Coen ready to run UK’s offense

BY LARRY VAUGHT

Vaught’s Views

New Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen says the “quarterbacks have been great” to work with since his arrival at UK. He’s been watching film/video of UK’s returning offensive players and trying to get a feel for how those players might work with certain things the Los Angeles Rams did while he was on staff.

The Rams often had the quarterback under center, something that might not happen at UK based on what Coen told Tom Leach on the Leach Report last week.

“I would like to be (under center) here but a lot of the quarterbacks have never taken a snap under center in a game,” Coen said. “Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen have been doing it in practice and have reps at it. But do we have enough time to practice and is it worth enough time that we have in practice to get what we want out of it?

“There is a lot of time invested in taking a snap under center and handing the ball off. It sounds elementary but it is so much more natural to these kids to take a shotgun snap. There are other things we need to focus on and plenty of things we need to get better at, so it is all a matter of how do we allocate our time most efficiently.”

Since Coen has not been on the practice field with players yet, he cannot “truly judge” how difficult it might be for Gatewood, Allen or other UK quarterbacks to go under center. However, he told Leach he believes it something doable on at least a limited basis.

The new coordinator did emphasize verbiage the offense will use will not be nearly as complicated or lengthy as it is in the NFL.

“The whole point in the NFL is you need to tell people what to do. You might sign a wide receiver on Tuesday and need him to play on Sunday, so you have to be able to tell him what to do and tag things so he knows,” Coen said. “You have to do that to function with roster restraints.

“Our verbiage here will not be that lengthy. That’s the beauty of doing things from scratch. We are able to put our wrinkle on things and our best for the players here at Kentucky.”