LEXINGTON, Ky. --- A Q&A with new Kentucky assistant Gerald Carr, who will coach the Wildcats' running backs this season:
BBD: Why did you decide UK would be a good move for you?
GC: From watching Kentucky and talking to coach (Guy) Morriss, there are some roadblocks going on right now, but I think when all of those things come to light and all of it gets out of the way, this is a good opportunity. I've had the opportunity to coach at a lot of places --- North Carolina, Washington State and Arizona --- and the commitment to win is here. The facilities are great, obviously. I just want to be part of something where I think I can have a major impact, to help get this ship righted and move Kentucky in the right direction.
BBD: What do you bring to the table in that effort to make UK a winner?
GC: A lot of energy, a lot of positiveness, a lot of experience. I'm not a know-it-all guy, but I try to learn it all. And what I try to do is relay that to the players. Sometimes it's not what you see, but how you look at it. And if we can change the way we look at some things, change the way that we think, viewing things in a positive light, I think that will help. I've already told the running backs here now the same thing I told Antwaan Randle El before: Somebody's gotta be All-American, somebody's got to win the SEC. Why not us? You look at the New England Patriots. Somebody had to win the Super Bowl. Why not them? And no one ever thought that they would. So being positive is very important to me.
BBD: How does your NFL experience help when you coach kids who are all interested in making it to the next level?
GC: It really does. From the time you start playing this game as a little kid, you try to emulate all the guys who play on Sunday afternoons. That's the goal for everyone, just like anyone who wants to be at the top of their profession. Everybody wants to have that knowledge and to have that avenue and vehicle that will take them there. And what's better than someone who's been there and knows what it takes. It gets their attention fast. Being in that league gives you instant credibility. It kind of makes your job easier.
BBD: What do you think about the running backs you'll be working with?
GC: I haven't built any preconceived ideas about any of them. I'm going to watch some tape and evaluate each one of them individually, then see in spring practice what they can accomplish. You never know with some of these young kids what kind of jump they can make --- with their body type --- in a year's time. But I'd really like to establish some competition in between each of them where no one really gets into a comfort zone when they're out there on the field. I want them playing like it's their last play, and if they don't, there's always another guy who will go in there and take their job.
BBD: Guy Morriss said your name had stuck in the back of his head for a while. What did you know about him before taking the job.
GC: When I talked to Ray Rhodes about the job, he had some very good things to say about Guy Morriss. And when you go through the interview process, I'm always one to be interviewing the person who's interviewing me. I just felt very comfortable around him when I came here. He's a guy who's a genuine person. He's got my type of personality. He's got a lot of determination to see this thing succeed and get things going at Kentucky. I felt very good about working with him.
BBD: What were some of your observations of this team viewing them from the opposite sideline (at Indiana)?
GC: A good team, and I thought coach Morriss and his staff did a great job of holding things together last year through some tough times. That whole thing that happened before the year was really a shock to the program, but their players kept working hard. I don't know how much of their focus was on us (IU) after losing that close game to Tennessee. That was to our benefit to play that game at that time. But looking back over the season, they lost a lot of close football games that could've gone either way. You're sitting there with an opportunity to be up 28-7 on Tennessee, you have Georgia beat, you're up on a couple of other good teams... That shows you those guys really have a desire to win. Trying to find a way to win and get that first taste of success is the key. Then who knows what can happen.