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Upset Stoops after “wasted practice” says team has to “have some more pride about what we do”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky players got to see the angry side of coach Mark Stoops Friday.

For the first time since he was hired in December, Stoops was not happy with his team’s effort in practice and did not mince words about it.

“Very poor day, to be honest with you. Very frustrated. Had to start certain segments over again today. Just very weak mentally, physically. Just a very average day. So very disappointed,” Stoops said.

Stoops said not to think it was just coaching rhetoric at this point in preseason training camp that had him blasting his team.

“If I’m happy, I tell you. If I’m disappointed, I tell you. There’s no game, there’s no reason. I don’t have it on my calendar to be mad today. Just disappointed,” Stoops said.  “I was loud. I was not happy, let’s put it that way. We got to have some more pride about what we do. We got to have some more leadership. We got to have some more toughness. And we didn’t have any of that today.”

Stoops wasn’t through, either.

“Mentally weak. Physically weak. Just a lack of focus to details and pushing yourself to do the right things. Just execution,” he said. “Execution always looks worse on the offense because they’ve got to do things even on error. So I was just disappointed all the way around because I thought we were very poor execution-wise on defense and on offense.”

Stoops hoped players were mad at him when practice ended.

“If they’re not, then we’ve got real issues, because I’ve said all along, I believe we have good kids here, and they mean well, but we have to have some toughness to us, some fight about us, or we’re going to have a long year,” Stoops said.

“We wasted it today. That’s exactly what I told them, we wasted the day. Wasted the morning.”

Did the players know how upset he was, especially with a full scrimmage slated for Saturday?

“I think they had a pretty clear picture of it today. They could see when I’m upset,” Stoops said.

Linebacker Khalid Henderson said Stoops’ message was not hard to understand.

“We just had a bad day and he let us know. We know it, he knew it. It was unacceptable and we won’t let it happen again,” Henderson said.

“I think they know we got a lot of improvement to do. And I don’t want to — it is what it is. I’m not going to sit here and beat down negatives every day. We’ve got to get better, and we know that. They’re working to get better. But today we didn’t,” Stoops said.

He admitted that Florida State sometimes had similar practices when he was defensive coordinator there.

“When you’re going through this many practices, there’s going to be some that are not as good. But we can’t afford it. We’re not good enough to waste reps and to go out here and go through the motions,” Stoops said. “And more than anything, it’s just our habits and our attitude that we need to change and we need to get better.

“And that’s got to come. Our coaches do a great job. We’ll motivate when we have to. I’ll motivate when we have to and all that. But you have to have some of that from the team. Some pride about that that comes up through the team that pushes everybody, that gets everybody on the same page, and have some pride about what we do.”

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10 comments

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  1. goUKats

    Sounds like last years team showed up.Reading this commentary is so similar to some of the quotes printed in the past.Hopefully the players get their heads on straight.

  2. Dave Hopewell

    Now the team better respond. Now we are getting to the brass tax…

    I like the way Coach Stoops put it too…”because I’ve said all along, I believe we have good kids here, and they mean well, but we have to have some toughness to us, some fight about us, or we’re going to have a long year,”

    And that my friends is well said.

  3. Ira

    When you have a culture of not winning, at times it can be hard to change that mindset.
    The old ” we ain’t gonna win anyway, what does it matter” routine starts slipping in. Stoops and staff have been battling that for awhile. Think they did a good job of turning it aside for the most part, but sounds like it creeped back in a little today. Kids got lazy. Coach Stoops is right, we aren’t good enough yet to have a lazy practice. Years from it.

  4. MikeF

    The biggest difference in 2013 will be leadership. Everything this staff has done has been successful and they will not settle for mediocrity. Knowledgable UK football fans know it won’t be fair to expect too much this year, however, they also will not be suprised if this team exceeds expectations….the entire positive approach and much higher standard for what is acceptable will reap dividends. I was totally impressed by the lack of confusion by the offense during the entire Spring game. Hopefully, we can have a minmal year of injuries.

  5. Georgia Blue

    Its amazing when our team have a bad practice. It reflect what we did last year. You have to remember every teams have bad practice. You hated as a Coach but it happen to every programs during fall camp. At the next practice as players, you make sure it doesn’t happen again and as leaders of the team. You push every position to fight to the end and if you have to carry them with you do that to for your team. I can care less what happen last year. I don’t like hearing about last year. This team doesn’t need to be reminded about last year. I am just glad to see that we have something in place where our players can compete in the SEC. Just look at their body and thank Coach Koreem for that. He has done a helluva job in just 8 months and just after 1 or 2 years with these boys and the recruits coming in what their body will look like under Koreem. I am not looking back. I am looking forward to the FUTURE CATS.

  6. Larry Pup

    I like what Khalid Henderson said “it was unacceptable, and we won’t let it happen again.” That says a lot. Coach is right in what he said, he sugar coats nothing, and I like it. This team will come around in due time with this guy calling the shots.

  7. Little Baron

    All accurate posts … enjoyed reading them.

    I agree we have to look forward but it’s also a bit like the Calipari staff replacing the decade long decline under tubby & Clyde, Can’t just sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened, or we get another Joker.

    So, hope we exceed all expectations ( reasonable ones anyway) !

  8. Juan4UK

    I think its a bit simpler than all that. Yesterday was a full day at the pool. Weak legs, tired minds. A planned test that our guys didn’t pass.

  9. ukscat

    Is Rock Oliver out as far a FB ?
    Just the BB strength coach ?

    1. larryvaught

      Rock has disappeared from the football scene. Listed no place in the media guide

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