Ex-players show major support for Petrino

A bunch of former University of Louisville football players have been outspoken in their support for Bobby Petrino since his name came up in the coaching search. Cardinal Authority talked with a bunch of the former players:

University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said he heard from over 100 former players in support of Bobby Petrino.

Jurich listened, hiring Petrino for his second stint at U of L as the head football coach on Thursday afternoon.

"They adore him," Jurich said. "I've never seen anything like it."

The players continued to support the hiring on Twitter and other social media platforms. Cardinal Authority spoke with several who were very supportive.

Former tight end Gary Barnidge, who played this season for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL, called Petrino the "perfect hire" for the Cardinals.

"As soon as I heard coach (Charlie) Strong was possibly leaving, I said I wanted to see coach Petrino back," Barnidge said. "I know he is going to win.

"He's a great coach and gets the most from his players."

Barnidge said Petrino is "tough" on players and has heard the stories about how challenging he is, but said in the end "he does what he has to do."

"He gets the most out of you," Barnidge said. "I needed that, a lot of guys need that and he'll do it. I don't expect the program to lose a beat."

Former U of L quarterback Brian Brohm said he feels like Petrino was "the only guy for the job," with the talent the Cardinals have in the fold.

"It's really exciting," Brohm said. "What he did here in the past speaks for itself. He knows how to get the best out of each player and he knows how to win.

"He's going to be a very good fit for this program going into the ACC."

Brohm also noted that Petrino likes to "feed the studs," meaning get the ball to his best players and said, "DeVante Parker is a stud."

Ex-U of L and current Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush said, "coach Petrino helped me get to where I am today."

"He demanded a lot of discipline out of his team and those things really help you as a young player," Bush said.

Former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch called him a "brilliant coach."

Another former tight end – Ronnie Ghent – said he hopes the offensive players for the Cardinals are ready for the wide-open attack.

"It was a high-powered offense that's for sure," Ghent said. "He runs a tight ship and he holds the players accountable. He's a great coach."

Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood also played for Petrino at U of L and said he "couldn't be more excited" for his old coach to get his gig back.

"He had such an impact on my life and on the lives of so many guys," Wood said. "He's messed up some in the past, but he's changed and he's a great coach.

"It's hard to imagine but he's more focused now than he ever has been."

Several players talked about his mistakes and former U of L wide receiver Montrell Jones said he is glad he's getting another chance.

"I messed up and he gave me a second chance," Jones said. "I'm glad he's getting this chance to show he's a great coach."

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