Notebook: Charlie Strong Press Conference

On Monday afternoon, University of Louisville head coach Charlie Strong discussed his team as it prepares to open fall camp on Tuesday night. Cardinal Authority has this notebook...

University of Louisville head coach Charlie Strong visited with the media on the eve of his team opening fall camp. The 9th-ranked Cardinals begin preparations for the 2013 season on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. and the fourth-year head coach introduced the newest member of the squad to open his Monday press conference.

As has long been speculated, former Auburn running back Michael Dyer has been added to the Cardinals roster.

"Dyer arrived on Sunday," said Strong. "He needs to get through the training room and go through the physical and once all that is done, he'll be on the field."

During his time at Auburn, Dyer rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his two seasons and was named the 2011 BCS Championship's Offensive Player of the Game. However, Dyer has been out of football for a year and how quickly he sees time on the field will depend on his progress.

"That's going to depend on how well he picks up the offense. Everything is going to be new to him. This is going to be a totally new system, so it's just going to be his development in how long it takes him, but we'll bring him along."

Dyer met his fellow Cardinal running backs during his visit to U of L in late June and the group welcomes the new addition.

"All of those guys are competitors and they don't mind it all at, because they now they have to compete for the position. If it makes the team better and it makes them better, then they welcome it."

Defensive Line

Strong stressed the need for the defense to improve its play this season and likes the depth that is developing at all positions on that side of the ball. An area where depth will play a factor, at least early in the season, will be along the defensive front, due to a pair of injuries.

"It all starts in the middle. Right now we are down. We are down with Brooks and DeAngelo Brown at the nose guard position."

While the beef in the middle has been sidelined, Strong believes they can minimize the effect of their absence.

"At defensive ends, you have Mauldin, you have Smith and you have Mount. Inside you have Philon and Brandon Dunn. So, we have enough players inside. We have a good corp of defensive linemen that is just more about us moving them around and having to replace those guys early in the season and hope that they can get back late to help us go make a run."

Offensive Strength

Due to the presence of experienced talent throughout the roster, it may a difficult choice to select what area is viewed as the offensive strength. On Monday, Strong tagged his group of receivers with that distinction.

"The wide receivers will probably be the strength of our offense. When you look at DeVante Parker, Copeland, Eli Rogers, the addition of Clark, you have enough players at wide receiver, guys that are play-makers, guys that have made plays for us."

Focused Hunting

When you are selected as the overwhelming favorite to win your conference and hold a preseason Top Ten ranking, you can expect that each opponent will be determined to pull an upset. The key for the Cardinals will be to maintain their focus on the task at hand.

"What's going to be key for us this is year, is can this team get focused and can this team get prepared each and every week to go play at a high level and where we can go be the best on that day. That's what is going to be critical for this football team."

Each week the Cardinals will take the field with a bulls-eye squarely on their back, but the team approach will keep the hunter mentality.

"When you become the hunted, you feel like you have arrived and you stop. I always say, guys we are the hunter. We will continue to get better each and every week. We have not arrived. We are still the same team that has to strive to get better."

The returning members of the 11-2 squad from last year have had their eyes set on this season since the final horn at the Sugar Bowl and Strong likes their approach to the start of fall camp.

"This team, along with this coaching staff, is totally focused. Our team has worked extremely hard over the summer. I love our drive, I love our motivation and I love our determination. We're finally reaching a level, with our attitude, that we can go compete with anyone, on any level."

NOTES:

The team will check into a hotel this evening and will have their first team meeting of fall camp on Tuesday morning.

Two incoming freshmen won't be with the team when practice begins on Tuesday evening. Donel Elam, a three-star safety from Orange Park, Fla., and Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic cornerback Chucky Williams have not reported.

There has been no decision on the possible return of defensive line coach Clint Hurtt. As he did during spring practice, Charlie Strong will coach the defensive front for now.

Junior wide receiver Michaelee Harris continues to rehab from his second ACL injury and Strong reports that is nearing the point of mental preparation, "it's going to be a confidence factor really."


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