While only one starter - Adrian Bushell - is gone from last seasons Sugar Bowl Champion defensive backs unit, U of L defensive coordinator Vance Bedford tells those returning that no position is safe and that spring is the time to shine.
"I tell guys every spring, you're time is right now," said Beford. "It's not personal, but when these freshmen come in and if you didn't have the spring that I thought you should have, you will not be on second team, you'll be on third team. That's what life is all about."
The Cardinals secondary provided a share of the highlights from last season, but the unit struggled at times last season. This spring Bedford will be looking for players that are ready to perform consistantly and at a higher level.
"Jermaine Reve played a lot for us and he's a safety that played at corner, because he's trying to get bigger," said Bedford. "I think he's a guy that is going to make a push for a starting position somewhere. Terell Floyd has been with the program, so he needs to take another step. It's not ok just to be average. Andrew Johnson needs to take another step and Stephan Robinson."
Terrell Floyd, who's early first quarter interception against Florida in the Sugar Bowl victory ignited the Cardinals hot start against the Gators, is expected to provide a larger role at corner this fall.
"He's a young man, that as he gets older and finds success, the confidence factor will come," Beford said of the junior. "He's the type of guy, that when I'm evaluating a guy, he has the things that you are looking for. He has the physical tools, he has the size and speed. If he gains confidence, I think you'll see a big time player. If not, you'll just see an average football player."
Charles Gaines, who appeared in seven games last season at wide receiver, will get a look at corner this spring.
"He has the size and speed, but he has yet to do it on the football field," said Beford. "He has an opportunity to show us what he can do this spring and if he can get it done, he'll play. If not, he can get me some Gatorade on game day. He'll be standing right next to me."
Despite what successes that they may have enjoyed last season, Louisville's defensive backs are expected to provide more this fall and spring practice is when they will need to prove their worth.
"We let the guys know that we owe you nothing, you have to earn it, so your time is right now."