Phillips feels the offensive line needs work

The Mayor of UK Football, Lonny Demaree, delves into the needs of the offense, and gets the low down on frosh Chandler Burden.

Brooks ran 20 plays Saturday and twenty-five minutes of plays on Wednesday in full pads. He expressed reasonable satisfaction in both situations.

However offensive coordinator Joker Phillips was not so happy with the second set of scrimmage plays. Left tackle Garry Williams has the responsibility protecting the backside of the quarterback and Justin Jeffries has the pass-pro responsibilities on the other flank.

The second set of scrimmage plays were primarily third down situations, which consisted of mostly pass blocking in pass protection for Michael Hartline.

"I think Mike (Hartline) did a good job seeing the field," Phillips said. "I don't think he was protected well enough. The young receivers did a good job of getting open. We've just got to protect our quarterback better. On third down the pass rush can pin their ears back and come after the quarterback. They've (defensive linemen) got their tails up in the air and coming hard and we are not protecting well enough."

The coach was asked if it was the improved defense or the lack of technique on the outside?

"We are not executing, we're letting them get an the edge of us and not protecting the quarterback. I'm really not pleased with the way our protection is going up front. I think our quarterback is seeing the field real well and then there was one time that the receivers didn't sight-adjust. It was Dickyy (Lyons), Dicky's go to be there. When two guys come and we can't block them we've got to sight-adjust and Mike's trying to get out of his hands in a hurry and we didn't get it out in time because the receiver ran the wrong route."

Senior Garry Williams in going into his third year as a full-time starter and Justin Jeffries, though he's played two years, is going into his second full year as a full time starter. A lot is expected of those guys going into this season because UK is going into the season with a relatively green starting quarterback. As important as that is they have a stable of dangerous running backs to block for. As additional blocking help, Brooks said he will use a little more two-tight end sets but better yet, two allow the speedy back to get on the edge.

As the season nears there's every reason to believe the offensive line as a whole will be better prepared; having gone against what is expected to be a much improved defensive line and front seven.

Who are some of the people Williams and Jeffries are going against in practice daily? Williams, the two time second-team All-SEC tackle talked about his practice challenges.

"All-SEC Jeremy Jarmon's got strength and is quick," said Williams. "(Nii Adjei) Oninku is a technique guy. He is technically sound. And Johnny (Williams, a linebacker) is at d-end a little bit. He's a speed rusher – he's got a little speed, so all those guys help me tremendously."

Though he sees Jarmon sporadically, on the other side Jeffries sees other d-ends on his side.

"We've got a heck of a defense," Jeffries said. "Defense is going to be one our strong points this year. It's so nice to be able to practice against a really, really good defense."

He was asked who was the hardest guy to go against in practice?

Jeffries indicated Ventrell Jenkins was the roughest to match up against. He said, "(Ventrell) Jenkins is very explosive and very fast and he uses that to he best of his ability. I go against him play, after play, after play."

What about the rave reviews freshman defensive end Chandler Burden 6-foot-5, 290-pounds, is receiving?

"He is strong, very strong," said Jeffries, who has to go against him the most. "He needs to learn some stuff but once he learns he's going to be a very good player. Me being a veteran, I have some stuff for him. He's pretty fast – he is a load to say the least."

Williams said - "He's (Burden) just to get a feel for the game. He's real raw right now. When he came in and put 225-pounds 29-times on the bench, everybody said wow." Brooks said he is already the strongest player on the team.

Williams said they are working on a new way to set, but once they get it down they will be all right. "Coach Heggins is working on it with us every day."

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