As a football coach, you're always thinking ahead, placing personnel. The offseason isn't for beach chairs and fishing poles, it's for polishing up a fall practice plan in preparation for when the curtain lifts on that season opener.
And then, about a week or so out, you are Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman and you are told that your best, most experienced player won't be playing in that first game.
That would be enough to make a coach's head explode.
Not Schlarman, who took the unexpected news of Darrian Miller's disciplinary measure with the calmness of someone who, frankly, didn't have time to lose his mind.
Hello, Plan B.
"We're always preparing for the 'next guy up' mentality," Schlarman, himself a former UK offensive lineman, said after Tuesday's practice.
The man down came as a surprise. The soft-spoken Miller had been a rock among the land rovers, a three-year letterman who has made 24 consecutive starts. The former Bryan Station star is also a kid, and no one is perfect.
"He's done what he's needed to do," said head coach Mark Stoops when announcing the penalty on Monday. "He'll be back game two."
"Darrian has responded like a grown adult, a man who has taken responsibility for his actions," Schlarman said. "Been very proud of him."
The dogs bark but the caravan rolls on, however. No one's canceling Saturday's season-opener with Tennessee-Martin because UK is short a left tackle.
"It's subtle differences," Schlarman said when asked about swapping sides. "Just getting used to operating out of that stance. Offense, assignment-wise, there's not that big a difference."
The biggest difference is the two newcomers on the right side of the line, a pair of redshirt freshmen who will not only be making their first collegiate starts Saturday, but will be playing in their first collegiate games.
Kyle Meadows will start at right tackle in place of Swindle. Ramsey Meyers will start at right guard.
Meadows is a 6-foot-5, 300-pound member of the Bluegrass Buckeye Club, the contingent of Ohio natives who crossed the southern border to play SEC football.
"He's very athletic," Schlarman said of the former Lakota High School star from West Chester. "He's got great speed out there on the edge for a tackle, so he can handle a speed rush. He's come a long way on his run blocking, so we've been really pleased with that."
Is that the necessary coach-speak about someone shoved into a starting role?
"No," Schlarman said. "He had definitely made a move, a big-time move."
Meadows has certainly put on big-time weight, adding 50 pounds since he first entered a UK dining room.
"Just eat, work out and sleep," he explained.
Meyers is a 6-4, 305-pound product of Orange Park, Fla., who won his starting spot during fall camp in part because he was always looking for contact.
"He brings a physical game to the table," Schlarman said. "He's not afraid to mix it up and do the dirty work. He'll get good movement in the running game. He's really progressed in his pass blocking."
Forced to watch a year ago, Meyers is jacked up in expectation of his first college hit.
"The fact that it's here is very exciting," he said.
Over on the right side, Meadows expects a few Saturday butterflies. After the first play, all should be fine, he said. Schlarman has prepped him on what to do. So has Swindle.
"I've got a lot of confidence in Kyle Meadows," Towles said Tuesday.
Along with left guard Zach West and center Jon Toth, the gang of five played together some during the spring game and have taken reps as a unit during camp.
"They've gotten a lot of reps, even dating back to the fall," Schlarman said. "I'm very confident in this group."
Nothing mind-blowing here. Three days out, all is calm on the offensive front.