Q&A with Shannon Dawson

On how he thought quarterbacks threw the ball: “I don’t know. I mean it’s hard to tell until you watch film obviously, but I think everyone’s focus was probably a little bit off today for whatever reason, but you have that. I thought we were sharp yesterday. It’s part of camp. Execution wise, I couldn’t tell you coming off. I didn’t think we executed yesterday and then I watched the film and we executed good. So you never know. Your initial impression is typically never – if you think it’s good, it’s never that good; if you think it’s bad, it’s never that bad. Typically it’s somewhere in the middle, so there’s always going to be adjustments to make.”

On if the presence of fans made a difference: “Well, I hope not. Better not, because I mean, we’re going to play in front of them. Right? I’d have them out there every day, because I think it’s good to have distractions. I don’t think that’s an issue. I think it’s just Day 2 in camp and typically your excitement Day 1 is so high, you have a little bit of lull. They’re just ready to get going. So again, it could be better than I think. You never know. Just try to stay somewhat even-keel about it and just watch it and make corrections afterwards. But there’s some good things and bad things every day.”

On what Jeff Badet can give them (took short pass, ran away today): “I think he’s one of the most explosive guys on the team as far as just straight-ahead running. I do. He did the same thing yesterday. It was two days in a row that he took a (short) pass and split the defense. So I definitely think he’s a guy that can make a lot of plays for us, put pressure on the defense.”

On Alex Montgomery coming off his injury, too, and what he brings: “In my opinion with him, he’s just gotta be mentally ready to play. Coming off an injury like that, it’s tough. If you’ve ever done it, you know. So he’s gotta trust his body; he’s gotta trust his body is 100 percent, and that’s going to take some time. But I mean, he’s an extremely talented kid, physical kid, great, great ball skills. And so his deal is just between his ears. He’s just got to continue getting reps and feel comfortable with everything.”

On receivers having bigger DBs to practice against: “Well, they’re going to go against them in the game. It’s just the way college football is going. Everybody’s taller. So I definitely think our secondary is rangy. That’s why we’ve recruited receivers that can make plays on them, so that’s obviously going to help – hopefully.”

On only having two QBs available to throw in practice this spring and now having four: “Thank God, huh? It’s good. Throughout my career, there have been times where we had plenty of quarterbacks and now we’ve got plenty. In the spring we were a little limited. With Reese (Phillips) out, we only had two. But it’s just nice to have some numbers. It’s nice to have some numbers at a bunch of positions. It’s a positive.”

On Kyle Meadows out with a migraine but what freshman George Asafo-Adjei showed with the starters at RT: “It’s really, especially hard to tell up front (while they’re just in shorts and no pads). You can kind of make sure they get their assignment right, but as far as evaluating up front with no pads, I mean, that is the most impossible thing to do. It’s a little easier at receiver and everything, because the game is in space, but up front, that’s impossible to tell.

“Nobody hates practicing more without pads than O-line and D-line.  And in my opinion, it’s probably safer with pads on. I just think that’s the way it is right now; you gotta practice a certain amount of times with helmets on (and no pads). When we get pads on, we’ll be able to evaluate those guys a little better. But I’ve been overly pleased with George. He just needs to keep progressing. That kid’s talented, he’s physical, smart. So he’ll be fine.”

This article, Q&A with Shannon Dawson, first appeared on Jen Smith on UK football.