Strong previews Spring Game

Charlie Strong previews Louisville's Spring Game Friday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The game starts at 7:00 p.m., and will provide fans their first look at freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Opening Statement

It's been a tough spring because of the number of injuries we've had. The guys that have practiced have practiced very well. We started off with 14 guys injured. We ended up with seven guys on the offensive line and the defensive line. It's going to be tough to play a spring game, but we're going to go offense versuses defense. But when we start fall camp all of those guys should be back and healthy.

On offense, [Will] Stein, [Teddy] Bridgewater and [Dominique] Brown have been competing at quarterback. All three of these guys because of their work ethic pushed one another. The offensive line was so beat up that we didn't get to get the full line in there. [Alex] Kupper looked good and went through the whole spring. [Ryan] Kessling went through the whole spring. But we weren't able to put it all together. We know we need some help. [Josh] Bellamy caught a lot of balls. It's a position that has a lot of talent, once we get everybody in position it should be one of our stronger positions on the team. We took Senorise Perry and moved him from defensive back to running back. He did a very good job. He runs the ball very hard and gets behind his pads. Vic had an outstanding spring. He stayed healthy and worked very hard. We're very pleased with the way Victor Anderson's spring went. [Josh] Chichester was another one that had an outstanding spring. He didn't miss and worked hard. It's good to see that from seniors.

On the defensive side, the starting front four was out. Greg Scruggs, B.J. Butler, William Savoy and Brandon Dunn [were out]. We had a chance to take a look at a lot of guys like Randy Salmon, which was great for him to get a lot of work in, Roy Philon, [Jamaine] Brooks. You take a guy like Marcus Smith, who played linebacker last year, and we moved him to defensive end. The linebacker position, Dexter Heyman, Daniel Brown, Preston Brown all those guys did a good job for us. The secondary is a major concern for us right now. We have to find some defensive backs. The two safeties, Hakeem Smith and Shenard Holton had solid springs, but we weren't able to find two guys at the corner position. That's going to be a position going into fall camp we have to find some guys. It's critical. Our front seven should be very solid but we've got to find some DB's.

I liked the way Chris Philpott kicked the ball. He had a very good spring. Overall, the injuries hurt us because we weren't able to practice the way we needed to practice. With the number of people out up front we weren't able to go as long as we went last season.

On Charles Gaines

We moved Gaines to DB, but he had some hamstring problems. We really didn't get a good look at him because of the hamstring problem. He maybe had one practice he was able to participate. But Gaines is someone we're going to look at because we have to find some DB's. With the receiver we have coming in, Eli Rogers, we can take a guy and move him.

On the Offensive Line

We didn't get to lock into a line that you can say this is going to be our starting group because Mario didn't get the chance to participate in spring ball. Kupper, Kessling, Hector [Hernandez] those three guys were pretty solid. We weren't able to lock into an offensive line.

On Spring Game

It's going to be like another practice because you can't split the teams up with the injuries. Usually you have a build up because you split the guys up and you get to play against one another. But that can't happen in this spring game so we're just going to go offense against defense. They're going to go out and play hard. It's not going to be a game where they just show up. The competition will be there. They will compete.

On Teddy Bridgewater

He's young. That whole quarterback position – Stein knows the offense because he was here last year. Teddy and Dominique are both still learning. Stein makes the other two guys better because he's going to outwork them. Those guys know they're going to have to outwork Stein to be able to play. He's still trying to learn, but you do see flashes from him, and there are flashes from Dominique and Stein. He had a chance to learn the offense. All three of those guys have had a chance to compete for the starting job.


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