The Cardinals had an intense two and half hour practice that ended with a full scale, 11-on-11, high intensity scrimmage. The several hundred fans in attendance were treated to a spirited and physical scrimmage that featured plenty of heavy hitting.
"I thought it was really good and our tempo was excellent," Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe said. "Our guys were out here flying around and doing a nice job absorbing a lot of things from a schematic standpoint that we're putting on them.
"We've thrown a lot at them over the course of the last three days. I like their attitude and the way they're flying around. Obviously, there are some things that we need to smooth out from an execution standpoint, but when we have this kind of effort we can coach them through the mistakes."
Offensively, Brian Brohm looked sharp throwing the ball and wide receiver Harry Douglas made several big catches. Running back Brock Bolen also made some impressive, physical runs toward the end of the scrimmage.
Despite the efforts of Brohm and the offense, the U of L defense might have gotten the better of their offensive counterparts during the scrimmage. Led by Earl Heyman and Deantwan Whitehead in the trenches, the Louisville defense was solid against the run. Safety Deon Palmer intercepted Hunter Cantwell and the secondary broke up several passes.
"I thought our defense flew around and our offensive line, for the most part, did a nice job and was very physical. Our backs finished some runs and our quarterbacks threw the ball well. So I thought overall it was pretty good," Kragthorpe said.
Following the scrimmage, the 6-6, 250 pound Whitehead noted some differences in Louisville's new offense. "The whole offense looks different," he said. "The blocking scheme is different. The cadence is different. Everything is different."
Heyman, a 6-3, 290 pound junior tackle, said the players were eager to put the pads back on and start to get after it on the field.
"It was an extremely physical day because we hadn't been out in pads for so long," Heyman said. "We try to push for perfection every day and get better and better and better. We're going to act like it's a game everyday when we're in pads so we can (improve). It was extremely physical today, but we were anxious to get out there and hit."
One of the biggest storylines this spring is how the players will handle the transition from Petrino's system to Krathorpe's. From Kragthorpe's perspective, he's trying to find players this spring that he can trust to make plays next fall when the game is on the line.
"I told them I want to see guys who can make plays every single day and can come out here and be consistent," he said.
After practicing three consecutive days, Louisville will take Monday off before returning to the field Tuesday afternoon. Louisville first "official" scrimmage is set for Thursday.
Spring Practice Notebook: Day Three
Two members of Louisville's 2007 recruiting class were on hand for Sunday's practice inside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium – Cincinnati offensive lineman Mark Wetterer and running back Victor Anderson. Wetterer spent the entire practice standing near the south end zone paying close attention to the offensive line drills.
Pleasure Ridge Park junior standout Brandon Newman attended practice. A 6-1, 300 pound defensive tackle, Newman is considered one of the top prospects in the state of Kentucky. Steve Kragthorpe spoke with "Big ‘B'" briefly along the sidelines during practice.
Larry Traugher, an all-state linebacker from Jeffersonville High, also attended practice with Victor Anderson. Traugher was wearing a U of L t-shirt and is expected to walk-on to the Louisville football squad in the fall.
Steve Kragthorpe said after practice Sunday that his staff will likely only install half of their offensive package. "We'll only have about 40 to 50 percent of our offense in throughout the course of spring. We'll obviously customize and tailor it to who we're going to play during the fall."