DEMAREE: Brooks on Kentucky

Coach Rich Brooks has been known as a straight shooter. When UK has been bad in the past, he has said they were bad. This year at SEC Media Days he said he had a good football team. He will go out of his way to point out players to watch as future stand-outs. At the kickoff luncheon, he said that red shirt freshman Ricky Lumpkin will have an impact at defensive tackle.

Here are some more of Coach Brooks' thoughts expressed recently--

Question: You haven't shied away from telling people this team is going to be pretty good. You are a guy that really doesn't go out a say bogus things?

Brooks: "I said last year I thought we had a team that could go to a post season bowl. It would be pretty disingenuous of me to say we didn't have a good football team this year because we do and we just have to go out on the field and beat people we haven't beaten."

Question: Would you say with a schedule like this, you have to try an rein in the expectation of people?

Brooks: "I don't think you can rein in the expectations of our fans. These same fans expected us to beat these same schools with 68-scholarship players. Huh!, now here we are, we have a good football team. We've just got to go out on the field and prove it."

Question: With the fans and the great expectations, how do you want your team to react?

Brooks: "I hope they approach it like they approached last season and particularly the latter half of last season. I think they are excited as I am about what we can do if we put our minds to it. They know they are capable now, it is just a matter of executing and going out on the field and making it happen."

Question: Have you ever had this many guys with pre-season honors?

Brooks: "No not this many. I've had two or three on the offensive side and or two or three on the defensive side but not as many as this group. It is kind of interesting that the coaches and the media can pick it but they still put us down at the bottom."

Question: Andre (Woodson) was kind of a rock star in Birmingham, how is he handling that?

Brooks: "I think he's handling it very well. We will see when we get on the field and see when we line up against Eastern Kentucky. But he's shown a new sense of responsibility."

Question: Are you surprised Woodyard didn't make first team on defense?

Brooks: "Yeah, I'm surprised, but I think if our numbers improve on defense, then these awards will come at a lot better and a lot easier. Just like offense improved last year, I'm surprised Keenan Burton wasn't on the first team, so nothing surprises me any more. It just leaves us with some work left to do!"

Question: Is this team as good as your Rose Bowl team?

Brooks: "Yes, I think it is but we are talking about a Rose Bowl team that was from another era."

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