University of Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham told reporters after spring practice that he was excited about the progress the Cardinals made during the month-long practice.
Grantham has to replace five players who were taken in the NFL Draft but returns six starters and has a lot of new pieces to fit into the puzzle before the Sept. 5 game against Auburn.
While the defense wasn't perfect in spring ball, Grantham said he was elated with the progress.
"They did a lot of studying and made a lot of improvement," he said. "We know what to do and how to do it. The mental errors were at a minimum, which is a very good sign.
"We worked them really hard in the spring and they made progress."
Grantham said when losing so much talent the biggest deal for the next season is to get a good base in the spring and then mix in the rest of the newcomers before the fall.
About a dozen players, including mainly true freshmen, didn't participate on defense in the spring.
"They guys who have been here are going to be leaders," he said. "They have to be leaders and they're prepared and should be ready to go in the fall. We just have to make sure they keep improving and we mix in the other guys.
"We just have to make sure they know the craft they play."