Grantham discusses Cardinals defense

University of Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham visited with media following Wednesday's practice session. Cardinal Authority has this report.

One of the many story lines as the University of Louisville opened spring practice is how well the Cardinals defense would make the transition to the 3-4 defense being installed by defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

Through two days of work, Grantham is impressed by his unit's work ethic and desire to improve.

"It's going good," Grantham said. "I really like our guys energy, their effort, their attitude. You can tell they work at it. We just have to continue to work hard and try to get better every day.

"The key with spring is really about evaluating the players that you have and what they can do. Putting them in situations where they can be successful and find out what they can't do. Then you want to kind of move guys around and cross-train guys because defensively it's about making plays and having your best 11 players on the field based upon the situation at hand."

As the defense continues to grasp an understanding of the new scheme, Grantham anticipates making some adjustments that will best fit his current talent pool.

"We have good athletes," he said. "These guys are working hard. You always fit your system relative to the players you have and we'll obviously do that as we move forward."

The Cardinals returned just four starters from last season's 12-1 team, but due to the new coaching staff and defensive philosophy, all positions are up for grabs.

"I think you always start back at zero from the standpoint that it's a clean slate for everybody," Grantham said. "We're going to let every one compete for a job. We're going to find ways to get good football players on the field and if you make plays that are productive, we are going to find a way to play you."

The Cardinals will have Thursday off before returning for the third practice of spring on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.


**Practice was conducted inside the Trager Facility and the team worked without pads for a second day.

**As we noted on Tuesday, safety Gerod Holliman continues to impress. The junior has been very active and has made numerous plays on the ball.

"I thought he was really impressive the past two days as far as playing fast and getting his hands on some balls," Grantham said. "We're mixing him up and playing him at a couple positions. I think he's obviously impressed us without the pads, but the key is though when the pads come on and it's real football, what can you do."

**Running back Michael Dyer performed very well for a second straight day. Dyer was explosive through the gaps and caught the ball well out of the backfield before going to the sideline late in the practice with a limp.

Dominique Brown is clearly the first team back. He's running well and providing leadership.

**Much has been said of Petrino's very high-paced practices. From improved conditioning and increased reps, the benefits of practicing his way has multiple rewards.

"We got to get better every day," Grantham explained. "We basically have to take the approach that are we working and smarter than anyone else in the ACC. If we do that then we will be where we want to be in the end."

**Wide receiver Matt Milton has been getting a number of reps with the first team. The 6-foot-5, 202-pound senior had a few nice catches, and a few drops, on Wednesday.

**The interception of the day was made by sophomore linebacker Nick Dawson-Brents when he made a two-handed grab at the line of scrimmage off a Kyle Bolin attempt. His experience playing both the defensive end and linebacker positions should benefit him greatly in the 3-4 scheme.

"Nick is a guy that can play multiple spots for us," said Grantham. "He's working hard. He's a physical guy who has some size to him, which is a good thing."

**A time has yet to be announced for Saturday's practice session. Saturday's practice will include a short scrimmage.

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