Aug. 9, 2009
Louisville, Ky. -
by: Rocco Gasparro
Sunday's practice was definitely the hottest of summer training camp so far for the University of Louisville Cardinals.
The team practiced at 4:50 this afternoon, but did make sure they took a couple of Gatorade breaks to give the players a chance to re-hydrate and catch their breath.
The Cardinals have definitely put a huge emphasis on special teams as they open they first couple of periods with special teams before also using the middle periods to also focus on the special units. The Cardinals worked on kickoff return today and it was good to see an abundance of speed back there returning kicks.
A multitude of different players were back there returning kicks, including Preston Pace, Victor Anderson, Trent Guy and Doug Beaumont. I was impressed with the way Pace and Anderson hit the seams fast.
Pace was also out there as one of the cornerbacks on the first team when coach Kragthorpe worked team drills. He was teaming with maninstay Johnny Patrick. Chaz Thompson and Daniel Covington were the safeties.
The offensive line shuffled different players in and out, but Byron Stingily worked a lot with the first group, while Mario Benavides continues to work well as the starting center. Mike Fennerty worked a lot at tight end, while the wide receivers were solid with Scott Long, Doug Beaumont, Josh Chichester, Drew Robinson, Trent Guy, Troy Pascley and newcomer Andrell Smith.
I liked the way Darius Ashley
made plays in the running and passing game. He was shifty in the hols to elude tacklers and made a number of plays down the field in the passing game.
"This team continues to impress me with the way they have come out and worked and worked," said Kragthorpe. "We have thrown a lot at them, but they continue to respond. We have had four long, tough practices and I haven't seen a drop off. We throw the pads on Monday and I'm looking forward to see who steps up and shows me something."
The team concluded its mandatory two-days in shoulder pads and helmets. They will put full pads on Monday for their first full-contact practice of 2009.