Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: House breaks down what he needs to see from defense in Saturday scrimmage

On freshmen defensive backs: “A lot of potential. A lot of potential. There’s great competition back there. I think they’ve shown up some but they also, as you put more in, they kinda take a step back then take a step forward. But definitely some potential there.”

On how the defense looked in today’s practice: “I thought it was good. I thought the offense got the better of us in team run, but it was physical. I thought at the end we really turned it up in the red zone. It was a good back and forth practice. I’ll tell you what, it’s fun to see guys making plays. Making contested plays, whether it’s offense or defense. I thought that’s how the practice went. Ebb and flow, but both sides made competitive plays.”

On Eddie Gran saying the offense had its cleanest practice Saturday and if that’s been the case for the defense: We’ve been cleaner and cleaner as we’ve gone. I thought yesterday there were a couple of things that got a little sloppy, but we put some third down coverages in. That’s to be expected a little bit.”

On if Quinton Bohanna has gotten more reps: “Yeah, he’s done a great job. He’s really attacked every rep. I think he’s gotten better every practice. He’s taking advantage of his opportunities.”

On if Jamin Davis can help them this season: “There’s great competition. We’ll have to see coming out of the next couple of scrimmages.”

On what he wants to see from Saturday’s scrimmage: “No. 1, stop the run. We want to continue to see the guys straining for the football and guys having situational football awareness, understanding whether it’s third and long, understanding when the ball gets into the strike zone, the red zone and just play football, not just run calls.”

On Darius West: “You know, he’s flashed some and he’s got some areas where he needs to improve.”

On if it’s mental stuff: “Mental — I think he’s got to have a — I think he’s done a good job physically. He’s got to put more of an onus on, ‘Hey, I’ve got to improve mentally every practice.’”

On what he means by ‘play football’ in reference to scrimmage: “So much of when we go out here in practice, practice is scripted. You have a team run period, you have a third-down period. You move the ball and play in the red zone. A scrimmage, a great thing about it is, you’re playing a whole game, right? So in your own mind, you have to put yourself in that situation that, ‘Hey we just went from normal down and distance to it’s third-and-long without the period flipping it.’ Now the kids have got to play situational football and playing the game.”

On Michael Nesbitt not being here for summer and its effects: “I think anytime you’re not here for the summer, it can’t help. Those guys train hard for a reason. If we could all just show up and go to work, you wouldn’t have summer conditioning. So, yeah, I definitely think that’s been an issue.”

On Kash Daniel this camp versus last camp: “Mentally, he’s a year ahead and you can tell he’s gone through spring ball. It’s hard for a freshman during training camp and so much is coming at you so much faster. You can tell he’s a year more mature.”

On Daniels’ movements: “It’s improved, but it needs to continue to improve.”

On the transition back to coordinator: “It’s having been with Coach Stoops for a year and knowing his personality and what he envisions defensively, I think it’s transitioned pretty smooth.”

On how much he and Stoops work together: “A ton. An absolute ton. He's a great defensive mind. A ton.”

On if their philosophies are similar: “Very similar. We came from similar backgrounds.”

On having so many former defensive coordinators on staff: “You got a lot of great ideas, right? At the end of the day we have discussions, but we come out of the room and we come out with one big blue way. That's the great thing. You got to tailor your ideas to your football team.”

On the chemistry in the defensive staff meeting room: “Absolutely. I think we got a bunch of guys who don't have a bunch of egos, which that's not always the case, and they have one common goal. They want to win. At the end of the day, that's what they want to do. They want to win.”

On how much being a coordinator before helped him transition back into the role: “Anytime you have experience – it's just like we were talking about Kash in camp compared to a year before – anytime you fail forward, right? So you learn from some of your failures and you grow.”

On how long he'll keep his voice this training camp: “It's pretty good right now, isn't it? (Laughter) I told you it was allergies. I'm used to Kentucky now.”

On if it's because he is yelling less: “Eh.” (Laughter)

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