Spring Practice Notebook: Cards back to work

For the first time since Saturday afternoon's scrimmage, the Louisville football team returned to the practice field on Tuesday. The Cardinals got back to work during their seventh practice of the spring and InsideTheVille.com has a complete report from the practice field, including a one-on-one interview with linebacker coach Bill Miller.

For the first time since Saturday afternoon's scrimmage, the Louisville football team returned to the practice field on Tuesday. The Cardinals got back to work during their seventh practice of the spring InsideTheVille.com has a complete report from the practice field, including a one-on-one interview with linebacker coach Bill Miller.

Some of the highlights from Louisville's practice on Tuesday:

Senior defensive end Maurice Mitchell did some position drills Tuesday with his defensive line teammates. Mitchell, though, still wore a yellow non-contact jersey and finished practice running along the sidelines.


Adrian Grady

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich made his first appearance at spring practice. Jurich spoke with head coach Steve Kragthorpe briefly and watched the defense and new coordinator Ron English closely before leaving practice.

Senior Mozell Axson and sophomore linebacker Eugene Sowell returned to practice today after sitting out contact last week. Axson took reps with the first team defense at middle linebacker.

Safety Daniel Covington, who intercepted Matt Simms during Louisville's first scrimmage, picked off another pass during 7 on 7 drills on Tuesday.

JaJuan Spillman made the catch of the day – a diving reception deep down field from Hunter Cantwell.

Nick Borgelt has moved from center to guard to make way for true freshman Mario Benavides at center. Borgelt, a senior from Louisville Holy Cross, saw action at guard with the second team offensive line during Tuesday's practice.

Abdul Kuyateh replaced Brian Roche at guard on the first team offensive line during Monday's practice.

Michigan transfer James McKinney has missed the last three UofL practices, including the scrimmage. According to UofL officials, McKinney is out while working to improve in the classroom.

Sophomore defensive tackle Aundre Henderson missed practice because of illness.

Tight end Pete Nochta made a great leaping reception over safety Josh Wiley, who had excellent coverage, to move the chains during the 3rd down portion of practice.

Defensive end William Savoy recorded a sack during the ‘live' contact portion of practice.

Bilal Powell and JaJuan Spillman made big plays during the ‘red-zone' portion toward the end of practice. Powell showed off his explosive burst when he turned the corner on Mozell Axson and raced 10 yards for a touchdown. A few plays after Powell's touchdown, Hunter Cantwell found Spillman in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

Miller hoping for improvement


James Bryant

Bill Miller, Louisville's new linebacker coach, faces a big challenge this spring. Not only does Miller have the unenviable task of replacing starters Lamar Myles, Malik Jackson and Preston Smith from last season, he's doing it with players that don't have much experience.

During Saturday's scrimmage, not one of Louisville's three starting linebackers – Chris Campa, James Bryant and Josh McDonald, has ever played a snap for the Cardinals at their current position.

"They have zero experience," said Miller. "We have to get the ones that will execute the best and those guys might not even be here yet. I've been in that position a couple of different times at the University of Florida and Arizona State. We were in a very similar position when I took the job there. You have to establish what the criteria is to play the position."

While Miller got back two players from injury during Tuesday's practice, Mozell Axson and Eugene Sowell, the Cardinals defensive coaches have been forced to simplify things because of the linebackers lack of experience.

"We can't get too complicated with guys that have never been on the field," Miller said. "The one guy that has played some snaps is Mozell Axson and I think he has like 8 or 12 snaps of ball. When that's your leading guy in experience you don't have much. It's a challenge and they're working hard. My goal is to get them better every day."

As for Bryant, who was slightly injured on Tuesday and didn't finish practice, Miller says he's seen progress from the Miami transfer since spring practice began two weeks ago.

"He's really an unknown entity," Miller said. "He hasn't played much but none of these guys have. James is a big kid and he's a good looking strong guy. But it's all about making plays. He has made some progress here in the first six days in some fundamental areas. He is trying to be physical out there but he's just got a long way to go to play."


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