University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong said he's been pleased – so far - with his team through five days of fall camp.
But during media day on Wednesday, Strong said the Cardinals needed to begin to take a step forward each day towards improving. U of L was in pads for the first time on Wednesday and will host Kentucky on Sept. 2 in the opener.
"Each day it's all about getting better," Strong said. "Fundamentals and techniques. We have to get better. What we need to do as a football team is establish an identity. Our guys have been responding well so far.
"But we're only five days into it. We still need to develop as a team. I am just really excited about how our guys are working so far in camp."
Strong was asked several times about the "face" of this program and unlike the past two years he said it would be a team effort. He named Bilal Powell the face the first year and gave Victor Anderson that title last season.
"The way the program is right now, this has to be a total team effort," Strong said. "We have to have everybody buy in as a whole."
With only nine seniors on the roster, Strong and both coordinators addressed the fact that as the head coach put it "other guys have to step up and be leaders."
On offense, Shawn Watson said that hasn't been a problem. He said senior linemen Alex Kupper and Mario Benavides take care of a lot of the details.
Watson said Benavides and Kupper "are the thump and the voice," of the Cardinals' offense. "If something needs to be fixed, those two guys will fix it."
While praising sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Watson said the staff likely wouldn't know who the starting running back is for a few more weeks.
"Those guys are battling," he said. "They are all not letting up. They all want to be the starter. Competition is a great thing."
On the defensive side of the ball, Strong and Vance Bedford praised the defensive line and the amount of athleticism and depth the squad has at that position now.
Bedford, who last year told folks to "Get on the Train" and back the program, said with so many young standouts on defense that he's excited.
"The future looks bright," Bedford said with a smile. "And no I am not going to say anything about the train."
"We look like a Division I football team should be," Watson said about how the team looks physically compared to last season.
But Strong warned fans not to get too optimistic just yet.
"We have a long, long, long ways to go," he said. " We are no where near where we should be."
Cardinal Authority will have more from media day later.