Petrino pleased with progress of defense

With half of the spring practice session now in the past, U of L head coach Bobby Petrino is pleased with the progress of the Cardinals defense.

The University of Louisville football program has completed nine practice sessions of the spring period and have just seven remaining, including a scrimmage on Saturday slated to begin at 10:00 a.m.

With spring practice now beyond the midway point, U of L head coach Bobby Petrino is pleased with the development of his third Cardinal squad.

"I'm pretty much pleased with where we are at right now," Petrino told the media following Wednesday's rainy afternoon practice.

As the team entered spring practice, the majority of the question marks were found on the defensive side of the ball, where Petrino and defensive coordinator Mike Cassity will need to replace six spots left open due to graduation. However, at the midway point, some of those questions appear to have answers, while others still remain.

"I like our defensive front and I think our linebackers are doing a great job," Petrino said. "I feel better about our depth."

With returning linemen Montavious Stanley, Amobi Okoye, Elvis Dumervil, Chad Rimpsey and others, the Cardinals front line defense appears solid, especially with the continued development of players such as Brandon Cox and Adrian Grady.

Questions remain, especially concerning depth with the Cardinals secondary, where only one starter - William Gay - returns.

"We are a little thin in the secondary. I think we will need some of the freshmen to come in and play right away and provide some depth. I think Rod Council and William Gay are doing a great job on the corners. I like the move with Antoine Sharp going inside to safety."

Incoming freshmen Darius Mann, Lamar Alston and Richard Raglin are among those that could be counted on to provide depth in the secondary once fall camp begins.

JUCO transfer Zach Anderson
will provide depth at defensive
end this fall

"In the secondary...we need to find some depth at the safety position and on the corners," Petrino explained. "We recruited a bunch of them, so we need some of them to come in and play."

Junior college transfers linebacker/strong safety Nate Harris and defensive end Zach Anderson, as well as true freshman defensive end Earl Heyman will also likely receive game time this fall.

"Possibly a linebacker position or at defensive end, but those may not be freshman, but junior college transfers," continued Petrino.

The Cardinals will resume spring practice on Friday afternoon at the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium football complex.

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