Football News and Notes

It may be the heart of the basketball season, but we've got tons of updates from the pigskin front, including news on Davis Manning's recruitment, Mike Cassity's defensive philosophy, and Michael Bush's possible position switch.

Gillhamer to Carolina Panthers
According to Bobby Petrino, Mike Gillhamer interviewed with the Carolina Panthers and another NFL team over the weekend at the combines and was offered the job with the NFC Champions late last night.

"I knew when we hired Mike that there was a possibility that he would someday leave and go to the NFL," Petrino said. "That's what he wanted to do."

Tony Levine back on the field
Director of Football Operations Tony Levine is back on the field. After a short stint coaching the running backs during the GMAC Bowl, Levine remained as the DOFO to make to make room for Cassity. Levine will now coach the linebackers along with former U of L standout Reggie Johnson.

Nord to pull double-duty
Tight end coach Greg Nord will pull double-duty next season as he'll also have responsibility for the running backs. Petrino said he'll help Nord during practice with both groups.

"When he's out with the tight ends, I'll be out with the running backs," Petrino said. "When he's with the running backs, I'll be working with the tight ends."

Cassity and Gillhamer have differing philosophies
While Gillhamer was more of the bend don't break school of thought, Cassity favors a more attacking, in your face style. Cassity said he'll try to put opposing offense's in long yardage situation on first and second downs to make them more predictable on third down. He also indicated that at Illinois his team pressured two out of every three snaps.

"We've got to tighten it up [on defense] and have some three and outs," Petrino said. "We need to get the ball back for our offense and we got to be able to do that."

New look on offense?
Petrino said fans might see more three and four receiver or three receiver, two back sets from his offense this season to take advantage of strengths at receiver and running back and to compensate for the loss of tight ends Ronnie Ghent and Richard Owens.

"We've got to figure out what our best talent is and get our best guys on the field," Petrino said. "And then continue to get them the ball."

Manning a suprise commit
Petrino said that Huntsville quarterback Davis Manning told him in his office during his visit that he wasn't interested in coming to Louisville if the Cardinals signed Brian Brohm. However, Petrino noticed on signing day that Manning hadn't signed with anyone and decided to give the 6-foot-5, 210-pound signal caller a call. To make a long story short, Manning will take six hours at a local junior college before enrolling at U of L next January to create some space between himself and Brohm.

"He was a young man who was second on our list," Petrino explained. "And if something happened that we didn't get Brian, we were going to take Davis. He throws the ball real well. He's a good athlete. And he's got good bloodlines."

Cassity on Michael Bush
"I was very aware of Michael Bush the last three or four years. When you have a great athlete as Michael is, it's very, very intruiging to see him have interest on the defensive side. And what I've seen in the weight room and watching him move around..tremendous talent.


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