Postgame reaction from the Western Kentucky football team’s 2014 spring game.
Coach Jeff Brohm
Spring game: “I thought we finished off spring with a good performance today. We had some guys make plays on both sides of the ball which is what we need. I think we’ve developed depth at some positions which I think we need. Overall I think it was a good ending to our spring, we got a lot accomplished.”
Worried about defense? Or more pleased with offense? “I think both teams performed pretty well. We had a few lucky plays early on on the first-team defense, but after that they settled down and performed very well.
“Offensively, we made some big plays. We weren’t as consistent as I had hoped at times, but, really it’s when our guys got fatigued is when we didn’t perform quite at the level that I liked. But I think they fought back, and it has been a productive spring.”
Offense: “I think they’ve progressed rapidly. We’ve got a lot accomplished, we’ve gotten reps to a lot of guys, we’re trying to develop depth at all positions so that they are fresh and can make plays at their highest capability. That’s gonna be important to us.
“I think we have done that at the receiver position, the tight end position, and we’re getting better at the running back position, and obviously quarterback is a thing you have to stay on top of every single day of the year and we’re gonna continue to have to do that. But I did see progress.”
Brandon Doughty: “I think he had a very good spring, he finished it off pretty well today. He had a couple moments where I didn’t like him not stepping into the ball the very first series or two. Once we got that figured out, I think he was sharp, efficient, made good decisions. The one the guy intercepted got batted, but he was going to the right guy.
“I think he’s gotta be a leader for us, he’s gotta be able to run and makes plays a few times if the play breaks down and he’s gotta take care of the ball. If he does that, he will make plays and be accurate, so I was pleased with his performance.”
70-yard TD pass: “It was a great throw and a great catch by Taywan Taylor who had a great spring. He’s a guy that has worked extremely hard. He played last year as a true freshman, he took his lumps, he lost a little confidence, but he’s tough, he’s strong, he works extremely hard and he plays hard every single snap. So I think you’re gonna see him showcase his talents this year.”
Running game: “I thought Leon did a very good job. He ran strong and efficient. We didn’t want to give him too much work and lose him for the rest of the summer. He did a very good job. Had a great spring, worked harder than he’s ever worked. I think he’s ready to take the baton and try to carry the torch that Antonio (Andrews) had the last few years. He’s had a great spring.
“We’ve developed some backup help there. I think Ace Wales has improved. He’s continued to improve every single snap. Darmontre Warr is another guy that gives us another dimension as well that we’re gonna have to use.
“But all three of those guys need to continue to improve.”
Defense: “Well we have some young guys, but we’ve played a lot of young guys, they’ve gotten a ton of reps this spring. It hasn’t been like anybody’s been missing out. They’ve gotten a lot of reps.
“I think once we get a few key guys back that are missing now, we’ll be a little better. This was a very base, vanilla defensive plan that we had. Coach Holt does a great job of scheming, our players know the system and we’re gonna attack on defense. Sometimes if you think you’re a little lacking in one spot, you become a little more aggressive. He does a great job of that and will continue to do that.”
Summer: “Leaders have to emerge and they gotta work extremely hard and know how important the summer’s gonna be. They’ll have a little down time through the month of May for just a little bit, but then it’ll kick back in.
“You know every game at this level in this day in age is gonna be tough. The difference in winning and losing is extremely small. You’re gonna have to do everything you can to maximize the time you have to perform well. I think our guys understand that. I think they are hungry, they do like coming over to the building, I want ‘em to be over here as much as they can, study on their own and get themselves and their teammates together on their own because it’s important and that’s what you have to do to win.”
Louisville, Kentucky players: “We have a lot of connections in Louisville, a lot of connections in Kentucky. We signed 10 guys this year (from Kentucky) which is twice as many as they signed the last two years and we like all 10 of ‘em.
“We’re excited to get them here. The guys we have from Louisville now are gonna be players for us. We wanna get the best players out of the state of Kentucky, obviously the best players out of Louisville, that we can. This is a great place to play. All of our guys love it here. We’re gonna continue to work as hard as we can on that.”
JUCO wide receivers: “Well they’ve had a good spring. Both Dangerfield and Grant give us an element we don’t have. They have some size, they have some strength, they can catch the ball and the more they get in the offense, really they’re playing the same position, they give each other some breathers every now and then.
“They will definitely help.Those are guys that gotta continue to do everything right, on and off the field. But if they do that, they definitely have a chance to help us in a big way.”
First spring: “It was a lot of fun. I got a great staff, a great bunch of people that I work with that I was lucky enough to work with last year. I’m really happy about that.
“We’re trying to, just, basically use the same things we did last year, adjust a few things here and there and utilize the talent we have to the best of our ability, try and stay cutting edge, try to do things to maximize our guys’ ability. Each guy has something different to add and we’re gonna change it up when those guys get in there.
“But it’s been very, very fun. I’m looking forward to working hard and getting ready for the first game.”
Senior quarterback Brandon Doughty
Spring game: “I thought it went good. We were pretty smooth, we got off to a pretty good start, we kind of stumbled a little bit in the second quarter and we can’t have that.
“I thought we competed out there and I thought we played pretty well as a team.”
New WR targets: “Big time. I think those guys are heckuva playmakers. I think coach Brohm did a good job of bringing those guys in. I feel comfortable with those guys, even with the short time we’ve had together. This summer we’ll keep working at it and be even better, hopefully.”
Offense: “I think our offense is one of the best in the conference and the NCAA. That’s just how I feel, that’s how we gotta feel. I think we’re making strides in the right direction and we just gotta keep working at it.”
Deep ball: “We strived on making bigger plays in the scrimmage today. We definitely made some, had a couple good throws, couple good catches. Some receivers bail you out when we got guys like Jared Dangerfield and Antwane Grant – they make you look good.”
Difference between Brohm this year and last: “Well we don’t see much of him. Nah, I’m just kidding. He’s around, he was more vocal this year than he was last year. With coach Petrino he’s not as vocal.
“You definitely can tell he takes input from you and you definitely have input in the offense. I like that. I like that coach keeps an open-door policy and when you need to come in there and talk to him, he’s there for you.”
Your game: “I think the game’s slowing down for me. I’m a senior now and I’ve learned this offense and I’ve perfected this offense and I’m trying to gain and get stronger and get better as a player for my teammates.
“I think the game’s slowing down for me, like I said, I think that we made some strides today.”
Confidence: “I built a lot of confidence. Coach always trusted in me and trusted and my abilities and stuff. It’s not just me, the Lord and Savior helped me out. God’s with me all the time and I truly believe that.”
Senior linebacker Terran Williams:
Defense: “I think the defense did good. We executed the base plays like coach wanted us to come out and do. We didn’t send any blitzes, but I think we did pretty good staying all base and just playing football.”
Satisfied with this defense? “We can definitely do better and get some more guys that’s knicked up back. We got a couple injured guys and we’ll get Cam back, so it’ll be pretty good to see him get back out there and play, too.”
Value of spring ball: “That’s what makes it better, to see how the younger dudes come out and respond with all the older guys like (Andrew) Jackson and all them leaving. I think they responded pretty good with the tempo and everything.”
Younger guys that impressed: “We got two d-linemen, Tanner Reeves and No. 99 (D’Von Isaac), I can’t remember his name, but they stepped up big-time. They was shocking me out there. They was really shocking me out there. They did pretty good.”
Brohm vs. Petrino: “It’s more looser, you’re like more comfortable, you can play better. I ain’t saying Petrino’s a bad coach, because he was a great coach, but coach Brohm is more of a player-type coach and you play more comfortable out there.”
Summer: “Keep the guys together, make sure we don’t forget none of the plays. Make sure everybody stays healthy, and the ones that weren’t healthy get back healthy. That’s really it.”
Junior linebacker Nick Holt
Defense: “I feel like since our first scrimmage, I feel like everyone was flying to the ball a lot more. We got a lot more turnovers – both teams did – and really just 11 hats to the ball. I think we’re playing with a lot more energy which has gotten better every scrimmage we’ve had, it’s gotten better.
“It’s kind of come to this, our last spring game and it’s the best we’ve looked, I think.”
The spring: “I think we’ve kind of shown that we have a lot of depth and a lot more depth than people realize. We’re rotating in a lot of D-linemen. Coming into Conference USA, a lot of people like to go hurry-up, no-huddle and I think we’ve kind of shown we can rotate in a lot of DBs and linebackers and D-linemen to keep us fresh. I think everyone’s done a heckuva job this whole spring.”
Summer: “You know what, just get stronger and faster, really, is the No. 1 goal. Of course we might do some, just, team, organized seven-on-seven just to keep our minds sharp to our jobs in certain situations in the passing game. I’m sure the QBs and receivers are out there throwing almost everyday. But really just getting stronger and faster.”
Junior wide receiver Jared Dangerfield
Spring game: “I feel it went good, we showed our offense has big-play ability. We’re balanced, we ran the ball good, we threw the ball good, so that’s what we’re gonna do for the season.”
Your spring: “I’ve been able to adjust pretty quick and I’m a JUCO guy so I already had the experience. I was ready to come in and contribute right away.”
Doughty: “He’s reading the coverages well, making adjustments at the line before the play is called, throwing the deep ball perfect. Doing everything you would want him to do as a quarterback.”
This offense: “I think it can be one of the best in the conference and in the country. We’re gonna shock a lot of people this year. We’re gonna make big noise.”