Petrino happy with Cards progress this spring

University of Louisville coach Bobby Petrino sounded pleased with his team's progress after watching the Red team down the White team 49-7 in the Cardinals spring game Friday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

We're you pleased with the team's progress this spring?

I think we had a good spring. We've got a long way to go. We've got a lot of things to address, but our guys are hungry and very motivated. They'll get some time off, focus on their finals then come back May 30 for summer school and get back to work.

How about the team's health coming out of spring practice?

I think we're in pretty good shape. We didn't have a lot of guys miss practices – Michael Bush missed one week with the flu, and Kolby missed some practices with a pulled hamstring, but I thought he came back well this week. It was good to get him out there tonight just to get him some ‘live' carries.

What are your thoughts on Michael Bush?

I think he had a great spring. I think I saw him do things this spring that I haven't seen him do before. He's running with better pad levels. He's really worked hard keeping his pads down and being able to cut and feel the blocking schemes. He showed some power on the goal line. It's amazing how good his feet are, and how well he moves his hips. We need to throw it to him more. He has great hands and can make catches that other guys can't.

Are you encouraged by the offensive line?

I'm really encouraged. This spring was so much fun because those guys worked really hard. They show a lot of energy and play with a lot of second effort. One thing we have to be careful is not to ask them to do too much.


Petrino was impressed with Michael
Bush's play during spring practice.

What about the defensive front?

I still think we've got some work to do on that edge rusher, although I saw Brandon Cox do a much better job of coming off the ball today. He's really worked hard on the technique of doing it. I'm really happy with Adrian Grady. He showed he can be a dominant player inside, and Amobi Okoye continues to get better and better.

How important was getting Hunter Cantwell reps with the No. 1 offense all spring?

You can't beat those reps with the one's. We put a lot of pressure on him. He handled it well. He didn't do everything right and he made some mistakes, but he learned from them and that's the biggest key.

What's the reason behind playing Pat Carter at both quarterback and wide receiver?

We felt like we needed to do that to make sure we get another guy ready to go. Between him and Bill Ashburn, I think they both had good spring's and improved. I would see Patrick as being a really good receiver for us. I think he can do some things over the middle and on the sideline with his height. He's a very talented young man.

Do you feel the secondary improved this spring?

We did. On the corner, Rod Council's experience is paying off. I thought William Gay had the best spring that he's had since he's been here. He really understands what offenses are trying to do. He played much more physical, and we're asking him to make tackles. And then our safety's got better as spring went on. I think Brandon Sharp came to the ball well tonight. The other (spot) is up in the air between Jon Russell and Deon Palmer.

What's been the key for William Gay this spring?

His focus. He's been starting here off and on for three years and he came out this spring very focused understanding that this is his last go-around. He really took to the coaching. I thought he really focused and made a real effort to do what we coached him to do. You get to your last year and you do focus and see what's out there for you.

Eric Wood looks like the leader of the offensive line

He's completely taken over the leadership of the offensive line. He's a tough kid, very motivated and very much into football. I think he's helped our attitude upfront to be a little tougher and nastier. He's taken over the role from Jason Spitz.

How about the wide receivers?

We have a pretty good crew. Harry Douglas had a really good spring. What he's done is he's gotten stronger so he doesn't get off balance and bumped out of bounds. He had probably as good a spring as we've had.


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