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Record: 6210 (3/13/2012)

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**FOOTBALL PRACTICE NOTES (Wed., Nov. 21)**

  • Not a lot of stuff from today, the last real day of Joker Phillips meeting with the media:

    >>>Kentucky's team will head to a local hotel tonight to have a Thanksgiving meal. After that Phillips will release all of the players who aren't on the travel list to Tennessee so they can go home and be with their families for the long weekend. On Thursday they'll have a morning workout and then let the local guys head home if the want and let anyone else go to Phillips' house or do their own thing.

    I asked Joker if Thanksgiving is one of those days where he can just turn his brain off for a day and enjoy family, friends, players, etc., maybe watch some other football and he had an interesting response:

    "You know what, that's the one that in the 10 years being here, back home at the place you love the most, your brain never turns off because the whole time, from '03 to now, my brain never turned off from trying to figure out how to make this thing better. I really never got a good night's sleep because the whole time my mind was turning about how to make this thing better. You'd wake up in the middle of the night wondering how to make this thing better. Why? Because it's home. I wanted to make it the best it could possibly be.

    "In the last two weeks I think that's changed a little bit and that's why I talked about trying to separate. I wasn't trying to separate from wearing the gear and all that stuff but it allowed me to separate my mind a little bit and let it be clear. It gave me a chance to get some rest. I know it sounds weird but it's the truth."

    >>>Joker was asked why the offensive staff believes Maxwell Smith will have a leg up on the QB competition entering next season. His response:

    "His confidence level and he has the ability to lead a little better right now, and a lot of that has to do with he's been here longer. We didn't perform as well when Max went down because Max was their leader. That's the reason I think he'll be the quarterback here. Now, those other two guys might come a long way, similar to what Max did in one year, but if you had to predict right now I'd think Max would be the quarterback."

    >>>Asked if he might be interested in coaching in the NFL in some capacity, Phillips said he is wide open to what comes next for him:

    "I'm not closing any door right now. When I said I was separating I think someone mentioned not having the logo on, I was going to come today with 'For Rent' (on my shirt). I don't know...I told (equipment manager) Tom (Kalinowksi) to get it for me but he didn't. I wanted a patch with velcro on it that said, 'For Rent'."

  • Joker really seems to be turning the corner on this gig. I am very sad that it didn't work out because I honestly think he is one of best persons that have ever filled the UK HC role. I just don't think he could get it done in the SEC as a HC right now in his career. It would have been nice for him to cut his head coaching teeth in a smaller market to learn the ropes and then come to UK in 5-10 years.

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and it has made all the difference (Frost).