Vaught: Q & A with LaRod King

Kentucky Sports Report's Larry Vaught goes one-on-one with LaRod King

Question: What would a win at South Carolina mean to this football team?

King: "Man, it would a season-changer really. If we come out and play our game, which I know we can, it would change everything around. Motivation would be back on our side. I?know it would build a lot of guys confidence out here. It would really be a stepping stone to a great season and another bowl game, but players have to believe that. The coaches can't do it for us. It's up to the players to actually believe we can win this game.

"Every game it is important to get a win and we are hungry for it. We just have to keep pushing and hopefully everybody is on the same page with the same goal."

Question: Are you worried about everybody being on the same page?

King: "Not worried, but I?think it took a while for some people to open up their eyes and realize football is like a lifestyle. This is not like any other thing you can just pick up and put down. It's not like that. It's what you do every day. So why not go out and give 110 percent effort?"

Question: Do you think guys sometimes don't realize how much hard work is required to succeed? King: "We have a lot of young guys. When you come out of high school, you just want to go to school and play football. It's more of the extra work off the field other than practice. Like watching film on off time between classes, listening to the coaches, hydrating your body, getting in and getting treatment, lifting weights to get stronger. It all takes a toll to be good."

Question: Did you figure that out right away?

King: "It took me a little while, too. That is why I am really patient with the young guys. Randall (Cobb) showed me when I?got here, so I am trying to do the same thing. We have a lot of guys trying to help the young guys pick up on it."

Question: What has been holding this offense back?

King: "We have so many new guys. We have a freshman (Josh Clemons) at running back. E.J. Fields is playing (receiver) for the first time really because of injuries. Same with Brian Adams. You have to give those guys time to figure out what they can do. The only way you can do that is by putting them in pressure situations like at LSU, Florida. Then you can see what they will do."

Question: Are you guys frustrated with how you have played?

King: "It is frustrating, but you can't focus on the past and get anywhere. There is a lot of football still to be played, so I am good. Let's just play the next game. I am not the guy to get down on myself and listen to the criticism. I just play my game."

Question: What do you think of the criticism being directed at quarterback Morgan Newton for the offense's failures? King: "I just tell him to ignore it and play the next play. He has to relax to play quarterback. You can't be all tense. I told him in the LSU game just to relax and throw the ball. It's pitch and catch. I am not a coach, so I don't know what they are looking for. I just play my game and control what I?can control.

"I?have never doubted any of our quarterbacks ever. We need them to survive. Without them, we are dead."

Question: Do players get their feelings hurt by criticism from the media or fans?

King: "You have to ask them. I?don't know. I don't. Not at all. I don't pay no attention to what any of you guys (in the media) have to say about that. I know it is your job, but I?just don't pay attention. It's not my thing. If you do that, it's easy to get sidetracked and you get to a mode where you are not playing football. You are playing to just basically win a bet — I can beat you — which is kind of motivation at times, but some people just don't get that and it takes a toll on them."

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