Q & A: Jeff Brohm & Justin Rascati

First year college assistant Jeff Brohm spent a few minutes with ITV to discuss his initial practices as the quarterbacks coach, the progress of the quarterbacks and more. I visited with redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Rascati and discussed about his progress.

QB Coach Jeff Brohm
As the Cardinals signal caller from 1990-93, Jeff Brohm threw for over 5,400-yards and was named the MVP of the 1993 Liberty Bowl. When Bobby Petrino was named the new head coach for the Cardinals, Brohm was of the one first assistants named to his staff.

Now the former Cardinal great is going through his first spring practice as a college coach.

I caught up with Jeff following Tuesday's practice.

Q: You went through a number of spring practices as a player, what's it feel like being a coach during one?

Coach Brohm: Well, actually, it is more work than I thought it was going to be. We put in a lot of hours.

ITV: How is the progression of the players under the new staff been?

Coach Brohm: Right now we are throwing a lot of the offense at all the players and everday we throw something new in. Some days they do good and some days they struggle. We go back and watch a lot of film and I think they are learning from it.

ITV: Which quarterback, if any, would have the edge so far?

Coach Brohm: Well, I think right now Stefan LeFors has a slight edge. He's shown the ability to lead the team. He is a leader. He can make most of the throws. When it's not there, he is smart enough to tuck it and run it and hurt some people on his feet. Justin Rascati is still young, but he shows some glimpses of good things...good arm strength. He's still pretty raw and really needs to study up and pick up the offense. He's doing a good job. Gerry Ahrens doesn't have the strongest arm in the world, but he normally makes all the reads. He checks the ball down and is smart with it. He's one of those guys that if you game plan him, then he can make all of those throws and lead you right down the field. It's tight right now, but I'd say that Stefan has the lead.

ITV: This is the first time in quite awhile that there will a true battle for the starting quarterback spot at U of L. Is the coaching staff looking forward to it?

Coach Brohm: We are and it is going to be a battle. Obviously we would like one to step up and take charge and sooner the better, but right now it's a close battle. It's probably going to go all the way up into fall practice and then we'll pick a winner. Right now they are all doing a pretty good job. Not only the guy that does it the best, but one that shows leadership, shows toughness and doesn't let all the other stuff bother him. That's the guy you're going to go with. You need more than just the ability to make the throws, you have to be a tough son-of-a-gun, take hits, get up off the ground and do it again and be able to make bad throws every now and then and put it behind you and move on. Those are all big keys.

ITV: This past Saturday it was somewhat of a family reunion for you out here. Your dad was here, along with Greg and your youngest brother Brian.

Coach Brohm: It's always a lot of fun. Greg did a great job when he played here. My dad loves Louisville football. Brian is obviously a great player. To have us all around is fun because we all love football and we are all looking forward to this upcoming season.

QB Justin Rascati
After a stellar senior season at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla., Rascati was honored as the 3A-5A Player of the Year for the Sunshine State. After redshirting last fall, he is focused on competeing for the starting quarterback position this spring.

ITV: How is spring ball going for you?

Justin Rascati: It's going real good right now. I'm getting familiar with the offense. It's going to be a competition all spring long. I'm just excited that we finally are on the field and able to learn the offense.

ITV: Is the competition for quarterback something you enjoy?

Justin Rascati: It's fun to compete. It brings the best out of you when you have competition, because if you don't, you may not try hard enough in practice. I had the same thing in high school my freshman year, so I'm used to it. I think I'm better under pressure and I know that I have to do good. I'm just looking forward to the rest of the spring and then the summer. I'm just going to go out there and do the best that I can every day.

ITV: How is your relationship with Stefan and Gerry?

Justin Rascati: It's great. We hang out with each other all the time outside of football. It's not like what some people may think. We are always helping each out and we get along real good.

ITV: I've noticed that Eddie Miller is spending quite a bit of time around you during practice.

Justin Rascati: He'll be here for about three weeks, so I'm showing him around town. He doesn't have a car, so I'll take him to the mall, take him to the movies and show him a good time.

ITV: Michael Bush has also visited practice a few times. Have you had an opportunity to get to know him as well?

Justin Rascati: I've had an chance to talk to him a couple times. He's coming out here to learn the offense too. He's looking to step in right away from what I've read in the papers. It's going to be a real competition come two a days and we all know that and we're all looking forward to it.

ITV: You've obviously had some time to study Bobby Petrino's offense, what do you think?

Justin Rascati: I know it works because of what he did in '98 when he was here, so we all believe in it. I think one thing we have this year that we didn't last year is that everybody does believe in the system and nobody second guesses it or anything. I think once everybody really gets to know it the offense will be clicking.

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