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Who is the real Joker Philips?

  • In Joker's first year at UK he took a team that could have won 8 games and won only 6 games with them and went to a bowl game against Pittsburgh, who obviously had more talent than we had, and look quite awful and unprepared. That lack of momentum carried over into last year and was evident the first game of the season against WKU that we weren't going to be a very good football team. All last season we had disappointments and it was highlighted by UK being unprepared in a few games last year.

    After all of that UK then finishes the season with a hard fought game against UGA and then a surprise win against Tennessee where UK had to create a whole new game plan on the fly. Say what you will about Joker and Randy Sanders but to do what they did against Tennessee and come up with a game plan to beat them with a guy who hadn't played QB in college before was one of the best single game coaching jobs in college football last year. The question I have is can that positive momentum carry over into the new season just like that negative momentum did from season to season the year before?

    The Pittsburgh and Vandy games shows us what Joker Philips can be as a head coach (not very good)... But then the UGA and Tennessee game shows us the other spectrum of what kind of head coach Joker Philips can be (a really good). Like it or not when you decided to go with Joker Philips as head coach they signed up to give a head coach On-The-Job-Training... Given a coach only 2 years to go into being a head coach really isn't enough and is one of the reasons why I think you should get on-the-job-training from a lower level and then move up.

    But given that this is what UK has had in a head coach for the past couple of years my question is which head coach do you think Joker really is? The head coach that brings an unprepared team like he did earlier on last season? Or the head coach who brings a prepared team and fights hard and Joker does a great coaching job like he did the last two weeks of last season? Who is the real Joker Philips?

  • The bottom line is this.

    The cupboard was actually pretty bare when Joker took over due to Brooks' refusal to bring in more energetic/excitable recruiting coaches. In an effort to do that joker brought in some guys who may not have been as quite a good of coaches but were deffinetly better recruiters. Our talent is better now, but we are young. Our coaching, IMO has caught back up to where it was when Brooks left. One other thing to note is that Joker was stuck with steve brown, the worst d-coordinator in the country. He has now got him 100% off of the staff. Something that was sorely needed.

    The other factor in this is that we don't have much of a sample yet. Two seasons isn't a fair judgement IMO. 3-4 seasons is more fair.

    IMO we must take a step forward this season. We almost certainly have to win 6 games this year and that is very doable with our schedule. 5 wins with competitive losses will also likely keep joker around.

    If we beat Louisville I could see a 7 win season. If we lose it could be tough.

    No matter what, I don't think there is any question that we are better football team right now than we were a year ago.

  • To add another thing to this. Who was the QB 2 yrs ago at UK. UK had a an avg D and a Ofense that was well Randall Cobb only. Last year had a D that was avg and a Ofense just below avg.
    UK does have a much better group of very young talented players. The thing is Joker has had a huge learning curve over the last 2 yrs. However the SCH sets up to really hurt UK this yr.
    Next yr will be the best chance for Joker and Co to prove to us all how good they are.
    The Sch this yr will make it tuff to win 6 to 7 games.

  • I disagree with this post. Our D was below average for the UL and WMU games. Although they held tough against LSU in the first half, they were embarrassed against SCar and Vandy. The hope I have comes from a gritty performance against GA and a great performance against UT.

    The 2011 offense can't be described as "just below average." It was terrible in 2011, as evidenced by our ppg and yardage averages. The deplorable offense was the downfall of the entire season, and I look for it to improve by a large amount in 2012.

    The last two games of the season give me great hopes for the defense and Phillips' ability to motivate his team and get them to execute the game plan. The spring game gave me a modicum of hope for the offense, and I hope Max, the Oline, the WRs, and the RBs are spending every extra second on the field and in the film room to improve.

    I think UKani's point is valid, and in line with other posters in this thread. Phillips has had some miscues and poor coaching performances, and those are what some are focusing on. However, his most recent coaching jobs (GA, Tenn) showed me that he can coach even a young team and get them to perform. I hope the confidence of the team and staff from the last two weeks carry over into 2012.

  • Joker Phillips has looked like a horrible coach as far as i'm concerned. Everybody can talk about talent but if you can't coach it up it does you no good (Ron Zook). Our Offensive Coordinator couldn't cut it at Tenn. while they were good. Our Defensive Co. couldn't cut it at Notre Dame. He was an average coach at Cinci but he also had a good staff. You can tell when somebody knows what there doing and Joker just looks lost. Nothing in his 2 years make me think he can get the job done. Hope i'm wrong. The Tenn. win everybody brags about comes against a 5-7 team. Who didn't even wanna be there and we won by 3. Thank goodness we ended that atrocious streak. We will win closer to 3 games than we will 6.

  • Beating a top 10 team and a coach that UK had never beaten, forcing the National Champs to win on a last second field goal, holding a non-bowl eligible team together and limiting an offense that scored 34 ppg to 19 points on their own field, and leading that non-bowl eligible team to a win over a program fighting for a bowl game using a WR at QB?

    Yeah, I can completely see how Joker Phillips has absolutely no redeeming coaching performances.

  • rack! Facts are facts! It's a shame so called fans like jefferies123 (which i doubt he even is) are blind to what is fact and what is not. The few like him are a cancer with their hidden agendas and cowardly bias and should be banned IMO!

  • I tend to believe that's true, but I sure never heard any or very little of this while Brooks was still here nor when Joker took over (Or perhaps I didn't want to hear.).

    Net, even if true today it sounds like 20-20 hindsight. Where was the insight then? Not directed at you but to those who the outsider observer might go to for some insight.

  • Wrong. Lots of us on here were questiOning ortmeyer's, petri, brown, and Higgins recruiting as far back as 5 years ago. They were dead weight. One of brooks qualities, (loyalty) turned out to be a downfall for joker. Half our staff didn't recruit. That killed us in a stretch when we could have/should have been making big strides in recruiting.

  • Which begs the question once again as to why this was obvlivious to the Athletic Director. so much so that he wanted a continuation of the Brooks regime by naming a Head Coach In Waiting to ostensibly maintain consistency.

  • This sentence is structurally confusing, but if I understand it correctly, you're asking why the AD wanted "a continuation" of the Brooks regime. You're asking a question with a false premise. You start with the presumption that naming Phillips HCIW meant that the AD "wanted a continuation of the Brooks regime." Naming a HCIW could have happened for a number of different reasons, and the fact that there was immediate and extensive staff turnover (with very little interference from the AD) would suggest that the Brooks regime was, in fact, over.

    Having continuity doesn't mean a mirror image of the previous staff. It could have (and apparently did) mean that Phillips came recommended by the current HC and that promoting from within would be an easier transition for the players than conducting a coaching search

    You also made a comment about the AD being oblivious (to football recruiting inadequacies) but that's just a stupid question. ADs care about productive sports programs, not recruiting class rankings. Brooks had a good track record with under-recruited players, a strategy that is dangerous because a few misses in a class result in serious deficiencies. I gave him a pass because the results on the field appeared to be improving despite the low regard of the classes. However, holes in recruiting became apparent several years later when some of those lesser regarded recruits didn't pan out.

    I don't know that anyone in 2008 or 2009 knew that the freshman class wouldn't produce in 2011. But it happened, and resulted in a lot of young players seeing the field last year. I'm eagerly awaiting this upcoming season to see whether Phillips will maintain some momentum, eliminate some of what I perceive to be his coaching weaknesses, and motivate young players to perform.

    I can tell that you are super excited as well. Hope I see you at all the home games!

  • wins and losses are what counts not anything else. Lose games and you as a coach sh ould be run out the door and win games you stay. Its not about recruiting or how close a game was no matter who it was played against

    The question has always been how long do you give any coach to be successful. This is Jokers third year so I say 5 years and then the excuses end.

    Anyone who thinks that 5 years is not enough time for Joker to make it needs to have his head examined and has no winning expectations.

    In 5 years I expect Joker to have a winning SEC record which means wins not loses. Really simple

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    The meanest dog in Taiwan.

  • All those accomplishments and still a losing record. Great coach I'm sorry what was I thinking. Beating a 5-7 Tennessee team wow. Just fuckinggreat. Let me see lose to Louisville, get beat 50 to that same top 10 team the next year. Lose by 30 to Juggernaut handy. Great coaching what was I thinking. Wait we're going 3-9 or 4-8 with this great coach this coming year. What a coach.

  • No one said he was a great coach. As a matter of fact, the point of this thread is that Phillips has had some good moments and some bad moments. The question actually asked was whether the the "real Joker Phillips" was the coach who looked very poor against SC (2011) and Vandy (2011) or the coach who looked very good against SC (2010) and Tenn (2011). This isn't about Phillips being a great coach, it's about him showing instances of good coaching and whether those good coaching moments reflect what he can be as a head coach.

    You took the position that there was nothing to show he wasn't a horrible coach. You were (and are) wrong about that, and now you appear to be angry because you were wrong.

    You call Tennessee a 5-7 team, and that's valid. But that team was playing for a bowl berth against a team with no chance to go to a bowl. Everyone said UT was going to blow UK out. UK had no quarterback to go. And yet, UK got its first win in 26 years. It's a shame you can't enjoy that as a "fan." My son and I rushed the field and had a blast enjoying the improbable win.

    Can't wait to see you at the games this season.

  • There were a lot of people here(KentuckyInk) at the time that stated the recruiting classes Brooks last two years was not up to snuff and that Brooks needed to hire new coaches but that he was like Tubby and too loyal to his staff. We hoped that they could coach the kids up and trusted that the staff could but they obviously couldn't as they took too many reaches.

    There were some players the first two years who were upset that Joker let 'their guy' go and the transition wasn't nearly as smooth as anyone wanted it to be. Too many people expected there to be no drop off and that's absurd, imo.

    Joker could've taken the easy route and not have suspended Hartline for the bowl game and we likely would've won it. Imagine how much less negativity there would have been if not for that one instance? Joker ended the 10 year losing streak to SCAR, 25 year streak to TN, and is the ONLY head coach at Kentucky to ever beat Spurrier!! He has brought together a coaching staff that is capable of both coaching and recruiting but yeah, he has no positives as a HC... SMDH!

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  • I think three years will be enough for Phillips to be properly evaluated. If he can't take this team and show real, tangible improvement over last year's effort, I don't think he can get it done. If he doesn't do enough to instill confidence and show improvement, it's time to move on.

    Wins and losses are what matter. This thread isn't about how great Phillips is, it's about the instances he's shown that he can coach, and whether those instances are the norm or the exception. He has two years under his belt, his staff in place, and is playing, in large part, with his players. This is the season to show his chops (or lack thereof) in the SEC.

    After three years, it's extend or release time. I can't wait to see how it plays out.

  • I tell ya what's great, reading your posts. Its funny watching a Louisville fan pretend to be a UK fan. Get lost.

    This post was edited by cobbycobb 22 months ago

  • 1.) Jeffries123....GO AWAY! Your garbage douchebag agenda isnt welcome or wanted here. Period.

    2.) Mrhotdice...if you even remotely think recruiting doesn't mean anything in college athletics then you have no business posting. Period.
    College football = Jimmys n Joes more hand X's n O's.

    3.) Yes the team was dejected going into the Pitt game, but it had nothing to do with coaching. They just lost their leader in Hartline. Mike plays we win. Period.

    This post was edited by tommy 22 months ago

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  • 3 years IMHO is not enough time. I know all the arguments that Joker being the CIW did not start from 0 but again, IMHO none of that matters.

    I have complained as much as anyone but not so much about Joker but more at the powers that be at UK that put a first time HC into the SEC without the tools to win and wins come from having players who you recruit.

    Since that is the case I think Joker needs 5 years to show everyone that who he has recruited can play in the SEC. After 5 years their should be no more excuses except to blame who always should have been blamed for the UK football program, UK and its administration who always pass he buck by hiring yet another coach and the entire situation begins again.

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  • I think the problem lies with his 5 year contract.

    After three years, the general idea is either extension or release. I know Brooks got a fourth after having three poor seasons, but I'm not sure that we're in the same situation now.

    If this team is blown out by 50 and 30 by any team on this schedule for a second year in a row, the coaching search should start immediately thereafter. If he doesn't do something this year to prove he can get it done, UK will be forced to make a decision.

  • Every time someone disagree with jokers the great coach crowd there Louisville fans. The south Carolina win was a let down after beating #1 Alabama. Then going on the road. Tennessee was beat down physically and didn't game plan for the spread. All you sunshine pumpers find something I'm lying about. I said in my opinion joker was a bad coach I never belittled UK or the players. Facts are facts. And that my friends is punting on 4th and 2 from the Tennessee 37 in the 4th quarter with under 4 minutes.

    edit: watch the language.......

    This post was edited by cobbycobb 22 months ago

  • First of all x and o's does not wins games 4 and 5 star players do. Yes right tell that to Boise st. Or K state. BState has had 1 or 2 4star players over the past 7 yrs. Thats it. K state the same.
    The coach and his plays make all the diff. Yes super talent help a ton. But coaching is coaching
    Look at GA top 5 classes every yr or close to it. But horrid coaching.

  • short of an absolute disastrous 3 win season and multiple blowouts Joker will be back next year. Mitch has shown that he is patient and will give coaches time if they are showing improvement in recruiting and the players support the coach. Also, with the economy being what it is, I doubt they want to pay multiple coaching contracts when there is so many other things they need. Joker will get 4 years, this is the building year that will show if he is retained at the end of NEXT year, imo.

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  • edit: watch the language! 2nd warning.

    This post was edited by cobbycobb 22 months ago