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Mark Stoops' thoughts after Friday morning's practice are below. In those, he talks about the scheduling change but to clarify, the Cats originally weren't supposed to practice tomorrow but will now as they want more installation time. The added practice will eliminate the one the Monday after the spring game.
MARK STOOPS (Mar. 22)
"This is the best we've looked. I felt a greater sense of urgency with the pads on, guys flying around a little bit. I felt the offense did a real nice job today. We're seeing the execution start to get better. I was very encouraged. The tempo is not where we want it to be, not where it's going to be, but I felt like for the first time you felt the pressure (the offense) can put you under."
WHERE ARE YOU WITH INSTALLATION?
HOW MANY DAYS ARE THERE?
"We originally talked Monday that I wouldn't (practice) on Saturday but we are going to go. It's nice weather, supposed to be nicer. We are not going to install much new tomorrow, we thought we'd go back and have a nice practice with no distractions and just clean up these first three days. Instead of the 15th practice after the spring game we felt we needed it right now with the installation and cleaning up these three days."
HOW MANY DAYS DOES IT TAKE TO INSTALL?
"They're unique in the way they implement the offense. They can have a good portion of it in in three days, and there's all kinds of little adjustments and tweaks. Defensively, it's much the same. After three days you can feel the core of who you are but then there are many things you can constantly put in, you know, for years."
HOW IS ZADARIUS SMITH DOING?
"ZaDarius is doing a nice job. I've noticed him a few times out there. He had some nice plays out there. He's ahead because he knows Coach Brumbaugh's techniques and how we want to play fundamentally defensively."
HOW DID ADDING PADS HELP?
"It helps. It's hard sometimes, the tempo of it, you don't want to get guys hurt when you don't have full pads on but when you have them on everyone feels much more comfortable and goes out there and can let it loose and play more confidently."
OVERALL LEVEL OF SPEED ON TEAM:
"I feel like we need to get faster. I've commented on that a times, again, it's hard to just designate one unit or one segment because we need to improve in all areas but skill-wise I think we need to get faster and our skill guys need to be bigger. Some skill guys have good size but we need it across the board."
HOW MUCH TIME ARE YOU SPENDING WITH THE DEFENSE?
"I'm spending a good amount with the defense. Again, I feel very confident that those guys know what I want. Coach Eliot knows very clearly how I want things done defensively and I have great trust in him, but yeah, I still help more on the defense."
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO LEARN OFFENSE AS PLAYERS DO?
"It's good for me to get over there and watch the way they put it in, the operation and how they do things. They're doing a great job, the coaches are working diligently to get it put in the right way and get up to speed."
HAVE YOU SEEN ANY LEADERSHIP EMERGING YET?
"I'm still a little bit hesitant on that. The guys are still holding on to their butts and aren't in a position to lead yet but we'll get it."
HOW MUCH SPECIAL TEAMS WORK HAVE YOU DONE?
"We work on special teams every day. We still had two segments today on special teams, every day. Coach P is doing a great job. Fundamentally, some of the things we're doing with the punt installation and a lot of it carries over from last year. They were very effective last year in punting so some of the techniques and schemes are the same."
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