The Cardinals finished their third practice in pads Wednesday evening and Charlie Strong's players rolled up their sleeves for some smash-mouth football, installing their goal line sets.
"It was a really physical practice," junior tight end Stephon Ball told InsideTheVille.com. "We put our goal line setting in. There are only three of us tight ends so we play whether it's ones or two's, we're always going. It was a real tough practice."
Louisville spent the first part of practice outside, but temperatures in the low 40's forced the Cardinals inside the Trager Center to finish practice.
"I have no idea what the coaches were thinking," Ball said. "Whatever it was we knew how practice was going to be today. Whether it was inside or outside we've got to practice the same way. It doesn't matter to me."
"I keep telling the trainers everything on my body but my knee hurts right now," Ball said. "My knee is fine. It's really good. I'm football sore right now. I haven't played football in a year so I'm not used to this. I've got bruises all over my body."
"The defensive line should be the leader of the defense," Hurtt said. "We didn't perform well in the goal line scrimmage. I told them if the front isn't worth anything you don't have a defense. That's the biggest thing I'm stressing to them and they have some pride about it. When all the troops get there things will be a lot better."
Hurtt is without several key linemen this spring. Returning starters Brandon Dunn, B.J. Butler, and Greg Scruggs are all out with injuries this spring. Top reserve William Savoy is also missing at defensive end.
"I see all my studs over in the rehab group and it's been tough," Hurtt said. "But it's given us an opportunity to coach some of the younger guys and help them get better. The biggest thing we're trying to do is just staying healthy."
Defensive Line TidbitsDefensive tackle Jamaine Brooks arrived at Louisville weighing 327 pounds. The redshirt freshman is down to 304 this spring and Clint Hurtt says, "He's improved drastically."
Hurtt confirmed that sophomore defensive tackle Brandon Dunn is out for spring practice with injury, but will be ready to go for fall camp.
Hurtt described his defensive line as, "athletic and [with] some ability."
Sophomore Marcus Smith, who moved from linebacker to end this spring, could become a great player on the defensive front. "I think he's a dynamic talent," Hurtt said. "I think he's really special. He reminds me of some of the really good ones I've coached before. I think the kid has a chance to be really special."