Strong sees improvement; Eager for scrimmage

Charlie Strong felt his team improved Friday from their first practice earlier this week. Louisville had a lengthy practice Friday afternoon and Strong is eager to see the Cardinals during their first scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning.

Louisville coach Charlie Strong felt his team improved Friday from their first practice of the spring earlier this week. Strong's coaching staff worked hard 'coaching up' players and correcting mistakes during Friday's three-hour practice in anticipation of putting on the pads for Saturday mornings scrimmage.

"The guys have improved and that's what you want to see each day," Strong said. "Tomorrow will be interesting because we get to put the pads on. I like the way they came out today and ran around. The first day we [just told them] to run to the football. And today I think we ran to the line of scrimmage and to the ball."

Strong and his staff will have a busy weekend. Friday evening they'll be working late at the football complex breaking down film of the day's practice. Saturday, they'll conduct the first major scrimmage of spring practice, as well as hosting the program's annual Junior Day, an event for invited recruits to come to campus and watch practice.

It got a little heated between the offensive and defensive sides of the ball during Friday's practice. Louisville will put pads on for the first time this spring Saturday.
"It's all about the system and guys picking up what they need to do as far as learning their plays," Strong said. "We'll know more when we go in and look at the film and I just hope there is improvement from day one."

The Cardinals will scrimmage for the first time under Strong Saturday morning. Strong said he's interested to see how his defense responds to the challenge.

"We're going to scrimmage tomorrow, put the ball down and let them go hit some," Strong said. "We have to make sure guys can tackle, and if he can tackle to see if he can get off blocks. What you like to see is guys running around, getting to the football and tackling. [On offense] you want the offensive line opening up holes and seeing the running back run through them."

Strong said he thinks the players are eager to put the pads on for the first time since the season-finale against Rutgers, a loss that ended the Cardinals season with a 4-8 record.

"I think they are," Strong said. "We've been off since Thanksgiving so the guys get a chance to put the pads on and go hit each other."

Louisville is expected to host about 100 recruits Saturday, most of which are expected to be in attendance for Saturday mornings scrimmage. Friday, three prospects – QB DaMarcus Smith, Fern Creek lineman Jamon Brown and Alabama tight end Collin Jarboe – attended practice. Smith and Brown have already committed to UofL, while Jarboe holds an offer from the Cards.

"Recruiting is an every day process and we've got some guys coming in tomorrow," Strong said. "It will give them a chance to see our facilities and a chance to watch us practice. I'll address them. More than anything we want to get them on campus and let them see the campus."

Practice Notebook

Isaac Geffrad made an impressive leaping interception during defensive drills, extending high into the air to haul down the throw....Corner Johnny Patrick was like a glove covering Troy Pascley during receiver/defensive back drills, making a perfect pass deflection on one play...Charlie Strong appears to be rotating his quarterbacks this spring. Adam Froman took first snaps during Wednesday's practice. Friday, Justin Burke went first, followed by Will Stein and Adam Froman....Doug Beaumont and Josh Chichester made a few receptions underneath during practice....C.J. Peake, now running at linebacker, made a nice interception along the sideline, wrestling the ball away from the intended receiver....There was a lot of focus on sprinting on and off the field during Friday's practice and there were a ton of players who had to do up-downs for making mistakes...Now two practices into spring – unless I've missed it – we are still waiting for the first water break...that's a big departure from the past. There's been no wasted's been football, football, football.

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