Kentucky O.C. Brown speaks after Cats hold second practice
It was Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown’s turn to speak to the media Tuesday following the team’s second practice of the summer, and just like head coach Mark Stoops on Monday Brown gave little indication as to who might be the front-runner in the team’s quarterback competition.
Instead, the Wildcats’ offensive mastermind said he has been working with all the quarterbacks – Patrick Towles, Drew Barker, Reese Phillips and Maxwell Smith (still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery) – on situational football, and admitted he is “probably coaching them harder and being more intense with them early in camp than I normally am,” indicating he is treating the competition as a wide-open race.
“I’m keeping track of every throw they make,” Brown said after Tuesday’s early-morning practice, according to the Courier-Journal’s Kyle Tucker. “I’m talking about it, talking about situational football a lot.”
Brown’s hope is to get his Air Raid offense operating at a much faster pace than it did in his first year at Kentucky in 2013. He admitted Tuesday the team is using a “new system” which involves just one word and/or one signal, allowing the players on the field to think less and react faster. He also noted the benefits to being in his second year in the program and having returning players with a working knowledge of the offense.
But for the second day in a row, dropped passes at the skill positions overshadowed the quarterback competition. Stoops ducked a question about the quarterback competition following Monday’s practice and instead focused on his skill players’ relationships with all four quarterbacks on the practice field.
Brown spoke about the drops Tuesday and expressed confidence it won’t become a recurring issue for the offense as camp progresses.
Towles remained positive following the team’s first practice of the summer on Monday despite numerous reports of dropped passes throughout the practice.
Good first day! We are so much better since the spring! #BBN
— Patrick Towles (@patty_ice14) August 4, 2014
Brown admitted his players “dropped some passes (during Tuesday’s practice). But we caught the ball really well today. I don’t anticipate that being an issue at all, like it was at times last year. During team period, we may have had one drop. I don’t anticipate that being a problem going forward.”