Tuesday, July 22, 2014
July 18, 2014
By LARRY VAUGHT
HOOVER, Ala. — Kentucky’s biggest question on defense is replacing middle linebacker Avery Williamson, the team’s leading tackler the last two season who is now with the Tennessee Titans.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, a former defensive coordinator, certainly knows how important finding a replacement is.
“Me being a defensive guy my whole life, I think it’s always important as a defensive coach to be good through the middle. We know that you’ve got to be good everywhere,” he said during the SEC Media Days here Thursday. “You’ve got to have very talented guys everywhere, but from a leadership point of view, the guy in the middle of your defense, it’s real important.
“Maybe Bud (Dupree) can be our leader.We’re doing a lot of good things with Bud, getting very creative. Bud’s versatile, so we’re using him in a lot of different positions. He is a guy that can take command of the defense until somebody comes along in the middle that is a playmaker.”
Stoops also wants to see Kentucky dramatically improve on last year’s total of just three interceptions.
“Everybody fails to mention that we had more fumbles than anybody. Do we need to improve? Of course. We need to intercept some more balls. But you never know what might happen. Maybe we won’t get any fumbles and get more interceptions,” Stoops said.