Brohm: New offense looks and feels different

Louisville fans will get their first look at the post-Petrino Cardinal offense Thursday night in the season-opener against Murray State. Though Steve Kragthorpe's offense is expected to score lots of points, senior quarterback Brian Brohm says that fans will notice a difference this year.

Louisville fans will get their first look at the post-Petrino Cardinal offense Thursday night in the season-opener against Murray State. Though Steve Kragthorpe's offense is expected to score lots of points, senior quarterback Brian Brohm says that fans will notice a difference this year.

"I think they'll be able to tell that it's different," Brohm said. "It's obviously not going to look the same. In different situations, we're going to have different types of play calls. I think any time you have a different play caller (the offense) is going to look and feel a little different."

Brohm and his offensive mates have now had 15 spring practices, a spring game and a month of preseason practices to adjust to offensive coordinator Charlie Stubb's offense. Brohm struggled in Stubbs' offense during the spring game, throwing four interceptions in a loss to the defense – the first time that's happened at U of L since Bobby Petrino took over in 2003.

Now just two days away from kick off, Brohm says he's feeling a lot more comfortable in Stubbs' offense than he did during his forgetful spring game performance.

"We've been practicing this (offense) for a long time now and we're very used to it," he said.

Senior wide receiver Harry Douglas is used to being an integral part of some of the nation's most explosive offenses. During his four seasons at U of L, the Cardinals have finished the season in the Top 10 in total offense every year. Douglas says that's still the goal.

"We're going to add some things that he brought from Tulsa and mix it into what we were doing here on offense," Douglas said. "But the only difference is it's a new year. Our No. 1 goal is to the number one offense in the country. We're exciting and we have more playmakers than we had last year."


Brian Brohm

Brohm finished the 2006 season on a roll. He threw for 300 or more yards in each of Louisville's last three games, including a 311 yard effort in the Orange Bowl win over Wake Forest. Despite a new coach, and a slightly different offense, Brohm hopes the offense can build on last year's late season momentum.

"I'd say we've kind of picked up where we left off and we're building on the momentum we had last year," Brohm said. "We have a lot of continuity coming back at the quarterback and receiver positions."

One of the big concerns heading into the season was the U of L offensive front. While the lack of experienced depth is troubling, Brohm seems confident with the No. 1 O-Line, a unit led by potential All-Americans George Bussy and Eric Wood.

"I'm really happy with the way the O-Line has come along during camp and I feel very comfortable with them," Brohm said. "And I think we have a great group of running backs that are going to be able to share the load."

Depending on your point of view, running back could also be a concern. There's no Michael Bush or Kolby Smith, both of whom now are playing in the NFL. The Cards have several candidates to take their place, but no one has yet emerged as ‘the guy.'

"I think there will be three or four guys back there rotating and all of them can do a good job and bring different things to the table," Brohm said. "I think it probably will be more running back by committee this year."

As a starter, Brohm boasts an impressive 18-3 record. This year, the senior Heisman Trophy candidate will have more input into the Louisville offense than he ever had under Petrino.

"Me and coach Stubbs have sat down and talked about which plays I like to run and different things that I like to do," Brohm said. "He really wants to know what I like to do in certain situations so he can call the game that way. We really work well together."

Brohm threw for 3,049 yards and 16 yards last season in Petrino's balanced offensive attack. This season, Brohm should improve both of those numbers in Kragthorpe's pass-happy, spread offensive attack.

"I'd like to think I've matured a lot as a quarterback," Brohm said. "I think I keep improving on my decision-making skills and I'm more comfortable out there. I'm as comfortable out there as I can be."

One big difference for Brohm this season will be the absence of his brother Jeff on the sidelines. Jeff Brohm, quarterback coach and passing game coordinator, will work the game from the booth instead of the sideline this year.

"I'll be on the phone with him the entire time I'm off the field and he'll be going through the plays and the defenses that are out there," Brohm said. "I think it's going to work really well."


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