow away.
Stoops said he thought he had a long-standing understanding with Marrow, whom he grew up with in the same neighborhood, and played with in high school.
"So I finally had to go back to 'old school southside Youngstown,'" Stoops said.
There were some more serious anecdotes that Stoops tossed out to show how leadership and accountability have changed in his three seasons at Kentucky, not mentioning specific names but noting that one of the younger players challenged one of the veteran players in the weight room about "stepping up to the plate."
"Lo and behold about five minutes later, our older guy's on his back in the weight room," Stoops said. "That's what we need. ... We've got to see guys step up, take charge and be leaders."
If there was any anxiety on Friday for Stoops it was in the wait to get back on the football field with his team for fall camp. Players report Aug. 6.
"I'm much more comfortable on the field," Stoops said of the meet and greet circuit. "I'm ready to get with our guys and coach our guys. That's what I enjoy doing. But this has been fun and there's a lot of exciting things with the team."
As he crosses off each preseason event, Stoops gets more excited because it means he's one step closer to getting back on the practice field.
"I enjoy this, but there comes a point when the talking season's got to end and you've got to get on the field and get going," he said.
And when talking season ends and playing season begins, Stoops told the large crowd at the Kickoff Luncheon he believes they'll see a team that will make them proud.
"I've been proud of their effort," Stoops said. "They've bought into what we're selling. They're working very hard. You're going to see a passionate, fun, exciting group, I can promise you that."