Kentucky defensive coordinator Steve Brown will have plenty of tools to work with as he enters his first season as the team's defensive coordinator this fall.
One of those experienced faces will be linebacker Wesley Woodyard, clearly one of the team's top defensive players. Brown said he's happy to have a player of Woodyard's caliber on the defensive side of the ball.
"He's a good solid player," Brown said. "He has to work on all the little things to be great. He's working his butt off to do that. He's always going to be a leader by example. He's a great leader. He's set the example and sets the bar up pretty high and now we just try to get everyone else to do that."
Woodyard doesn't mind being the team's voice and leader by example.
"The guys look up to me," he said. "It's good those guys can feed off of my intensity and learn from my mistakes."
While Brown counts Woodyard as one of his "solid" players on defense, he is hoping the rest of the players can follow his lead and keep climbing the ladder of progression.
"We've got to get those solid guys to become great. We've got to get those guys who are OK to become good, and that's when you start to become a great defense."
Brown added that his team needs to keep improving in order to reach team and individual goals.
"We don't have anybody who is the first pick of the first round right now," Brown said. "They all have a long way to go as far as personal development.
"But, it's nice to have those guys you feel are solid."
During spring workouts, Brown dwelled on the positive and tried to help his players shy away from dwelling on the negative aspects of the game.
"There are going to be errors, but the main thing is that they are not afraid to make mistakes if they play hard. In the past, if they mistake we would get on them hard and all of the sudden then they were afraid to do anything."
"They had some confidence and had some freedom in their mind and just went out there and played football."
As a result, Woodyard said the team took a step forward throughout the spring.
"This spring we took advantage of the opportunity to get better every day in practice," he said. "I can see it in the guys' eyes. They wanted to get better every time they were on the field practicing. There was a lot of heart and a lot drive to get better out there every day."