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What does Joker need to do to reclaim the fan base?

  • I, like most people, have serious concerns regarding Joker's short tenure (anybody paying attention would). But that doesn't mean that I've given up on him. No matter what anybody says, Joker can get the fans back in his corner. Will it be hard? Absolutely. But can it be done? Without question. For me, here are four things that Joker needs to show me to ease my concerns.

    1) Win one of the next three. Out of the four points, this is most likely the most challenging. Before the Louisville game, it was widely acknowledged that Kentucky would lose these three games. Now after losing to UL, the question is how bad do they beat us. Knocking off one of Florida, LSU, or USC would quiet those calling for his head. They would still be there, but not as loud. With a win, we'll enter Jacksonville State at 3-3, right where we all predicted pre-season.

    2) The team needs to improve througout the season. For whatever the reason under Brooks/Joker, the teams have not improved, but appeared to get worse as the season goes on (with the exception of 2006). For this team, for me, improvement means moving the football consistently, developing a running a game, and continuing to show improvement on defense. Also, this team cannot continue to start slow. We have trailed at halfitme in 11 of our last 13 games. That is putrid.

    3) Finish the regular season 7-5 or better. With this record, a winning season is assured. Joker goes 4-4 in the SEC, and the LOD/FotM is silenced. It will be hard, but 4-4 with point 2 (can't assume point 1 will be accomplished) can be done. Ole Miss, Vandy, and two of Miss State, Georgia, and Tennessee (that would be nice). In 2006, we lost to Florida, LSU, and South Carolina. We had the same SEC schedule we have now. We went 4-4 and 7-5 while losing to Louisville as well. It can be done.

    4) Win the bowl game. This is not as important as the other points, but it does serve a purpose. Last year's compass bowl was an embarrassment. We got manhandled by a team that didn't have a coach for a month. With that loss, Joker's ability to gameplan and get a team ready to play was considerably called into question. Win the bowl game, show us you can get a team ready, and correct whatever went wrong last bowl season.

    Not going to be easy, but it isn't out of reach. Honestly, the first thing that needs to happen to achieve these points is the offensive line must start producing. Establishing a running game will do wonders for our offense, especially considering Newton's improvement. If that happens the season is not lost. Joker needs to get it going, or else it's going to get ugly fast. Hopefully not all is lost.

    This post was edited by PHCD 3 years ago

  • I think the ship has sailed. I see no way he reclaims the fanbase AND he has zero chance to win 4 SEC games!!!

  • Beat Jax. St., Ole Miss, and Vandy, and then find a way to upset Tennessee in the finale.

  • Have to beat Jack St, Ole Miss, Vandy and then steal one from Miss St, USC, UT, and UGA.

  • At this point I'd be happy with better 3rd and long play calling. Screens and draws don't cut it. Just call something that has a chance to pick up the first down. I want to see more aggressive play calling over all. Like we seen at the end of the first half and the last two drives of the second half. It seems like when we are down and really need a score they can actually move the ball. And from what I've seen its because the play calling gets more aggressive. UK isn't good enough to go out and win a field position battle with most of the teams they have left to play. They need to be going for the throat everytime they have the ball.

  • I would love to see him fire our OC... Its pretty dang simple to me that our O is very predictable. When I can sit at home and tell what is being called prior to the play then so can every other D Cord. in the nation. If he would get Sanders out and bring in a guy like Neal Brown then that would go a long way in helping me have a little faith in him. All we hear is how we need better recruits. Implement an offense that is fun to run and the kids will follow... We seen what a new scheme did for us in Basketball, they all want to play the style Cal runs. If my memory serves me correctly, isn't Neal Brown from Kentucky? He has an actual track record that is impressive, besides most KY boys would kill to be coaching the school they grew up loving. In my opinion, this would help fix us on many different levels.

  • PHCD, great post and well done. I personally cannot disagree with what you've written, including your emphasis of importance and the level of difficulty in accomplishing.

    Even if we accomplish all that you've listed, there will be some who will not be on board absent CJP and/or Sanders being let go. Some haven't liked the hire of CJP from the get go, while others have been calling for a change away from Sanders as OC for some time. Doubtful reaching the bar you've eloquently outlined will change those minds. Hope this team give us a chance to be mistaken about that.

    +1

    This post was edited by ShockeyFork 3 years ago

  • beat vandy, ole miss, and two more SEC opponents, one of which has to be UT or UF. If we beat florida, None of this conversation is happening next week. period

  • If Joker has the balls to fire his OC and OL coaches by the end of the week, then maybe... just maybe, he can win some of his fan base back. We all know he won't, so at the end of the year... his pansy ass should be fired too. That won't happen either, so I hope the seats stay empty until someone at UK gets it.

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  • bow2uk said... (original post)

    Win Baby WIN!!!!

    Sounds like a simple answer but that is spot on....WIN. Most fans are more fickle than they even know themselves. They have little patience for losing but also have short memories after a couple of wins. Joker's biggest problem is the wins that will get him out of the dog house will be hard to come by in the next few weeks with the competition he will be facing.

  • Is firing coaches at the beginning of season really going to be productive?!?! This makes zero sense. The answer to the problem is not always to "fire" people. Do you get fired on your job everytime you make a mistake? Good Lord, some of these post are just off the wall!

  • PHCD - I agree with your accessment. But it's going to be tough to acheive all that. But hey, lets get behind the team and show some support. Regardless if someone likes or believes in what Joker is doing, the young men that take the field deserve support and respect. Go Cats!

  • 1003blue said... (original post)

    Is firing coaches at the beginning of season really going to be productive?!?! This makes zero sense. The answer to the problem is not always to "fire" people. Do you get fired on your job everytime you make a mistake? Good Lord, some of these post are just off the wall!

    It's precisely THAT kind of thinking, that has UK football in the shape it's in now. We've been playing NICE for way too long... it's time to be a hard-ass.

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  • Jeremy Grey said... (original post)

    Beat Jax. St., Ole Miss, and Vandy, and then find a way to upset Tennessee in the finale.

    I agree. 8-5 is just crazy talk. Offensive competence, pull in some impact recruits, end the season on a higher note even if it's 5-7 w breaking the UT streak. Beat UL to start next season and continue with the uptrend of momentum.

  • JawJacker said... (original post)

    It's precisely THAT kind of thinking, that has UK football in the shape it's in now. We've been playing NICE for way too long... it's time to be a hard-ass.

    3 games in and chuck the entire year?? And our young men will get better how??? Explain it to me, because it makes zero sense to me. confused

  • JawJacker said... (original post)

    If Joker has the balls to fire his OC and OL coaches by the end of the week, then maybe... just maybe, he can win some of his fan base back. We all know he won't, so at the end of the year... his pansy ass should be fired too. That won't happen either, so I hope the seats stay empty until someone at UK gets it.

    In spite of line play being the team's biggest problem, I don't want Summers gone. He is widely considered one of the best in the business. That asshole Petrino is possibly the best offensive mind in NCAAF and ruthless when it comes to assistants, and he drug Summers around several gigs with him while leaving most assistants behind. I just have to think that the injury situation is even worse than we thought and the coaches don't want to let on too much.

    Playcalling has been dull and nonthreatening / aggressive since 07. I know we haven't had that same level of talent, but show some balls. I would like to see a new OC too. Not sure it would make much of a difference this year, but Sanders has not impressed anyone. Calling Brent Pease...

  • JawJacker said... (original post)

    It's precisely THAT kind of thinking, that has UK football in the shape it's in now. We've been playing NICE for way too long... it's time to be a hard-ass.

    It is not about playing nice.
    It is about productivity and opportunity for replacement.
    One may debate the merit of not firing people in mid-season on those grounds but arguing it is about "being nice" has no basis in reality that I can see.

    The post being responded to above came 10 minutes after a claim to no longer be wasting time on the program. Is not spending time composing posts about this topic wasting time on it? Why keep posting regarding UK football? Just stop and save us the time of responding to the posts.

    Note: For any who may take issue with the last statement above, topics brought up in discussion should be open for discussion. IOW, if one does not want a point of personal choice to be an issue of discussion, one should not make it an issue of discussion.

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  • 1003blue said... (original post)

    3 games in and chuck the entire year?? And our young men will get better how??? Explain it to me, because it makes zero sense to me. confused

    No... why don't YOU explain to me how our young men will get better with the Coaches we have in place now? Tell me how our OC and OL Coaches are gonna make our young men better. I never said chuck the entire year... but that's what will happen if we keep these coaches. I wanna chuck some coaches... that's all.

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  • Win games is the obvious answer, and one that has been pointed out in the previous posts, but what I want to see...

    Is a team that looks prepared for their opponent, they need to come out fired up and ready to knock some heads.

    I want to see less errors and penalties, which will fall in line with being prepared. No more wasting time at the LOS because Newton has no clue what play they are trying to call in from the sideline.

    I want to see some attention to fundamentals and the details of winning football. Wrap up on tackles, follow through on blocks, catch the pass, hold on to the ball. All of these things are key defeciencies in our team this year, and directly responsible for our losses. To take it a step further, Newton could do things like use the pump fake on his pass, fake the rollout after handing off to the RB on occasion, whatever, do something to make the D think a little, use some misdirection in your actions.

    Joker needs to show some fire. I know he's the cool as a cucumber type, but he's got to let some emotion out so the team can feed off it. If you're mad at someone, let them know about it. Don't just give them the stink eye when they walk off the field after turning the ball over, grab them by the shoulder pad and rip their ass, sometimes guys need that.

    Finally, Joker needs to stop talking so much, and start letting the teams play do the talking. We heard all off season about how well workouts were going, then Joker shuts the entire media and the fans out of all practices, while he proceeds to talk about how good we're going to be. He spouts off a line of bravado in Charlie Strongs face at the Governors Cup Luncheon that made him look a fool in retrospect. Then there's the restrictions on the freshmen and limited interviews with the upperclassmen. It's amazing to say that a guy who has adopted the bunker mentality with his team has made so many missteps of his own in public discourse.

  • JawJacker said... (original post)

    It's precisely THAT kind of thinking, that has UK football in the shape it's in now. We've been playing NICE for way too long... it's time to be a hard-ass.

    JJ, you know I love u bro (completely plutonic lol) your a part of our wolf pack lol, but I couldn't disagree more. Mike Summers is IMO as good an O line coach there is. He is not part of the problem. I agree Joker needs to continue upgrading the coaches tho. Just not Summers. I really like coach Smith, look at what he's done with our LBs over the last few years. But maybe we could have better, I don't know. I know coach from back when I lived in Danville and he's a great guy so maybe I'm being biased. I also think Brown is a terrific DBs coach, just not a good DC or even co-dc. I actually like our current coaching staff (with the exception of the OC) and don't believe that is the problem.

    I think this Co-dc thing could be causing problems who knows. There just seems to be something wrong with this team. It doesn't seem like there is closeness or togetherness. Like maybe there is finger pointing or something. Maybe (I hope at least) the boos, the loss to UofL, the negativity and so on will bring this team together and motivate then to turn this thing around.

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  • JawJacker said... (original post)

    No... why don't YOU explain to me how our young men will get better with the Coaches we have in place now? Tell me how our OC and OL Coaches are gonna make our young men better. I never said chuck the entire year... but that's what will happen if we keep these coaches. I wanna chuck some coaches... that's all.

    Summers is a very good coach.

    Our OL was picked to be last in the SEC last year but he made it very respectable.

    With three OL recruits in 2009 and only one in 2010 we don't have any depth. With all the injuries (starter Murphy, starter Warford, starter Hines, and starter Smith not to mention the less talked about injuries that occurred to the other OL during camp) there is no way for the OL to perform well.

    Because we have gotten commitments from five freshmen (to be) and one juco, people forget how bad it was looking for our line after this year. We are finding out how hard that will be next year but without the replacements such as the juco, two more of the freshmen we have this year and maybe one of the freshmen coming in next year due to an avalanche of injuries.

    I see no reason to fire Summers.

    Despite not living up to my expectations/hopes, I still see a lot of potential on the DL with the players we have. No reason to fire coaches for how players they don't have aren't playing.

    .

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  • Tommy, that's all great... but the bottom line is, we have to do whatever it takes to compete in the SEC if we ever want to have a shot at a national title. I like (on a personal level) some of these coaches as well, but winning is more important than anything else. I don't see ANY emotion from Joker during a game... he never gets revved up and excited, so it's no surprise that our team plays with no emotion. They have no motivation... I put that blame squarely on the HC. If he wants to win back any support, he needs to make some tough decisions... starting with the OC. Like I said in another thread, I give Joker til 2013. I hope he can turn things around before then... otherwise, he's outta here. IMHO

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  • JawJacker said... (original post)

    Tommy, that's all great... but the bottom line is, we have to do whatever it takes to compete in the SEC if we ever want to have a shot at a national title. I like (on a personal level) some of these coaches as well, but winning is more important than anything else. I don't see ANY emotion from Joker during a game... he never gets revved up and excited, so it's no surprise that our team plays with no emotion. They have no motivation... I put that blame squarely on the HC. If he wants to win back any support, he needs to make some tough decisions... starting with the OC. Like I said in another thread, I give Joker til 2013. I hope he can turn things around before then... otherwise, he's outta here. IMHO

    I get you bro and trust me, I find it impossible for anyone to see a winner ad much as I do. I still think Summers is as good as there is and not a part of the problem. I do think maybe we could upgrade some coaches tho. We do have good coaches but as of right now could we go get great coaches...I don't know.

    Not all coaches have to be revved up on the sidelines. I personally love seeing coaches fired up, but I'm not sire it's necessary all the time. If I'm not mistaken isn't Joker 8-8 over his first 16 games as HC? Now I know we could have a much better record but .500 isn't the end of the world. I still think we can turn this thing around. I still think 5-7 wins isnt impossible but the question is will we do the things necessary to do so...sadly, I'm not sure we will. Joker should get (and will get no matter what) another year or two.

    I still think injuries and playing hurt have a lot to do with this, and it still seems as if there is something else wrong with this team. Something just doesn't feel right u know?

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  • 80 Proof said... (original post)

    Finally, Joker needs to stop talking so much, and start letting the teams play do the talking. We heard all off season about how well workouts were going, then Joker shuts the entire media and the fans out of all practices, while he proceeds to talk about how good we're going to be. He spouts off a line of bravado in Charlie Strongs face at the Governors Cup Luncheon that made him look a fool in retrospect. Then there's the restrictions on the freshmen and limited interviews with the upperclassmen. It's amazing to say that a guy who has adopted the bunker mentality with his team has made so many missteps of his own in public discourse.

    Great points here 80. He got everyone all fired up with his comments and now he looks like a fool. I think people took him at his word and expectations shot to unrealistic. Some of this would be easier to swallow if he hadn't blown sunshine up everyones butt from the get go.

  • Is it just me or is it hard to follow this post with JawSmacker blasting everyone who doesn't fall in line with his "fire Joker" screaming?

    We get your point.

    You put your faith in the UKAA to hire an upgrade...good luck with that.