Aug. 17, 2012
Shawn ~nbsp>Watson Interview | Brian ~nbsp>Jean-Mary | Brandon ~nbsp>Dunn Interview | Preston ~nbsp>Brown Interview
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As the University of Louisville football team prepares for another big scrimmage on Saturday morning, the Cardinals continued two-a-days with their final one of fall camp on Friday morning.
Louisville hit the practice fields at 7 a.m. for the first of two practices. The Cardinals will go again at 5:30 p.m. today. The squad went for a little less than two hours and scripted a number of drives that started with just 20 seconds left in the game.
As the countdown clock ticks down to 17 days before the season opener versus Kentucky, the Cardinals will conduct their second scrimmage of the fall on Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
The offense, directed by quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Will Stein, looks to build upon the success it had in the first encounter. The offense was able to create big plays in the passing game and also showed a toughness to run the football.
"We need to see consistency in playing clean," said offensive coordinator Shawn Watson after practice. "We have been very explosive. We want to see consistency in our clean play so that routes, the blocking patterns in the run game and the protections look like the drawings. We are getting closer. We still have work to do in playing clean."
Head coach Charlie Strong pointed out after the first scrimmage that the offense was clearly ahead of the defense, and Watson points to the development of the offensive line for a part of the offense's success.
"They have played very well in camp," said Watson of the offensive line. "They have great communication and are on the same page. They are a pretty cohesive group, where a year ago they were a talented group, but working toward the communication and the cohesiveness, which the line has to have. They have all played together for a year. They have been in spring ball together and in camp together. You feel them on the field and you hear their communication. You feel their thump when we are running the football."
The defense is looking to make amends after being called out by the head coach after the first scrimmage.
"We are looking forward to it," said junior defensive tackle Brandon Dunn of Saturday's scrimmage. "The offense got after us the first time and a good defense has to own up to it. We know we have a strong season ahead of us, so we are trying to get more players healthy and more players playing time."
Dunn has been singled out as the leader of the defense and has been praised for his play on the defensive line.
"I feel good," said Dunn. "I'm in the best shape of my life. I love the organization. I'm being myself around the players, and I'm enjoying the leadership role. It's just a good feeling and a good vibe. You go to practice and it's just easier because I'm growing up. I understand things more and I'm playing for the love of the game. I could do this every day."
Dunn has dropped a few pounds and it looks like it has paid off for the former product of Pleasure Ridge Park High School, who is having a good camp despite being a little limited due to injury.
"I dropped a couple of pounds. I found a weight that I'm able to play at, which is about 290 or 295. I feel great right there. I feel quick, nimble and I'm able to move. I just couldn't play at 310. The coaches wanted me there. I bought into what they were saying, but I couldn't do, so I got down to a comfortable weight."