I recently spoke with former Kentucky Wildcat quarterback Shane Boyd. Boyd is the starting quarterback for the California Redwoods of the UFL.
The Redwoods are 0-1 after losing last week to the Las Vegas Locomotives 30-17. The Redwoods have their home opener this Saturday night in San Francisco at AT&T Park against the New York Sentinels. Fans can purchase tickets for the game here.
Boyd was a star at Kentucky, throwing for 2,484 yards and 13 touchdowns in his college career. He has also been with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans in the NFL.
Q&A With Shane Boyd
How does it feel to be the first ever player to score a TD in UFL history?
It is a blessing. I thank God for being in that position. J.P. Losman [Locomotives' starting QB] and his offense had the ball first and they had the first opportunity. I was blessed to get into the end zone. It is a good accomplishment and it is something that can never be taken away. I am very happy to be a part of the UFL.
How do you like playing for your head coach, Denny Green?
I love playing for Denny Green. He was the coach when I was with the Cardinals so I am accustomed to him and his very high expectations. He wants the best out of his players and he recognizes a lot of talent that the NFL doesn't see. He is a great coach.
You guys had a good first half scoring 14 points but only had a field goal after halftime last week. What were some of the reasons the offense struggled in the second half last week?
There were good plays called but we just had bad execution. It was nothing that Vegas was doing to us, and we were just stopping ourselves. We had dropped balls and it was just a bad connection between the wide receivers and the quarterback. The three-and-outs just gave Vegas a lot of momentum.
You guys released wide receivers Bobby Sippio and Mark Bradford earlier this week and added Doug Gabriel and Glenn Holt. How will Gabriel and Holt help the team?
Glenn was my No. 1 wide receiver in college and we are best friends and have known each other for years. Glenn has great speed and he was in the NFL with the Bengals as a kick returner. He can stretch the field and put a lot of pressure on the defense.
I have worked out with Doug before. He is a bigger body and can get position on cornerbacks. He has great speed too. Glenn and Doug are both veteran guys with a lot of experience and swagger.
How hard was it to get into a comfort level with the wide receivers after only a few weeks of practice?
It's hard. You only have four to five weeks to develop chemistry in practice while in the NFL, the quarterback and the wide receivers on each team have played with each other for years. It's something you just got to go through with a lot of reps and individual drills. It's good that I already have a relationship with Glenn.
How important is it to win this game and not go 0-2? Is there a sense of urgency to win since the next two games will be on the road and you have to travel to the East Coast? Is this a must-win game?
I wouldn't say it is a must-win game but we need a win with the season being so short. We need to win and stay in the mix of things so we can go to the championship game in Vegas. It is an important game and we want to go in with a clear mindset and execute our offense, make great plays on defense, and get turnovers.
Are you excited about the home opener this Saturday night and having the fans cheer for you?
Yes, it will be great for the fans to finally get to see us play. We want to put on a great show for the fans. I know San Francisco and the Bay Area support their football teams. I am hoping for a great turnout and I want to put on a great show for all the fans out there.
The Sentinels gave up 35 points last week. Do you think you can exploit their defense the way Losman did last week?
That is the plan. They have a great defense and their game could have gone either way. They had a fumble on the goal line, and the game could have flip-flopped. Their defense has a lot of swagger and they got Simeon Rice coming off the edge.
What did the offense work on this week to prepare for the Sentinels' defense?