March 23, 2013
TLOUISVILLE, Ky.-The University of Louisville football team put the pads on for the first time this spring as the Cardinals completed their third practice of the spring on Saturday morning.
Under cool temperatures and sunshine, the Cardinals conducted a spirited and emotional practice with a lot of hitting and physical play. Head coach Charlie Strong put the Cardinals through the "Oklahoma Drill," and one player who stood out in stopping the run was defensive tackle Jamaine Brooks.
"Louie May (Jamaine Brooks) is a big man to move," defensive coordinator Vance Bedford. "We can do a lot of things with him. We are going to try and do a little two-gap with him and see if he can do that. If he can stop the run and take up two gaps, we will be pretty good on defense."
The Cardinals received good production out of both of their running backs in Dominique Brown and Brandon Radcliff. Both players ran with good pad level and made defenders miss. The duo was also effective coming out the backfield.
"I thought it was pretty even out there today," senior linebacker Preston Brown said after practice. "The offense did a really good job hitting the gaps today, but I thought it was pretty even in my book."
The Cardinals are always looking for leadership out of their senior class, and they may have found one in Brown, who has recorded over 200 tackles during his two years as the starting linebacker. Brown led the Cardinals with 109 tackles a year ago, and looks to be even more productive on the field and off as a leader.
"I feel like I can do that know," Brown said of his expanded leadership role. "I feel like I can talk to the guys and get them lined up and getting them to their spots."
Bedford, who is in his fourth year, thinks he sees a lot of development from Brown as one of the team's leaders.
"I saw it today in practice," Bedford said about Brown's leadership. "He ran around and made plays; made checks; got guys lined up. That is what a senior is supposed to do. He is taking a leadership role like a senior should do."
The Cardinals will head behind closed doors for the rest of spring practice, beginning on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. The Cardinals will practice Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of next week.