March 22, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The University of Louisville football team took practice outside on Friday for the second day of spring practice at the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex.
With temperatures hovering in the around 38 degrees, the Cardinals practiced for about two hours in front of a few hundred spectators. This was the first practice open to the public of the spring, with the second one coming tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"The thing you like is the energy in our program," head coach Charlie Strong said following the second day of practice. "When you have guys in your program for a while you don't have to coach a lot of effort. When you have a veteran group, we tell them that we can't waste a day. We only have so many days."
The defense had a productive day as you would expect with pretty much the entire defense returning from last season. Cornerback Charles Gaines made a number of solid plays, almost coming up with at least three interceptions.
"The second day of practice got off to a great start," safety Calvin Pryor said after practice. "Everyone has great intensity and trying to learn the system. The main thing is coming together as a team. This is a time when we get better in the offseason."
Red-shirt freshman Nick Dawson played a lot with his hand on the ground from a defensive end position and has gotten a lot bigger and stronger from last year.
"Nick continues to grow and that's what you like about him, and he doesn't mind it," Strong said. "A lot of times a guy comes in at a position like a linebacker and he doesn't want to gain more weight, Nick has continued to eat and gain weight so he can get as big as he possibly can."
Another position Strong addressed after practice was the center position where Mario Benavides was the starter for the last four year. Senior Kamran Joyer, who has made a couple of starts is working at that spot this season.
"When you look at Mario (Benavides), he was a four-year starter for us," Strong said. "But Kamran (Joyer) played some at center when Mario was banged up. The thing that Kamran has is the experience because he has played both guard and center."
The Cardinals will return to the field in full pads for their third practice on Saturday morning.