New Kentucky defensive backs coach David Lockwood heard when he went to Minnesota that the Gophers could not beat Ohio State, Michigan or Wisconsin. He knows that is the same approach some have to Kentucky beating Florida, LSU and Tennessee.
"There are similarities between the two situations," Lockwood said. "Before I got to Minnesota, it might have been true that they could not beat those teams. But before I left, those kids got to the point that they believed they had the opportunity to beat anyone. The only team we did not beat in my five years was Ohio State.
"My second year we were up 21 on Michigan going to the fourth quarter and lost. The next year we go up there and lose with a minute to go. Our kids learned they had to finish games. Two years ago we beat them and held them to 275 yards of total offense.
"Our kids learned to believe they could win. We beat Arkansas in the Music City Bowl. We beat Oregon in the Sun Bowl. We beat Alabama in the Music City Bowl. Winning bowl games can do wonders for a team. The kids go into the offseason believing in themselves, the coaches and the program. If you have that, you have a chance. Kentucky has that now after beating Clemson. These kids won eight games last year. They beat Georgia. That has me excited."
Excited is a good word to use with Lockwood. His enthusiasm has no limits.
He's not even concerned about coaching the position that new UK defensive coordinator Steve Brown did the last four years. He's also not worried about going from being a defensive coordinator like he was at Minnesota to working under Brown.
"For some guys, it is a grind. For some guys, it is a good experience and transition to go from coordinator to position coach," Lockwood said. "The bottom line is he has the final say-so. There is more than one way to skin a cat. I will go to him with ideas. If he does not want to do it, then we move on.
"Coach Brown will listen if you believe in something and can back it up. If it gets to the point he makes a decision, great. The bottom line we are going to stay together."
Lockwood is staying busy now studying film and trying to get to know the players he'll be coaching when spring practice starts in late March.
"With some kids, you can hit off just like that. For other kids, it takes a while," Lockwood said. "There will be some kids that will fully accept me before spring practice. There will be some still wondering if we are going to do something different. Until we have success on the field, there will always be a little doubt. Once it is apparent this is the way we are going, they will be fine. And I understand that."
Lockwood knows bowl win will help UK
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