Q&A With Steve Brown

Question: How are your safeties playing going into the season?

Question: How are your safeties playing going into the season?

Brown: "They are coming along. Because we have some injuries to Taiedo Smith and the loss of Dakota Tyler and Josh Gibbs (both for personal reasons) really has us force feeding the young kids all this information. Right now they are a little bit lost, but they are getting better. They are spending extra time and coming in after class to study. We have to get them ready because they are a play away from being in the game."

Question: Will true freshmen Ashley Lowery, Glenn Faulkner and Eric Dixon be ready to play against Western Kentucky Thursday? Brown: "If Smith is not healthy, that thrust (walk-on) Mikie Benton into starting. The kids want to be good and want to do the right thing. They are spending a lot of time mentally to make sure they are prepared."

Question: Is it scary to go into a season with so little experience at safety, considering starter Martavius Neloms was a cornerback last year?

Brown: "It is nothing new. We went into last year with a guy who had never played a down at safety ever in Mychal Bailey. That's what we have got, so we have to be ready to go."

Question: Will Bailey, who is suspended, be back after the opener and how has he been in practice? Brown: "Yes. He has done very well. He is doing a lot of good things. He is a guy that made giant leaps as far as his knowledge of what we are trying to accomplish."

Question: How is Neloms doing?

Brown: "He's doing good. He made the move in the spring (to safety). There are still some things he has not seen as a player during the course of a game, but gaining experience is what he needs. He is exactly what we need at that position."

Question: How do you feel about the play at cornerback?

Brown: "They have all been very good. They are all becoming better technicians. When you talk about Randall Burden and Anthony Mosley (UK's starters), they have done an excellent job being leaders not only of the defense, but on the team. It helps that they have played in a lot of games and are champions when it comes to preparation. We should be pretty good there. They are also setting an example for the young guys as far as work ethic.

"Every play is something still new for them whether it is technique or something else. It is all new, but they are continuing to grow. We started off at a pretty high level as far as their experience and technique. Now it is just a matter of focusing every play so that focus will last a whole game."

Question: How about the depth at cornerback?

Brown: "I feel pretty good. Cartier Rice has done some good things. The loss of (Jerrel) Priester (who quit the team) hurts, but it gives a guy like Dale Trimble, Daylen Hall a chance to get a lot of practice reps and they are all doing good. The key for corners is it is an easy assignment, hard job. You can know what your assignment is, but you still got to go out and cover some of the best receivers in the country. That is why we work hard on technique and not get in uncomfortable positions and panic during a route and something crazy happens."

Question: Who will Winston Guy cover in pass coverage now, or will he cover?

Brown: "It just depends. He really for the most part is covering guys out of the backfield. He will peel on guys when he is rushing. In certain situations he may cover a tight end. But that is not really what we want him to do. We want him to run to the football and do things of that nature. There are times he will have to cover, but not much."

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