Dicky Lyons had the expected reaction when Kentucky coach Rich Brooks questioned his leadership and play.
"I was mad at first that he said that about me, but you go back and think about it and it is just like when you think you are playing hard and you are not. I thought I was being a leader, but when I look back I was not helping these kids enough. I was getting their spirits up but I was not getting on them enough," said Lyons, UK's senior receiver.
The more Lyons thought about what Brooks said, the more he realized he may have focused too much on his knee problems (tendonitis) and individual play rather than mentoring Kyrus Lanxter, Terrence Jones and Anthony Mosley like he should have.
"I have to be more of a vocal leader," Lyons, UK's top returning receiver, said. "I really have not done it that much right now. I didn't know how much I wasn't being a leader until coach Brooks told me. I looked back and I was sick about it."
Kentucky coaches also worry about how summer workouts will go. The last two years, Brooks and his staff credited the summer workouts for much of UK's success in back-to-back bowl seasons.
"There has not been much trouble here with the workouts. I am staying the whole summer. I am not taking any days off," Lyons said. "I have already talked to a whole bunch of guys. A lot of these guys have not played, and they want to be ready. They have already told me they are going to stay the whole summer and want me to teach them so they will be ready to start at tight end or receiver. These guys know what it takes to win. We'll be fine this summer."
Lyons won't take the excuse that UK's improved defense and inexperience at quarterback with the graduation of quarterback Andre Woodson has made it harder for UK's receivers to shine this spring.
"It is a little bit of both with the defense improving and the receivers being young. But I am to blame, too," he said. "I should have got on these guys a little harder. I get on myself, too. Nobody is a bigger critic of myself than me.
"I have these knee problems I have been working through, but that is no excuse not to come out here and work hard while I am out here. Young guys saw that and I have to lead by example and get out here and work harder. They want to learn. They are trying to do well.
"But it just takes time to understand. You can be out here and think you are doing good and think you are trying, but in the eyes of everybody else you are not even when you think you are because you don't know what it takes yet. My job is to help make sure they understand that, and I haven't done my job. It's my fault the receivers have not done better."
Lyons seeking to be a more vocal leader
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