Petrino speaks to ITV heading into first big scrimmage
As the old saying goes; time flies when you're having fun. And that's certainly the case for Louisville football fans as we near the completion of week two of spring drills under first year Head Coach Bobby Petrino.
And during the first two weeks we've been treated to a rejuvenated offense that appears to possess the explosiveness and balance of a typical Petrino coached offense. And while the defense is replacing a slew of veteran starters we've seen glimpses of solid potential and playmaking ability from the young Cardinal defenders.
But perhaps the most pleasant development during the first two weeks has been the emergence of a refreshing and positive attitude. It's clearly evident to long time UofL football observers that there's a new philospohy and attitude with the Petrino regime. The days of undisciplined play and lackadasical effort have been replaced by a more disciplined approach, an acute attention to detail and a new found passion and intensity for the finer points of the game.
As the Cards ready for their first major scrimmage of the spring Saturday afternoon, Coach Petrino spoke with ITV about the first two weeks of spring ball.
ITV: Coach, after two weeks of drills what are your impressions of your football team?
Coach Petrino: It's gone ok. We're looking forward to tomorrow on getting out and getting some more live work and challenge the defense to run to the ball and play with more enthusiasm than they did yesterday and the offense to run the football better than we did. We need to improve that aspect. But we've made some good strides in the first five practices.
ITV: Talk about Renardo Foster's move from the defensive line to the offensive side of the ball.
Coach Petrino: We've moved Renardo Foster over [to the offensive line]. I think that will be a good move. He's a 6'6, 310 pound real good athlete and I think that's his best position. The first day I walked into the weight room I thought he'd make an awesome tackle. And he's real excited about it. It wasn't something we had to talk him into. He said coach I think that's my position and I was looking forward to the time you were going to do it.
ITV: What young players have made an impression the first two weeks?
Coach Petrino: I think Gavin Smart has done a nice job moving over from receiver to corner. He's only been there for five days now but he shows the ability to play there and just needs to learn the position a little bit better and that will give us the depth we need there. I like Reggie Bradshaw at running back. He reminds me a lot of Leroy Collins when Leroy was here. You know the way he runs, the way he hits the hole hard and then he has the speed to take it all the way. Those two guys have made a big impression.
ITV: You've got good talent and depth at running back. Talk a little about that situation.
Coach Petrino: They're working hard but they've got a long way to go. Lionel Gates I thought came out yesterday and competed real hard and made some nice cuts and some physical runs and his attitude seems to be real good. Eric Shelton was held out yesterday because he had some hamstring tightness and his calves tightened up on him. But he practiced real well today. TJ Patterson will probably play a little bit of both tailback and fullback. He catches the ball real well out of the backfield. And then you've got Reggie that eventually I think will be a great player. He's just got to learn this game.
ITV: Talk a little about Thursday's scrimmage.
Coach Petrino: I thought the offense threw the ball pretty well and caught the ball pretty well. I think they ended up like 17-26, 255 yards. And J.R. Russell made a bunch of big plays and ran with the ball after the catch, caught a nice fade for a touchdown. He showed some real explosiveness. The two quarterbacks competed pretty evenly. They both made critical mistakes. But the good thing for them was they had a good rush and guys moving in front of them. Really that's the toughest thing as a quarterback is being able to keep your vision downfield when you've got everything happening within three yards of you. So they can't get enough of that work.