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UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown offers insights on Kentucky quarterbacks

UK coach Neal Brown talks during Football Signing Day. (Victoria Graff photo/all rights reserved)

UK coach Neal Brown talks during Football Signing Day. (Victoria Graff photo/all rights reserved)

Question: Can all three of the potential starting quarterbacks — Reese Phillips, Patrick Towles, Drew Barker — make the throws necessary to move the chains and stretch the field?  Who in your opinion of the three potential quarterbacks has the best overall understanding of your offense?
UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown: “I think they are all very similar. Towles and Reese have been in the meetings for a year longer. They have had a full spring and full fall being in the meetings and are a full year ahead of Drew, so they may be a little ahead as far as understanding. But Drew has done a good job of working and picking up things fast.”

Question: Which quarterback candidate is able to run the ball most effectively on any type of passing down?
Brown: “They are really about equal. None of them are what I would call running quarterbacks in the fact that you are not going to call a running play for them. But I think all three of them are athletic enough to be a factor when plays break down.”

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  1. Jim

    Just from what I saw in the spring game, one of the three has much weaker arm. It was obvious.

  2. Paul

    Man, I feel so sorry for Max. His HS coach said he had one of the best arms to come out of SO CAL in 25 years. He may not be the future but he’s still on campus. Never know what may happen. He’s left a lot of good health on the field. Thanks, Max.

  3. Larry Pup

    Brown answered the second question but did not really answer the first question on arm strength, etc. and making the necessary throws needed to move the offense down the field. He probably didn’t really want to answer that one, it would be telling. Arm strength is important, but it ain’t everything.

  4. Anonymous

    Brown is very “politically correct” in his answers to any QB questions. I truly believe that DEEP-DOWN, the coaches are hoping that Barker can have a summer of growth that will permit them to start him at QB. They are waiting to see how his development from Spring has evolved and if not enough, they will then name Towles #1, Philips #2, and position Barker for a RS. If Barker is close, then they may plan on starting him in each of the first 3 games to give him the real world experience to prepare him for the SEC schedule. Barker’s leadership ability and respect within the group of recruits may be the factor that puts him on top.

    1. Larry Pup

      I would be surprised if the starting UK QB is anybody other than Patrick Towles. He has gotten enough press for sure this summer, and has been around, so it’s sort of his turn. I feel for Max, but then he has had his chances, and I do not feel he will ever be back taking game snaps with the QB’s UK has now. I don’t think it will be Barker starting, and I suspect a RS year would do him wonders. He will be a great UK QB in time. He could take the job next year with a year to grow in the system. If you listened to Brown’s answer, he as much as said that. The mystery to me is Reese. I like his demeanor and his skills as a QB, and he more than held his own in the SG IMO. Some question his arm strength, but he can sling it far enough to move the chains. But if I were gambling on this, I think Towles gets the nod.

  5. David

    Here are the words of coach Brown written in the courier journal.

    On Phillips: “I like Reese’s demeanor a lot. He’s the same every day. I really feel like going into games he’s going to be the same regardless of who we’re playing and what situation. I don’t think he’s going to be in awe of anything. I don’t think any situation is going to be too big for him. I think he’s going to be flatline, and I think that’s really important. He’s a tough kid, mentally and physically. He’s a kid that’s a natural leader; people are drawn to him. He’s got a really quick release. He throws the best ball probably of the three, as far as being catchable. He’s the most accurate.”

    Most accurate, most catchable ball. Wow! Read for yourselves


    1. Anonymous

      Thank you for hearing what the coach is saying!

    2. Edward

      Those attributes sound like many of the Saban discriptions of AJ McCarron. A game manager is what the Tide HC called AJ. BP has sometimes had good QB’s, never great one’s.

      Also keep this response from the OC in mind:

      Question: Will you have the quarterback under center more this season since you have powerful running backs to run play-action passes?

      Brown: “That is something that is more game plan oriented. We did it last year in the Tennessee game and had some success. We like to do it in our hurry-up situation and get under center. A couple of quarterbacks feel more comfortable than others do. Reese Phillips did it in high school, so he felt comfortable and why we did it in the spring with him.”

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