March 31, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky.- University of Louisville offensive coordinator Garrick McGee knows his offense is a work in progress, especially at one the most important spots, the quarterback position.
Teddy Bridgewater, who threw for 3,970 yards and a school record 31 touchdowns, is headed to possibly be a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft in May. The Cardinals, after eight spring practices, are still trying to get a feel about where the position is at this point of the spring, but McGee knows there is a long way to go.
"I think the quarterbacks had a tough week," McGee said after Saturday's scrimmage. "However, I think they had a good finish to the week. There are still a lot of details they need to work out. It's a real hard position to play because every single step is important."
Head coach Bobby Petrino has indicated that sophomore Will Gardner is in the lead after the first two weeks, and after the first two scrimmages, Gardner is trying to push himself further away from the rest of competition.
"I think he is a very talented kid," McGee said. "He just works very hard. There are some days on the field where he really understands what is going on both offensively and defensively that he can make the checks and get us into the right plays."
One player who has stood out this spring has been senior wide receiver Matt Milton. A 6-foot-5 wide out, Milton was relegated to the bench last season, but has been given a huge opportunity by Petrino and McGee, and Milton has taken full advantage of his second chance. Milton recorded three touchdowns in last Saturday's scrimmage, and all were of the big play variety.
"We like Matt (Milton)," McGee said. "He is a tall. He did a great job in our testing. He ran real fast for a guy his size. He started to impress us with his lifts and speed. In our meetings, I could tell he was really paying attention and trying to learn. When you have a guy that tall who can run, he can create problems down the field and making catches."
This spring, the Cardinals showed they have a solid group of running backs, and McGee thinks his stable of running backs is starting to run hard and be more physical, which was evident in last Saturday's scrimmage. Brandon Radcliff received the bulk of the carries, but Dominique Brown, L.J. Scott and Michael Dyer also received turns carrying the football.
"They did a better job this Saturday finishing runs," McGee said. "We like big backs because they finish falling forward. We thought last week that they jumped out of a lot of holes, and they didn't run as physical as they should run. There were signs in the scrimmage that they wanted to be physical. I think they made improvement in regards to being physical runners."
The Cardinals have seven practices remaining this spring to continue learning their new offensive scheme and terminology. However, the good news is that it is only spring, and the Cardinals have all summer to get it right before practice resumes in August.