Notebook: 2008 Media Day

Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe, offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm and defensive coordinator Ron English met with members of the media Saturday morning. InsideTheVille.com has highlights from each coach in this installment of the ‘Notebook.'

New offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm said he sees the offense giving great effort in practice and believes the team is very ‘hungry' entering the 2008 season.

Brohm also said that the wide receiver position "is unproven," but that his young corps "has a lot of guys that are ready to step up." The Cardinals top three WR's early in fall camp are Scott Long, Chris Vaughn and Doug Beaumont.

What will a Jeff Brohm offense look like on the field? Brohm says his offense will be balanced and physical. "We're going to try to run the ball and attack the defense. Our goal is to be a great offense. We have to be balanced and be great both throwing and running the ball. Our goal is to excel in both areas."


Brohm on Hunter Cantwell: "He's paid his dues, has a great arm and likes to throw it downfield. He understands what we're doing and has a good feel for it. If we can simplify things for him and direct him where to throw it to he's going to throw it there. I know how to handle him. I think we'll work well together."

Anthony Allen is gone. So is George Stripling. But that doesn't seem to have Brohm worried about his running game. That's because Brohm can call on Brock Bolen, Bilal Powell and Victor Anderson to carry the pigskin. "I think we have three guys who can run it effectively and carry the load. We feel very comfortable with those guys."

Brohm said the tight end position is a "key position for us." Brohm says sophomore Pete Nochta "has stood out so far." He also believes converted LB Johnny Burns will help out behind Nochta. As for junior college transfers Rock Keys and Cameron Graham and true freshman Nate Nord, Brohm said, "The JUCO's and (freshmen) have shown promise but have a ways to go."

Brohm also said that he will call plays from the field this season instead of from the press box. "I have a little better feel on the field," he said.

Defensive Coordinator Ron English said the team has worked hard during the off-season and "it's evident." "I think we are improving," English added.

English is counting on several junior college transfers and true freshman Dexter Heyman to shore up Louisville's linebacker corps. "We've got more bodies and the new guys look like linebackers. We like their effort so far," English said.

What does English expect from his defense this season – a defense that ranked near the bottom of the Big East in nearly all major categories last year? "We expect to be sound, play hard and be physical," English said. "We've been stressing tackling and getting to the football in practice."

Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe called the season-opener against Kentucky a "marquee game." He also said, "It's a huge game. We want to win an get off to a good start. Our focus now is to get ready for that game."

While depth might be a problem this season at several key positions, Kragthorpe insists that "the best football players are going to play – whether they're (JUCO) transfers or (freshmen). We've got to quickly determine who those guys are."

After a rough first season in Louisville, Kragthorpe said he's glad to be back on the practice field and getting ready for the upcoming 2008 season, a season that features eight home games for the Cardinals. "As a head coach your therapy is the field," Kragthorpe said.

PLAYER NOTEBOOK


Dexter Heyman

Earl Heyman said the defense is adjusting to new coordinator Ron English and his expectations. "We didn't play the run good at all during the spring. It wasn't what Coach English was looking for at all. He's looking for intensity first. He always preaches play fast first. And we don't run to the ball we get to the ball. He also preaches knock the ball carrier back. He's a big believer in the big thud – hitting the ball carrier very hard. Now we know what he expects and it's coming along nicely."

What does big brother Earl Heyman think about little bro Dexter Heyman running with the No. 1 defense at outside linebacker? "He's doing pretty good. He's running with the one's (but) it's a learning experience for him. He's getting better. He knows his playbook and he studies it every night."

Team Captain and senior center Eric Wood has noticed some positive changes in the defense this fall. "Coach English is an intense person and he's really passionate about what he does and (defense) has got his attitude."

How does Wood see the offensive line – a unit breaking in three new starters – coming together? "We need to develop all throughout camp. We've got talent and fortunate to come in healthy to fall camp. I think the key is for us to gel as an o-line. The talent is there. I think mentally and technique-wise we've just got to come up to par."

Running back Victor Anderson admitted that he thought seriously about transferring while sitting out last season as a redshirt. "I wasn't used to sitting out and at first I wanted to transfer. A lot of the guys talked to me and told me to stick it out. I got a lot stronger and learned the game so it came together in the end."


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