D-Line coach Rick Petri discusses his players

Kentucky Sports Report's Larry Vaught recently went one-on-one with Kentucky defensive line coach, Rick Petri. The coach discussed his defensive lineman, and how they are progressing.

Kentucky defensive line coach Rick Petri shared his thoughts on his unit with Kentucky Sports Report:

Question: Your front is playing well, but since you are the coach, what are they not doing well?

Petri: "I am always on them about technique. That is what saves you at key times when there is a problem. When things get really tight, you have to be able to fall back on your techniques. If somebody goes no huddle and or does something you have not seen or things get hectic, you need a base to fall back on. That's where we have to keep getting better."

Question: How well was Ricky Lumpkin playing before he sprained his ankle?

Petri: "Ricky had a great game against Norfolk State. He was having fun. Right now he's having fun with football, and he's working, or he was before he got hurt. You can learn how to have fun and work and not just have fun. There is a difference there and he was figuring out that fine line where you can go out there, fly around and have some fun in practice and still work hard. But I'm confident he'll still do that when we get him back."

Question: Has Myron Pryor figured out the same thing?

Petri: "I think he is really working hard. He is a quiet guy and does not say much. He does his talking quietly. He has worked really hard. You are never healthy when you play defensive line. Not from the first day of pads until the season ends. There is always something that is going to hurt. But he is moving around, feels good and he is making plays and is playing with confidence and having fun doing it."

Question: What about your other tackle, Corey Peters?

Petri: "He is a very, very steady player. He gives us a lot of versatility, too, because he can play both tackle positions. He can play a lot of snaps, too. He is smart and understands the game. He is good during the game as far as when things happen, he can relate it to me on the sideline and tell me what they are doing. When I watch it on Sunday, he's usually right. That is a big plus. And he makes plays, too. He has made some big plays for us in his career and I expect him to make a lot more in the next two years, too."

Question: So is your front as good as any in the SEC?

Petri: "I think we can be good. Let's wait until the end of the year when we can say who is this or that. There is a lot of football left. We have to get into the SEC and find out where we are, but I think we can be very productive. We are playing with a lot of pride and if keep our focus and work ethic I think we can be a special group. and I have told them that."

Question: But isn't it nice that at least that is a legitimate question now?

Petri: "But at least we can talk about it now. These guys have been involved in the growing pains here. I am sure they remember those past dues and paying the price to get the benefits we are now."

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