Louisville football media day - notebook

The University of Louisville football team held media day on Wednesday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Here are a few notes collected by Cardinal Authority.


It was during his media day chat one year ago that University of Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bedford gave a passionate ending, telling folks the future of the program was headed in the right direction.

"It's like I tell people. Get on the train right now, 'cause coach Strong got it coming. Right now, the light at the end of the tunnel? It's not safe. It's not safe. The future is coming, and if you're in the way we're going to roll right through you."

Bedford stepped back to the podium on Wednesday.

He's a great public speaker and had some passionate answers about this year's defense, but he caught himself talking about the train.

"The future looks bright and no I am not going to say anything about the train," Bedford said, noting the staff told him he should have purchased the copyrights to the saying from last year. "You are not going to get me this year."

Later in his media gathering on Wednesday, Bedford stopped himself in mid-sentence and said "I am not going to say get on the train."

But he did have good things to say about the defense.

"Compared to our first two years here, athletically we are a lot better," Bedford said. "Does that mean more wins? I don't know yet. I know they're going to go out there and work hard and try, if not they'll be having a Gatorade on the sidelines with me.

"We are going to play hard, we are going to play fast on defense."


Louisville coach Charlie Strong said he told quarterback Will Stein he wanted one thing from the senior during fall training camp.

"I told him he had to push Teddy (Bridgewater)," Strong said. "He needs to be pushed and I told Stein he has to do that."

Stein, who began the season as the starter last year, said he feels like he's in the best shape of his life and has put in good work so far.

"I'm ready," Stein said. "If the team needs me, I am ready to step in."


Strong and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson both said the competition for the starting running back spot has been a healthy one.

Dominique Brown, Jeremy Wright, Senorise Perry and Corvin Lamb are all battling to be the every-down back. Lamb was the only one of the three who didn't get a chance to talk to the media on Wednesday.

Brown and Wright seemed confident, while Perry admitted he "has a long way to go to catch those two guys, but it's fun competing."

Watson said a starter would be named as soon as the staff knows.

"We need to get in scrimmage situations both in full scrimmages and situational scrimmages and let the assignment part of football – plus the tough running part – come out," Watson said. "As it goes along when we do know we're going to say we know so if someone steps out we'll go with that person.

"But I really think the way it's competing right now, they're not letting up. They all want to be a starter and that's a good thing."


Wide receiver Damian Copeland came back after winter break with a new look – he has a Mohawk died blonde.

Copeland said he "wants to be my own guy" and wasn't trying to look like LSU's Tyrann Mathieu, the defensive playmaker who made the look popular last season.

Several of his teammates shook their heads when asked about Copeland's look.

"What does he call it?" Bridgewater asked. "Who knows."

Center Mario Benavides said "when it comes to some of my teammates and the way they dress of their hairstyle, I have come to expect the worst."


*Strong said wide receive Michaelee Harris wouldn't be rushed back from offseason surgery. He's still limited in practice and there's no timetable for his complete return.

*The two groups that continue to get a lot of praise – defensive line and wide receivers. Bridgewater and Stein said both Copeland and Charles Gaines are guy who can stretch the field and will be huge factors in the offense.

*Keith Brown is still running with the first team at weakside linebacker and is the only true freshman at this point that is in the starting unit. James Burgess is his backup, so look for those two guys to see a lot of playing time.

*The other true freshman that has been talked about a lot the first few days is tight end Hunter Bowles of Glasgow. He could see the field early in the season.

*Tight end Nate Nord said his foot injury is minor.


Mario Benavides was asked what would happen in practice if a defensive player took a shot on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

"A fight," Benavides said.

He the added: "If my mom hit Teddy, I would do something about it. I would apologize later."

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