U of L Cardinal Football: Media Day Report

As Eric Crawford explained more fully in a recent blog, any real information one gets at a Media Day dog and pony show is purely accidental.

Charlie Strong is earnest. While he’ll never master coachspeak like his incompetent predecessor — Krag could talk it but not walk it — he seems more comfortable by the year behind a microphone. And he’s learned to talk in generalities without really revealing much.

“We need to establish an identity.

“We need to develop leadership.”

* * * * *

Okay, now that I’ve convinced you there won’t be any major revelations contained herein, I can advise there were a few nuggets of interest passed along.

A common belief among the Cardinal faithful is that wide receiver might be the deepest position on the squad. Thus it was interesting to hear Charlie Strong explain why redshirt frosh Charles Gaines has been moved from corner to WR.

“We needed to add excitement at that position.”

* * * * *

He also shared an intimate anecdote about Nate Nord.

Apparently the tight end, whose career has been injury-plagued, took a meeting with Strong in the spring. His purpose was to hang up his cleats.

To which, Charlie Strong’s immediate reaction was, “You’re not quitting this football team.” And that’s the name of that tune.

Both Strong and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson mentioned the importance of developing four dependable tight ends to run the offense the Cards will use. Without Nord, that would have been most difficult.

Both were also asked about the situation at running back where 5 stalwarts, but no standouts, will vie for snaps. Both indicated they’d like to have one or two guys grab the position. But nothing has happened yet, after only four practices.

* * * * *

Strong indicated there was no Face of the Program who has emerged this season yet. He said he put the onus on Bilal Powell his first year here to raise the RB’s confidence. As for last year’s FOTP, Vic Anderson, Strong quipped, “All he wanted was to be Face of the Program.”

* * * * *

With all due respect to the head man, who is indeed in charge, the star of this show is always defensive coordinator Vance Bedford.

He is Lou Costello to Strong’s Bud Abbott. Bedford is to Jerry Lewis, what Strong is to Dean Martin.

The guy can talk.

And he is nothing if not enthusiastic.

“I guarantee, we will get to the football.

“If it moves, we’ll hit it.”

He especially praised B.J. DuBoise and Brandon Dunn, emphasizing how they’ve lost weight and how much that’s helped them.

He had high praise for two real freshmen at weakside linebacker, James Burgess and Keith Brown. But also emphasized what a leadership loss there is, now that Dexter Heyman has graduated.

He admitted that the talent level at Louisville doesn’t compare to the first and second rounders he and Strong coached at Florida. He also said there’s not comparison between the athleticism and talent level here now, compared with the squad when they arrived.

* * * * *

Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson’s stint in front of the assembled media can be summarized in one word.

“Teddy.”

* * * * *

Bedford was asked about recruiting Penn State players.

“We never gave it a second thought. U of L stands for far more than that. Integrity matters.”

– Seedy K

2 Comments

  1. cbcard
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the difference between Charlie Strong and his predecessor:

    Charlie is real. His predecessor was a real phony.

  2. Mark
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Everything you need to know about this coaching staff and the head guy was neatly summed up in coach Bedford’s answer to the question about Penn State. Integrity certainly does matter and it’s one of, if not the most important reason that players and recruits respond to coach Strong and his staff so well. It was night at the Schnelly Center; we’re now in the third year of daylight.

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