By LARRY VAUGHT
New Kentucky quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw has been very open talking about the challenges he faces putting together the offense at Kentucky.
He talked to media members Tuesday morning and seem to take a little bit of a shot at former offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.
“I don’t know what they’ve done in the past, but their footwork wasn’t where it needs to me,” said Hinshaw.
Now remember of UK’s three scholarship quarterbacks, only one — Drew Barker — was here last season when Dawson was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Gunnar Hoak is a freshman who enrolled at UK in January and Stephen Johnson is a junior college transfer who arrived in January.
So what is wrong with the footwork?
“What I coach is not taking big steps in the pocket. When you take big steps, you’re not able to throw the whole time that you’re stepping, OK? So I teach ’em to take smaller steps so they’re feet are underneath them, and they’ve got to be able to move their feet quick in the pocket to be able to deliver the ball,” Hinshaw said.
“Well, they’re not used to doing that so we’ve got to start from scratch with a lot of that stuff.”
He says quarterbacks are accurate when they have their feet underneath them.
“That’s why you see the NFL guys do so well. Tom Brady, that’s why Peyton Manning has had so much success. His footwork is incredible for such a big guy to be able to throw on time and be able to get the ball out,” Hinshaw said. “That’s what we got to build, is great footwork with our releases and everything else we’re doing.”
Hinshaw says he shows the quarterbacks film of New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees doing the same drills in college before he was making big money.
“I’m showing them Drew Brees doing the drill, and then I’m showing them Gunnar Keil at Cincinnati, who just threw 50 touchdowns in two years, showing them Brendan Kay, who went to the Pittsburgh Steelers doing the same drills, it makes them understand that we’re not just doing them to do them,” Hinshaw said.
“And then I take the drills and then show them game footage of us using the drills in game footage. So, when we’re doing them, it’s not just we’re doing drills to do drills, we’re doing drills we actually use. When I’m throwing dummies at them and they’re having to get out of the way, then I show them a clip of Drew Brees having a linebacker fly right at his face. He gets out of the way and throws a completion. That’s why we do the drills”
Hinshaw wants his quarterbacks to be “comfortable at being uncomfortable” in the pocket.
“If you get so comfortable back there and then they bring a blitz, and you threw a ball 50 feet over the receiver’s head because you’re not used to being uncomfortable, that’s what’s happened here in the past,” Hinshaw said.
Again, not sure if that was a shot at Dawson. Or maybe even going back to when Neal Brown was offensive coordinator.
“We’ve got to complete that ball even though the linebacker is in our face. So we’re going to be doing drills and all kind of things to get them to understand,” Hinshaw said. “Then we’ve got to go play the game, because at the end of the day we’ve got to go play the game. So, as much reps as we can get it’s going to make us better and better.”