Cards developing better chemistry

Team chemistry - that was the big theme at the University of Louisville's football Media Day Saturday morning. And Cardinals head coach Steve Kragthorpe says his team is starting to develop the right sort of team chemistry - both on and off the field.

"We talk a lot about chemistry and I like the team chemistry right now," Kragthorpe said. "I like the way they work together and the focus that they have."

Kragthorpe gave a lot of credit for the improved team chemistry to new strength coach Joe Kenn, who came from Arizona State during the off-season. The Louisville coach also said there was more of a focus on togetherness during the off-season to help foster better team chemistry.

Ron English and Bobby Buchanan joked
around during Louisville's Media Day
on Saturday morning.

"(Joe) has done an excellent job of bringing these guys (together)," Kragthorpe said. "And we've made some changes. During the summer we did more things together as a team. Whether it was doing things (together) off the field or running as a team – not by (position) groups."

New Defensive Coordinator Ron English has also noticed improved team chemistry since taking over for Mike Cassity last January.

"Our chemistry not just as a defense but as a team is really improving," English said. "I think that's a product of our off-season. Our strength coach (Joe Kenn) is excellent and he has really helped build our team chemistry. I like where we are right now as a team. I like the fact that we're competitive but when (practice) is over we get back to being a team."

Kragthorpe believes that's how a winning football team is built.

"We're going to have to build a great football team," said Kragthorpe. "The way you do that is you spend more time (together) with each other. It's like any relationship. You don't build a relationship without spending time (together). So we've spent an inordinate amount of time with the players getting them to do it by themselves."

Now five days into fall camp, Louisville will be in full pads Saturday afternoon for the first time since practice began last Tuesday.

"I think we've had a good fall camp so far," Kragthorpe said. "It's in the infancy stages in terms of where we're at but I like the intensity our players have to work with every day and I like the focus that they have. We've had some very intense practices."

Kragthorpe hopes that improved intensity on both sides of the footballand better chemistry on and off the field will prove a winning formula this season.

"I like the way these guys are challenging each other every day in practice," Kragthorpe said. "We've had some very competitive and spirited drills and it was even better yesterday. It's been good because guys have been trying to help each other get better every day by playing hard against each other. And then you walk in the locker room after practice and everybody is laughing around and joking with each other. So I like the chemistry from that standpoint – challenge each other every day but also make sure we're taking care of each other every day as well."

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