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UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown: “I’ve got to mold my system to our players”

Click on the photo of Neal Brown to view a video of his remarks Friday.

Click on the photo of Neal Brown to view a video of his remarks Friday.


LOUISVILLE — Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown continued one other stance he’s taken since he left Texas Tech to bring his fast-paced, productive offense to Kentucky. He made no excuses for the lack of depth or talent he inherited during his appearance here Friday at the Jefferson County UK Alumni Club luncheon.

“We’ve got to take what we have and mold them in the best-functioning unit. It doesn’t do any good for the players to mold to my system. I’ve got to mold my system to our players,” Brown said.

Sounds simple, but often coaches try to make players fit a system even when they don’t and that fails. Ask former UK coach Joker Phillips.

That doesn’t mean Brown is short of questions about the UK offense going into the Aug. 31 opener against Western Kentucky in Nashville.

“I think the biggest thing — and it’s no secret — is wide receiver. We don’t have a single guy back who’s caught a touchdown pass in a game,” Brown said.
Think about that? Brown runs a pass-oriented offense and UK lacks a returning receiver with a touchdown catch. That has to be troubling for him.

“I think our leading receiver has in the upper-20s in catches. So I think that’s the biggest concern,” Brown said. “I’m excited about those guys. It’s been a fun experience getting to go back and work with a lot of youth. We’re going to have four guys back who are no more than a sophomore on scholarship and we brought four guys in, so it’ll be a trying time, but it’ll be a lot of fun. I think those guys are going to be a live group from what I saw, but I think that’s probably the biggest question mark without question.”

The good news there is that Brown said UK “brought four guys in.” That has to mean he still expects junior college receiver Javess Blue to finish his academic work and be on campus soon along with freshmen Ryan Timmons, Jeff Badet and Alex Montgomery who have been in Lexington all summer. But Blue is older, bigger and more experienced — and a huge need for Brown’s Kentucky offense.

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  1. Larry Pup

    They will figure this out. I believe the offense is in good hands. Players have to step up and get it done. I sure hope Blue arrives soon. They need him. I like Coach Brown’s plan. GO CATS!!!!

  2. Larry Pup

    I also like Brown’s plan to use Jo Jo Kemp early on. I think he could be a good one.

  3. Edward

    “I’ve got to mold my system to our players”

    Many first year coaches struggle because they come into a team and attempt to make the existing players change to mold them to the coaches strengths. This approach most often leads to frustration for many of the players because sometimes their talents are not utilized to the fullest extent during a transition phase. Mark Brown on the other hand simply wants to extract the very best skills these existing UK players bring to the field.


  4. Andy

    Javess Blue is scheduled to be on campus August 2nd, which I assumes means he is eligible to play. That would help brown immensely.

    Blue, Robinson, Cunningham, Collins, Legree, Montgomery, Badet and Timmons give Neal options to work with even if freshmen are thrown into the mix. The good thing is some of these players have played in a similar offensive sytem to Browns.

    Sanders, George, Mobley and Kemp will also have to be able to catch out of the backfield in addition to running the ball.

    Kendrick, Aumiller, Robinson, Shields and Borden can be used in a hybrid TE/WR role. Neal has to make sure all the players execute because our margin for error on the offensive side is not in our favor given the lack of depth.

  5. Larry Pup

    Andy that is good news on Blue. I like your thoughts on the inbound freshmen, and use of the TE’s. If UK can stay healthy, they should win a few. Whatever happens, I’m Big Blue all the way. Better days are ahead for sure.

  6. Anonymous

    I like the flexible skills of all the backs and receivers. I know we are going to be limited this year on numbers. After looking at the players we have this year, barring any injuries I feel we can compete in most of our games. With this offense we will surprise some teams. I know of a couple teams who are way overrated, and one of them is only 70 miles away. GO CATS!

  7. Love SEC F-Ball

    I continue to be very impressed with Neal.
    He has a lot of common sense to go along with a brilliant offensive mind.
    Good video.

    1. larryvaught

      Do not come any better than Neal Brown on or off the field

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