Daily football notes: Full pads, Mansour and a practice that sounds worthy of the SEC

UK football had its first practice in full pads Tuesday. Here’s some of head coach Joker Phillips’ quotes from the day:

  • “Another good day in terms of competing, in terms of attitude. Again, got to continue to play smart. We got guys all over the place on the ground, and that’s when you start to get injuries.”
  • All the talk in the preseason has been on the defense. It sounds like it’s about the same — plenty of effort, but still taking time to adjust to everything. “Defensively, they don’t always know what they’re doing, but they are running really hard to the football, trying to create minus-yard plays and turnovers.”
  • Back in the spring, the coaches wanted full-pads practice to sound like an SEC-caliber practice. Did they hear that today? “It definitely sounds like it. We’ve got some collisions. Especially against that offensive line. If you don’t come off the ball hard against those guys, you’re ending up on your back.”
  • On sophomore kicker Joe Mansour: “He’s a lot further along than he was last year. We’re asking him to do both kicking and punting duties as well. I think he could be a factor for us. He’s on the kickoffs, also. And he’s been doing some PATs so he can be a backup. He’s the only one of our four kickers doing all three (types of kicks).”
  • The depth chart at tight end is deep, and while Phillips hasn’t seen any definitive separation, he likes the increased competition.”Some of them are fighting a little bit harder. That’s exciting to see. Because I’ve been here when we didn’t have a lot of competition at a lot of positions.”
  • Phillips said this going full pads was a good indicator for where certain freshman are. “When we put the pads on, there were a few of them who didn’t shy away from contact. … And those are the guys we have to zero in on and get them ready.”
  • Phillips wants to incorporate more defensive players on kickoff coverages. “We can’t use just offensive guys to cover kicks for us. That hurt us last year.”

UK will practice twice tomorrow. The morning session will be in full pads and the afternoon session will be in shells.