Latarrius Thomas making contact

Following a season that saw him start eight games and garner Freshman All-American honors, Louisville safety Latarrius Thomas has become a key figure in the Cardinals secondary. Thomas spoke with recently about the upcoming season.

As a true freshman in 2006, Latarrius Thomas quickly developed a reputation as a hard-hitting safety in Louisville's secondary, so it was business as usual when the Cardinals practiced in full pads for the first time this season on Monday evening.

"It was good for the first day in pads," Thomas said. "Everyone was hitting well. As for myself, I think can do better, but being the first day in pads, I think I did well. I still have a lot of room for improvement though."

During the first three days of practice, the Cardinals secondary, better known as the ‘Duct Tape Boys,' have performed well and Thomas reports that the group continued to play aggressive football on the first day of full pads.

"So far, so good," Thomas said. "We looked pretty good in helmets, but it shows when we put on the pads and we did well today."

"Brandon (Heath) is working his way back and he's trying to earn a spot," Thomas said. "Deon (Palmer) and Jon Russell are back and they are both doing well, so we should be pretty good no matter who is out there. The corners are playing well and the new guys are going to make us even better."

The Florida native played in all 13 games - starting 8 - last fall as a first year Cardinal. He was credited 20 tackles, including two sacks, and earned 3rd Team Freshman All-American honors from The Sporting News. This season, Thomas finds himself no longer the rookie, but instead of the experienced vets.

"My expectations are the highest," Thomas said. "We want to win them all, but know that if we don't that we have to pick our head up and win the next game."

When Thomas arrived at Louisville last fall, he joined a team that was still viewed as the hunter, but a year later he finds his team now filling the role of the hunted.

"That's become the norm around here," Thomas said. "We know everyone is gunning for us, but we're gunning for people too."

Playing the role as the favorite hasn't effected the team's mental or physical approach to the upcoming season.

"It's the same," Thomas said. "We just outwork the opponent. It doesn't matter if we're the favorite or not, we just try to outwork our opponent. That's what we try to do everyday in practice - outwork the opponent."

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