Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: Stoops will take ‘more active’ role in defensive play calling, other tidbits


Opening statement: “Wrapped up a good week so far. I’m anxious to get back on the field. We’ve worked hard this week on ourselves. We’ve worked hard on getting better, being fundamentally better. Like I said early in the week, you can’t beat anybody until you stop beating yourself. That’s what we’ve concentrated on. We’ve had a good week of practice and looking forward to putting the finishing touches on it tomorrow and getting out there Saturday. So, we really need to get back on the field and get the bad taste out our mouth.”

On what he wanted team to get by having police, firefighters, first responders visit practice this week: “It was wonderful. We just wrapped up with Matthew Bradford talking to the team. It’s a real honor to have heroes like that here, and with the police and firefighters and everybody we’ve had this week. It’s been really good for our players to see them and just to invite people out to watch some practice. It’s been a nice week.”

On if he echoes D.J. Eliot's desire to see guys be in right place on Saturday: “Absolutely. That's what we've talked about. We know we play good people that can make plays, and we have to make 'em do that. And that's part of just executing and being fundamentally sound, and that'll help guys play harder and more aggressive and play with that sense of urgency that we're all looking for. Sometimes as you get to trying to call things to stop people, it makes it worse. You got to be able to go out there and win some one-on-one matchups and make 'em earn their yards.”

On Drew this week: He’s been good. He’s been good. He’s been working hard. Had a good week of practice and I anticipate that he’ll bounce back well.

On what improved communication with the secondary looks like: “What’s it look like is just like it sounds — is active communication. So guys looking for the communication whether it be looking at each other and being on the same page, whether it be hand signals or verbal communications. So, we all need to be on the same page.

On if any game day things will change with him taking a bigger role on defense: “No. Not on game day. We did some different things this week that I already addressed but on the game day itself, no. Nothing different. With the exception of me, I will be more active with play calling.”