Cassity pleased with defensive effort

Though Mike Cassity didn't like how his defense started Saturday's public scrimmage at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, the veteran defensive coordinator had to be pleased with the way they finished. What pleased Cassity from the scrimmage? Who stood out on defense the Louisville coordinator?

Though Mike Cassity didn't like how his defense started Saturday's public scrimmage at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, the veteran defensive coordinator had to be pleased with the way they finished.

Both the first and second team offenses drove 70 yards for touchdowns on their first series. While Brian Brohm and the No. 1 offense used a mix of run and pass to produce their first score, Trent Guy didn't waste time for the second team, taking a reverse 70 yards for a score on the first play.

Not including the Red Zone portion of the scrimmage, in which the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses scored three touchdowns in five possessions, the first and second team defenses only scored three combined touchdowns in 12 possessions that started at the 50 or beyond. That's not too shabby against an offense expect to rank among the best in the country.

"We came out the first two series and didn't play the way I'd like for us to play - we had a chance to intercept a ball on the first play of the game and we dropped it," Cassity said. "We can't not make plays when we have the opportunity. Overall, we were looking for effort, carry-over of assignments and technique and that part of it I was pleased. We've still got a long way to go, but I liked the energy and enthusiasm of the defense."

Louisville's front seven played well in the scrimmage and Cassity pointed out several players that played well in front of a crowd of about 5,000.

"I think Peanut made some progress the other night. He played, he played fast," Cassity said. "Maurice Mitchell showed some signs of playing well and Earl Heyman was another guy. As far as the linebackers go, I thought Lamar Myles did a lot of good things, along with Preston (Smith)."


Earl Heyman doing good things
at tackle in camp.

Projected starters Rod Council and Latarrius Thomas didn't play. Neither did junior college transfer Willie Williams. What impact did that have on the defenses performance?

"You know, whether it be injuries or the flu or whatever, that's part of the game and we try not to dwell on that," Cassity said. "Their backups will be good backups and I always tell our guys one player's misfortune is another player's opportunity. Obviously, you'd like to have your best 11 on the field, but we're still evaluating all that though."

One player who figures to be in Cassity's Top 11 sooner rather than later is cornerback Woodny Turenne, a talented 6-1, 190 pound junior college transfer. Turenne was impressive covering Mario Urrutia, blanketing the 6-foot-6 star wide receiver throughout the scrimmage and breaking up a couple passes, including one in the end zone.

"Woodny Turenne has shown in a short period of time that he has a lot of athleticism and possesses great speed and quickness," Cassity said. "The learning curve is what he's going to have to conquer. It will be our job defensively to cater our defense, if need be, to accommodate a really quality player. In other words, we're not going to overwhelm (him) with too much scheme."

Much was expected from Williams, the former No. 1 linebacker recruit in the nation. He missed a few practices last week, plus the scrimmage, before returning to field this week. Will the missed practice time impede his learning curve?

"I think anytime a guy misses practice I hate it more for the young man because he's falling behind," Cassity said. "Of course we don't want to put a player out there with either an injury or sickness. When Willie Williams is ready to go, he'll jump back out there."

Even though he's missed valuable practice time, Williams might have enough natural talent to compensate.

"I think he (does)," Cassity said. "I think he has a lot of athleticism. Again, as soon as he gets back we'll start looking at the package and what he can handle."


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