Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cards Get Taken Behind The Woodshed

Louisville got treated like a cheep hooker by Kentucky's defense, forcing five turnovers that would lead to 21 of their 27 points and only let the Cards even get into the Red zone once. If it wasn't for a safety the Cards would have suffered their first shutout since 2000, when they lost 31-0 at Florida State. Fifth year Senior Hunter Cantwell, who has been waiting 3 years to get his chance, basically took that chance and crapped all over it. He showed no poise in the pocket, throwing passes that would have hit Garry Coleman in the shins and having several throws tipped that helped lead to three interceptions, as well as a fumble that the Cards let UK's version of Leon Lett (Pryor) recover and run 77 yards back for a touchdown that was the nail in an already buried coffin. Of course the few times, and I do mean few times, he threw a nice pass, Louisville's receivers would just drop the ball. Kentucky's front four had their way with the Cards offensive line that resulted in just 202 total yards for Louisville and I think they need to go back and recheck those numbers cause that might be generous. Ok, I have vented enough about how pathetic the Cards offense looked. Now the defense...made a bad UK offense look awful. The Louisville front seven showed great heart, holding the Cats to just 3 points (Kentucky TD came off of fumble) through 3 and a half quarters. Stuffing a Cats run game and holding them to just 63 yards on 33 carries (1.8 yards per carry) and 210 total yards. It wasn't enough, he even though everyone on the defense played well (Latarrius Thomas did miss a few to many tackles though). But there were many more negatives then positive in this game and they better get fixed fast or this will be a long season, leaving Cards fans really counting down the days 'til basketball season to get here. Quick position by position break down grades

QB - D
That is a generous grade considering the fact I watched the whole game

RB - C
Would have been a D but I took into count how bad the o-line played

WR - C
This would be an F- if it wasn't for Douglas Beaumont

TE - D
Dropped passes and no help in blocking

O-line - C
Wood showed up and Bussey played every now and then but Adams and Watterer got treated worse then Tina Turner with a smart mouth

D-line - A
Did a great job filling gaps and containing a good UK RB trio

LB - B
Would have been an A but despite their great play still showed inexperience at times. They would get no pressure on almost every blitz and struggled in coverage but for a unit that was all new starters they played great.

CB - C
Did a good job of not allowing big plays and making open field tackles. Coach English had them keeping UK's receivers in front of them but did allow a few to many guys to get open, lucky for them Hartline does blow chunks

Safety - B
No big plays and Raglin (who couldn't tackle a fat kid last season) made great open field tackles, but to many missed tackles by Thomas keep this from being an A grade.

Special Teams - D
Only FG attempt blocked when Kentucky was just given a red carpet up the middle, while the punting game was bad enough to make me jump off a tall building. The return game was nothing special as Powell spent more time stutter stepping then running every time he returned a kick.

Coach Kragthorpe admitted to all his teams mistakes in the press conference, taking all the blame as he always does, but you know what we have all seen this song and dance before. That's great that you know what you did wrong, so you know what Coach? How about instead of feeding us a crap load of cliches about what you did wrong, why don't you try fixing them. Cause if the Cards play the way they did today all season, I will be shocked if Louisville can win more then 4 games.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gearing Up for the Cats

First off, sorry about the lack of posts in the last week. Trevor and I are busy blazing the airwaves on 93.9 The Ticket on Sports Night with Jody Demling and UK fan Matt Jones. That being said, we will be bringing in a couple of new writers to help out and give a new perspective, so be expecting a good amount of updates daily on the Louisville site that tells the truth about the goings on in the Cardinal Nation.

As for the game on Sunday, I am getting more and more confident as it gets closer. We are better than is being portrayed and the Mildcats are worse. I understand that we are very inexperienced at LB, but would you rather replace players that didn't get the job done or bring them back like UK is doing? The Cats' "great" defense gave up just as many points and yards as the Cards' "god-awful" defense. New coordinator Ron English has the defense whipped into shape and unlike last year, the players will be lined up right and if they screw up they will hear about it.

The LB corps was hampered by the loss of senior Mozell Axson, who tore a MCL in a non-contact drill in practice last week and was our leading returning tackler. The Cards' starters have played a combined ZERO games in college, but with how our experienced LBs played last year that might not be such a bad thing. I have heard nothing but good things about Louisville Male true freshman Dexter Heyman, one being that he could join Amobi Okoye and Elvis Dumervil as one of the best defenders in the last 20 years at Louisville. Jon Dempsey and Antwan Canady are less known but impressed English and Kragthorpe enough to be given the start. As long as the mistakes don't pile up exponentially, these young guns will be fine.

Our DBs will be much improved this year (can't get much worse). Lattarious Thomas returns at safety with his 10+ career INTs and surgically repaired knee. Thomas will join the underrated Richard Raglin and Bobby Buchanan in the defensive backfield. As with the LBs, the DBs will at least line up correctly this year, which will help mask some of their inabilities. It is time for Woodny Turenne to put up or find a nice clean spot on the bench. English won't let him get away with that this year without punishing his playing time. It is definitely time for the former 5-star JUCO All-American to show us what the recruiting experts saw from him. Sophomore Johnny Patrick played solid at the end of last year and has been great in practice by all accounts. They will be joined in nickel situations by the hard-hitting Travis Norton and Marcus Folmar. This group will be better than the pundits and last year would suggest. All played a significant amount of time last year and have seen their weaknesses revealed. This experience combined with the addition of Ron English is the reason why thios group is vastly underrated. We all know what happened the first few weeks last year with a relatively new bunch and it will do nothing but help these guys improve this year.

Check out our Defensive Line Preview here. It will be imperitive for Earl Heyman and co. to make some stops and take the pressure off of the newcomer LBs. UKs RBs could just destroy us if they break that intial wall as much as they'd like. The defense as a whole needs to play with a chip on their shoulder, like their pride is at stake.

This defense is better than everyone thinks. From the coaches to the attitude. Don't be surprised if we actually stop somebody this year. However, as I said it can't get much worse.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Football News

Couple quick notes on the football team...

- The Cards scrimmaged Tuesday and sophomore WR Doug Beaumont has continued to impress Coach Krathorpe....

"He's a very good player, very versatile player for us who can play any of the four wide receiver positions. He's a great special teams player (who) did a lot of things for us last year in that role. Now his role has expanded a little bit because he's going to be a counted on guy on the offensive side of the ball and I think he's ready to step up and be counted."

- Matt Simms was suspended for 4 games by Koach for what the university called "a violation of team rules". No official reason for suspension, but pictures floating around the net (which you will never see here - the guy is still on the team) may give an indication of what he might be guilty of. However with the new curfew in effect, Kragthorpe might be making an example out of a guy he knows won't be playing in at least the first 4 games.

- Correction about Justin Burke, the transfer from NC State. I said he would be eligible for three years when it is only two. With a chance to spread the ball around in a more potent offense than he had with the Wolfpack, Burke will be better used in Louisville. He is a prolific passer and an extremely intelligent young man who WILL compete for the job next year with Tyler Wolfe, possibly Simms and freshman Zach Stout.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Case You Missed It....

Posted a few articles articles of my own for your viewing pleasure but if for some reason you can't stand me, here are some links from around the Cardinal nation for you to chew on....

- Louisville had there first scrimmage on Thursday night. It was a 75 play affair under the lights of the pizza palace. Our frog-gigging QB had at least 4 TDs and our gut-wrenching DB made a few big plays according to UofL. Remember, all of this was against...US.

- Cardinal basketball recruit Peyton Siva's performance in the adidas Nations tourney was profiled by the fine writers at

-Here is a video interview with potential 2011 recruit Tony Wroten (also from who plays on the same AAU team as Siva and '20 target Josh Smith (left). Both are said to be among the best player of his class (top 5), although a lot could happen in 2 years.

- I saw incoming freshman Terrence Jennings at a local restaurant and asked him if his grades were going to let him play. He looked at me like I was crazy, then smiled and said he would be eligible to play in game #1. Nice to have that settled easily, unlike our boys in Lex who's point guard hopes rest on a qualification score. How great would it be to see Cat fan pull his hair out all year watching Michael Porter run the point.

- Former C-J beat writer Brian Bennett's debut in the blogosphere for was a story about Brock Bolen's dad. If you don't already know the tale, you have to read it immediately.

- Good article about former Card safety Kerry Rhodes who is blowing up for the J-E-T-S.

- For the record... I'm not touching this new Caracter news. Too many loose end to report it as fact.

Previewing the D-Line

For a team that gave up over 200 yards and five games last year, one being Middle Tennessee St., the Louisville defensive line has nowhere to look but up. To their own credit, the Cards' lack of pass coverage in the secondary caused teams to get ahead fast and then work the clock by running the ball on a tired, frustrated line. There is no excuse why this line gives up the amount of yards per game (165.3) and TDs (20) that they gave up last season. In 2006 the Cards gave up only 105 ypg and recorded 44 sacks as opposed to only 18 sacks in 07. The loss of Amobi Okoye and the injuries to Adrian Grady and Peanut Whitehead could be reasons for the downward turn, however effort seemed to decline last year. New line coach Ken Delgado (top right) seems like the type of guy that won't let that trend continue.

"I had a hard time at first believing in his system, but after watching what [Delgado] wanted and him showing us film and how it all works I saw something and said ' I think we can make this work'." said senior DT Earl Heyman, "From then on, I saw it in a whole new light. Adrian Grady and I have been believing in him since. Believing his technique, believing his coaching, believing he won't point us in the wrong direction because he wants to win...I think I've learned more pass rushing moves under coach Delgado than I have my whole career combined"

Delgado comes in to help coach a line that returns three starters if you include Grady who missed 5 games with a torn pectoral muscle. The Cal import [Delgado] has been working hard with the players these first couple weeks on technique and explosion, something he felt they were lacking last year. The number of attempted sluggish arm tackles on ball carriers has to stop this season whether it means training what the Cards have or finding a new mix that will give 100% effort. Delgado has coached in 10 bowl games and sent numerous players to the NFL including La'Roi Glover and Kabeer Gbaja Biamila.

The leader of the line has to be senior and Louisville Ballard product Earl Heyman who has the quickness and ability to add to Delgado's list of pros. Earl had a career-high 40 tackles last year. I would like to see that number increase this year. Some fans like myself would like to see him play more end but it would leave a gaping hole at DT which is more difficult to disguise. Heyman is ready to assume the role of defensive leader:

"I am the leader of this defense and I embrace that. If they run the ball on us, I'm not blaming anyone but myself. I look up in the stands and see my family and people I know and feel a responsibility to lead the defense"

Senior Adrian Grady has started at one point in his first three years. and will start at DT next to Earl this season. Two years ago it was a broken fibula and last year a torn pectoral which kept him out of a significant amount of action. Grady is considered one of the strongest members of the team and when healthy will cause problems. As a true freshman in 05, Grady started 6 games and tallied 30 tackles (5.5 for loss).

Not much is known about JUCO transfer Tyler Jessen, but he has already gained the respect and admiration of his teammates. The learnig curve will work faster for Jessen due to his JUCO experience. Heyman told me he is one of his impact newcomers. He will come in handy to spell Grady and Earl on long drives or late in the game.

Aside from Jessen, the talent level drops at the tackle after Heyman and Grady. LD Scott might have to move from his natural end position to help give the DT spot some much needed depth. The losses over the offseason of Michigan transfer James McKinney (grades) and Aundre Henderson (no love for the game) devastated the Cards' line and left them completely hamstrung when it comes to finding a replacement for Earl or Adrian in case of injury. LT Walker will be Mr. Reliable and run stopper in those situations where one or the other needs a breather, yet the depth is about as shallow as it gets.

The defensive end position will be manned on one side by maybe the most underrated player on the team, Maurice Mitchell. Mo was forced into the unfortunate role of replacing Peanut Whitehead and stood up to the occasion by earning 9 TFLs while missing 4 games with shoulder problems. Mitchell will help with the run stopping while putting pressure on the QB when needed. If the Glasgow native stays healthy he could be due for a good year.

The other end is where it starts getting blurry. There are 4 guys with a legitimate shot at getting the starting job. All have their positives and negatives. It would make sense to have a pass-rushing type opposite Mitchell. Delgado will choose from Rodney Gnat, Rashad Roberts, Will Savoy or Greg Scruggs. Gnat was plugged in at end last year for one start although they were trying about anything at that point. He was a lone bright spot in the So. Florida game last year with 2.5 TFL. Roberts and Savoy are walk-ons with great energy who both saw time with the first team during the open practices. Both lack the talent of a Brandon Cox or Whitehead but make up for the majority of it through effort. Scruggs is a true frosh from Cincy St. X who looks the part at 6-4 235, he started all 15 games for the #1 ranked high school team in the nation. I don't know what Kragthorpe or English's plans are for him, but don't be surprised to see him starting if the redshirt is kept off. Zach Kiernan is coming off of surgery. If and when healthy Kiernan could help with he depth.

"We're coming together as a defense. Chemistry is something we lacked last year and we have that now. I feel like we're getting better everyday" said Heyman.

I see much improvement from a unit that has a new coordinator, coach and mindset. Delgado is going to have them conditioned and well-prepared for the 4th quarter when the Cards need the line to hold the runners the most.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Louisville Gets Huge Transfer

Former Lexington Catholic standout Justin Burke has decided to leave NC State and transfer to Louisville. Burke is an outstanding student and will allegedly graduate in 2-3 years. One recruiting analyst said he was "one of the top five smartest kids I have ever covered". Burke will be eligible next year and compete with Tyler Wolfe, Matt Simms and maybe Zach Stout for the starting job. My bet is that he is the starter from the get-go under Kragthorpe and will stay the starter for the next 3 years. No matter who the Cats get (Mossakowski, Newton, ect.) we will be right there to one up. Burke is a proven leader should be a prototypical Louisville QB.
Burke sat out his freshman year and played well in the NC State Spring Game, completing 17 passes for 191 yards and 2 TDs. The 6-3 220 Burke was named Gatorade Player of the Year in 06 after throwing an insane 62 TDs his senior year, a state record.

Demling Blog

Statement From NC St. Head Coach Tom O'Brien....

"[Justin's] a great kid and he's done a great job for our program," said O'Brien. "He's decided to transfer to the University of Louisville. He's a great kid for our program and a great player... I think it's for his best interests to move on and we're happy for him. He gets a new start somewhere else."

Statement From Justin Burke....

"With the situation here, I felt I needed to do something that was important to me," Burke said in a released statement. "I had a great experience at NC State and it was a special place for me over the last two and a half years. The entire coaching staff and the support staff have been great to me. I want to thank them and my teammates for being there for me. I wish them all the best."

photo from ncstate
quotes from WRAL website

Dominguez Coming Back for Senior Year

Sources very lose to the situation told The L Yes! Report tonight that Louisville All-American candidate Chris Dominguez will return for his senior season. Dominguez was drafted in the 5th round by the Colorado Rockies and had the option of taking the money and running to Coors Canaveral. The third baseman had hoped to be drafted earlier and with Colorado's hot corner occupied by the young Garrett Atkins, Dominguez made the decision to come back. The only unanimous selection to the 2008 All-Big East 1st team, he batted .365 with 68 runs, 13 doubles, a Big East-leading 21 home runs and 75 RBI, stealing 11 bases while starting all 62 games at third on the BIG EAST Champions. It will be a treat to see Dominguez play ball for the Cards one more year. Although the Cards tradition isn't that of Texas or Arizona St., Dominguez has to be one of the top 2-3, if not the best to ever lace the boots for Louisville. A published report stated the thought he was coming back near the end of the season which we confirmed today. The deadline for him to make a decision was Friday (8/15).

Coach McDonnell did receive somewhat bad news when he found out Cardinal signee Jake Odorizzi, who was selected 32nd overall by the Milwaukee Brewers, has decided to forego college and join the Brew Crew. Odorizzi had nowhere to go but down so you can't really blame him. He was the highest rated recruit the Cards have EVER had and would have contributed immeadiately. The Brewers made the decision easy, throwing a 1 million dollar signing bonus at him. Can you imagine being handed a million at 18 years old? Be hard to say no to.

Scott Long Injured

Statement from Louisville's SID Office......

Junior wide receiver Scott Long of the University of Louisville football team injured his foot in practice on Monday during in a non-contact drill. His condition will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Coach Kragthorpe...

"After looking at the X-Ray and consulting with our team doctors, it was revealed that Scott Long suffered a broken bone in his foot and will have surgery in the next couple days to aide his recovery.
I'm uncertain at this time how long he will be out of action. I've had players with similar injuries respond quickly, and it's my hope that Scott can respond quickly in this instance. We wish him a speedy recovery, but we are lucky to have capable depth behind him to pick up the production in his absence."

This loss will be huge for the Cards if long misses a significant amount of time. long is the most experienced reciever in a group that is not very experienced at all. Chris Vaughn has allegedly shown improvement in practice, but you never know what kind of effort you're going to get from him on a consistent basis. Maybe with the added pressure of being the #1 will help him rise to the occasion and reach his full potential.
The silver lining in all of this might be the fact that Doug Beaumont will be asked to shoulder more of the load at receiver. Courier-Journal beat writer C.L. Brown was on SportsNight tonight and said Beaumont made a few spectacular plays in practice today in Long's absence.
More on this as I hear more about it in the next few days

Friday, August 15, 2008

In Case You Missed It....

A few links to articles pertaining to the Fighting Cardinals that you probably have already seen. If you haven't had that luxury take a peak at these gems from the information superhighway.... and the sports info department were kind enough to toss out some practice notes for those of us unable to attend the closed affairs. The team was scheduled to have a 70+ play scrimmage tonight. Here are the links....

- St. Xavier's own Victor Anderson had the highlight in the first two-a-days, a 70 yard scamper. The only bad thing about it is it came against our own D. Hopefully Vic can do the same thing to Rutgers and WVU.
- Looks like two newcomers will be starting at linebacker for the Ron English led defense this year after seeing the review of practice 8. What does that mean for James Bryant and Brandon Heath? I've always been a believer that Heath should have a spot somewhere on the field. Injuries have really hampered him, but if given a shot to learn a position, we could be able to use his freakish athletic ability and hard-hitting to our advantage. Remember, this team had trouble tackling and from what I've seen that is not a problem for Heath. Guys like Lattarious Thomas and the new beast, Dexter Heyman have not helped Brandon's cause.
- The sound I had on L Yes! earlier this week was from my recorder. Here is the Kragthorpe press conference as well as comments from various players. It also gives a wrap up of Media Day.

Working on the offensive and defensive line previews (best around) and they should be out within a couple days.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hammer McCune Update

Robert "The Hammer" McCune is trying to get a spot among one of the deepest LB corps in the league, the Baltimore Ravens. Mike Preston of The Baltimore Sun features Hammer in his column today, touching on McCune's struggle to find the right fit in the NFL and his service in the U.S. Army before attending Louisville. McCune is still the strongest all-around player to ever walk through the doors of the Cardinal training facilities. Good read about a guy who sacrificed a lot for his country, including possible millions in the NFL.

Mike Marra Joins the Sports Night Crew

Louisville commitment Mike Marra joined Jody Demling, Matt Jones and our own Trevor Kelsey for a chat on SportsNight on 93.9fm The Ticket. Mike sounded very confident in his game. Demling added to that by saying a Hall of Fame coach (anonymous) said he had the quickest release he has ever seen. Marra is a deadly shooter at 6-4 but also shows great athleticism, according to recruiting expert Jerry Meyer, who also appeared on the show tonight. I think Marra will be a great fit for the Cards because he loves to shoot the three and run up and down the court while extending the defense in the half court. He admitted that he needed to improve his ball-handling and defense. He considers himself more than a shooter, which he could become. However, that stroke from three will pay the bills for the Cards. Here's the interview on 93.9fm ESPN RADIO's THE TICKET........

Mike Marra - The L Yes! Report - 93.9 The Ticket

photo from Providence Journal

Monday, August 11, 2008

Brohm & English - Media Day Sound

Here is the coordinator press conference that took place on Saturday morning. Offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm spoke first followed by defensive general Ron English. The clip is about 15 minutes long and Brohm speaks for about 8:30. After a short pause English comes on around the 9:00 mark. Enjoy.

Louisville Media Day Coordiators.wav -

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Media Day 2008

I survived my first media day. It wasn't as hectic as I thought it would be, with everyone getting as much time as they needed with a select ammount of players. Then come the buffet and press conference with both coordinators (English, Brohm) and Coach Kragthorpe. I'll admit I was a little nervous covering the same guys that I , like any Card fan, hold in such a high regard. Here are a few pictures and I'll have quotes here a little later .

Lattarious Thomas and Victor Anderson kick back as Media Day was getting ready to kick off. Both will be great additions after not playing last season.

Douglas Beaumont had a good crowd around him the majority of the time. He is going to blow-up this year. I've been wrong a few times in my day, but this time I'm positive. I predict at least 8 TDs as well as leading the team in tackles on special team. He told me he wants to return kicks too. Awesome, well-spoken guy who will do whatever it takes to help the team

Hunter Cantwell reminds me a a QB from the movies. Like the dude on Varsity Blues, just laid back and confident, talking with a slow drawl, ready to finally get his shot starting the season as the leader of the team. Kragthorpe said he was impressed by how much the team has embraced him as the field general.
Ron English is one cat I would not mess with. The consensus amongst the players is that he is all about business. Just look at that stare. He will bring that intimidation factor back that left with Petrino. Lattarious Thomas said even when he thinks he's ran something to perfection, English will be up in his face about something he needs to do better.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cards in NFL News

Real quick...

Chris Redman named starter for Falcons' first preseason game against Jacksonville. Take that Matt Ryan!

Lamar Myles would make the Jags roster, if they weren't so deep at LB

Brandon Johnson is getting some love in Cincinnati and he might sneak into the starting lineup for a team that is very shallow a LB.

Day 3 in Pictures

Day 3 was the first day in shells (shoulder pads/helmets) so we saw a little contact for the first time all year. I missed Day 2 because I was working on SportsNight where we had RB Brock Bolen as a guest when he got done running is last gasser. If it wasn't for Louisville's version of Cooper Manning, I would have more pictures but for some reason Frank Stallone told me to stop. I told Tito Jackson OK and continued watchching practice as a spectator. Expect a full gallery for Day 4 tomorrow. On to the pics .....Johnny Patrick resting in between one-on-one route drills. Both Coach English and Kragthorpe gave him love after a few outstanding stops on routes with double-moves or slants. On the left in the gray is Trent Guy who was like a coach out there today. Great to see him out and about doing well.
D-Line coach Ken Delgado and senior DT Earl Heyman talk a little shop during the tail end of a water break. Hopefully Delgado can give Earl that much-needed boost he needs to fulfill his potential as a run-stopping and pass-rushing DT.
Coach Myers has a few holes to fill on his line with Eric Wood and George Bussey the only people guaranteed to start in my position. The big uglies were working on their initial burst from the line for a good portion of practice.
Your obligitory Eric Wood photo. These days guys like Wood get lost in the shuffle because he's a no-nonsense, humble player. He deserves just as many kudos as Cantwell . Give credit where it's due.
Johnnie Burns left the field earlier today, don't know if he was hurt or going to the bathroom. He never came back out. Burns looks a little out of shape for a TE and it seems like the position we need the most help at is LB, the place he was moved to TE from.
Coach Ron English : We're Not Worthy!! We're NOT Worthy!! I've been waiting a year to see a U of L coach get up in a player's face and give him the business. English made up for the year all in 2 days. He demands excellence from his players and holds them accountable for their mistakes which gets respect in-turn. Great addition to the staff.
George Bussey parked like a bus during a water break. If you haven't noticed yet, all the lineman are wearing knee and ankle braces regardless of past history. Bussey has the potential to be All- Big East.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Louisville Lands QB Emmanuel Yeager

6-2 185 lb. Emmanuel Yeager is a dual threat quarterback from D.C. The senior-to-be out of Coolidge HS withdrew a commitment he made to Central Michigan he made just last week in favor of the Cards. I'm torn by this because on one hand he adds depth to a shallow recruiting class so far. On the other hand, I hope we aren't to the point where we are competing with the Chippewas for recruits. He could turn into an athlete - someone who plays where we need him most whether it be WR or QB.

I just don't see how a dual threat QB fits into our system. Especially when we will have had a string of prototypical pocket passers under Kragthorpe. Brohm to Cantwell to Tyler Wolfe to Matt Simms to Zach Stout to Emmanuel Yeager? If he has the arm for it, I'll buy it. If he is a scrambling dual threat, I don't. Coach English was the primary recruiter on Yeager, so like Hakeem Smith who gave a verbal last week, I have faith in his skill until he proves otherwise.

From looking at Yeager's stats (450 yds rushing 3 TD - 1700 yds passing 16 TDs) it looks like the offense he runs is not geared towards him running the ball frequently. He compares himself to Pat White and Marcus Vick, but with an arm, which by my calculations would be Michael Vick (86 the dogfights and false water bottles). According to, Yeager is the 27th ranked DUEL THREAT QB and has been recruited by Maryland, North Carolina, PITT and Virginia Tech just to name a few, but without receiving offers. He had been offered a scholly by powerhouses such as E. Michigan, Ohio and Richmond, who I sadly didn't know had D-1 team until just a few minutes ago. Yeager has been clocked at 4.6 in the 40.

Jody Demling spoke with Yeager tonight.

Yeager spectacular in this game wrap up (375 yds 2 TDs) from the (9-1-07)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Football Practice -- Day 1 in Pictures

Cantwell takes the first snap in the scrimmage portion of practice. At least we know the center to quarterback exchange will be solid this year.
Victor Anderson showed off some flashy moves yesterday. He will be a fine replacement for George Stripling and Anthony Allen. Coach Brohm will find a place for him to play, he's too good.
Miami transfer LB James Bryant was a vocal leader on the defense and posed for a picture. He's got an NFL body and time will tell whether his skills match. He worked with the first team today.

Scott Long will be the go-to guy this year for Cantwell. He dropped a few balls (as did every other WR) however he does run crisp routes and has the size to give smaller DBs fits.
Coach Ron English is by-far the best edition the team picked up this offseason. He gets up in the players faces and cusses when they screw up, and he's the first one there when they make a good play. When I walked into practice, I cold hear his voice over everyone else's. Thank God!
Mr. Cantwell takes a break from throwing drills. His arm looked as strong as ever and you could tell the players are just as confident in him as they were in Brohm last year. Hunter missed only one or two throws all day, it was just a matter of the receivers catching it.
Pete Nochta will surely start at TE for the Cards if he can get his blocking down. Pete is in the Barnidge/Kuhn mold and is only being doubted because of his lack of experience. I am not worried about out TE situation after today. We have like 10.
Cantwell takes instruction from new coordinator Jeff Brohm who had the QBs play a game called "Hit the other QB in the throat" with the ball. Cantwell won, of course, but Tyler Wolfe was neck and neck with him the whole time (no pun intended).
Coach English looked to Bobby Buchanan for leadership in the defensive backfield. Buchanan is making the switch to safety after playing CB his first couple years. We need Bobby to step it up and lead like English expects.
"The Giraffe" Josh Chichester looked a lot less awkward than last year. He showed off speed and ran better routes. I think basketball helped him develop better coordiation. Chi-chi made a couple of great grabs and could become a force on fade patterns and/or jump balls around the goal line.
New defensive line coach Ken Delgado worked with his guys on technique for the majority of practice. He has a track record of improving every line he has ever coached. For a team that gave up 200+ yards rushing in 5 games last year, Delgado is a blessing.
The Man, the Myth, the Legend- Eric Wood is like another assistant coach on the field, always helpng younger linemen and making sure the intensity is at a high level throughout the drills. He is a great mixture of intelligence and skill and is the obvious leader of the whole team, not just the offensive line.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


It's about time to start preparing for football season. Coach Kragthorpe and his team have a couple new coordinator's and a slew of new players. Here are position previews for the WR and TE's from the old site for you new viewers. Don't fret loyal readers, defensive and offensive line is coming on Friday followed by DBs and RBs on Wednesday.

I covered the Wide-outs and Trevor took care of the Tight Ends. Because we all know Trevor loves the Tight Ends.

Wide Receivers

Louisville has been spoiled with wide-outs. A position that has been rich in talent since I can remember is going to have problems living up to its reputation this year due to one thing: inexperience. Just in the past week, the Cards have potentially lost two of their wide-outs with the most experience. Junior slot receiver JuJuan Spillman caught his walking papers as a result of a second DUI/marijuana charge, this time involving a handgun. On the other hand, Trent Guy was SHOT IN THE BACK this weekend and his full-recovery timetable isn't known. Guy could potentially return for the season, but how will he respond to an incident that could have ended his life much less his football career. Spillman and Guy were also the team's best option at kick returner, both scoring a touchdown that way.

If the running game works like it should, QB Hunter Cantwell's targets should get a good amount of one-on-one coverage that will help disguise the lack of experience. There are a few newcomers (ie: Maurice Clark) and young talent (Troy Pascley and Douglas Beaumont) that could become the prototypical star receiver that Louisville has been blessed with for the better part of 20 years. A total of 29 passes have been caught by incoming Card wide-outs for a total of 0 TDs. Coach Kragthorpe is handling the receivers, a job that should be considerably more difficult this year due to the unit's lack of experience.

Scott Long (84, above) and Chris Vaughn were known for getting in some trouble involving paint ball guns as freshman. Now the two are the only receivers returning that have caught a pass in college with 27 and 2 respectively. Long was really impressive in open practice in the spring showing he might be able to fill the shoes left by Harry Douglas. In the absence of Mario Urrutia, Long started 7 games last year and caught a pass in 7 straight games. The 6-2 211 pound junior from North Carolina has great hands and a little speed. He should be one of Hunter Cantwell's top targets this fall. Vaughn, who transferred from Notre Dame as a frosh, has been riddled with minor injuries over his Cardinal career causing him to miss a significant amount of time. The senior needs to toughen up and play through nagging injuries because he has the body (6-3 220) and talent to be a great contributor. Vaughn's passion for the game and willingness to put his body on the line have been questioned since his days at Notre Dame, maybe now that his time is running out in college he will put up the stats to back up his expectations. Vaughn was ranked the #1 WR in New England coming out of high school.

One of the questions marks from Steve Kragthorpe's first year at Louisville was why he didn't redshirt Louisville Male standout Douglas Beaumont. He had only one rush and caught zero passes, but played in all 12 games on special teams. Special teams? Doesn't make much sense using a guy who has an immense amount of talent and gives superior effort in such an unusual way. Beaumont is not afraid to go across the middle, catch a screen and gain 8-10 yards, or help out the running game through blocking. He was vastly under-used last year and is poised for a breakthrough season. Beaumont is one of the best athletes on the team and could be used in the return game if Guy's injury doesn't allow him to come back. Look for Beaumont to be this year's breakout player, something a few preseason magazines have already named him.

The sleeper of the unit could be Troy Pascley, who missed most of last year with pneumonia after redshirting in '06. He dazzled in practice last year with his ability to overpower and separate from backs with strength. The 6-2 190 lb soph is currently listed as the backup to Scott Long at the X position over the senior Vaughn. Pascley's potential is unpredictable, but if he plays in game action like he practiced, he has the ability to be a diamond in the rough and contribute immediately for the Cards. "The Giraffe" Josh Chichester is also coming off a redshirt year and might be a little rough around the edges, but his size is impossible to ignore. At 6-8 224 he could be a great target for Cantwell in the red zone and on third down. Chichester needs to improve his quickness and hands in order to break into the rotation, but he will surely have the fan support after his stint with the basketball team this past season. Pascley and Chichester won't be expected to have great years, however the potential is there for one or both to exceed expectations.

Maurice Clark is a JUCO transfer from Saddleback CC and will add much needed depth and stability to the position. The 6-3 Clark is the only recruit at WR that Kragthorpe signed this year, but one of quality. He runs a 4.5 40 and had 16 TDs and over 1,000 yards in two years of JUCO ball. It will be interesting to see him in action, letting the fans see what kind of wide-out Coach K is looking for on the recruiting trail.

The best thing the corps of wide-outs have going for them is the QB throwing it to them. For Hunter Cantwell to truly succeed, one of these guys is going to have to step up and become a "go-to guy". Guys like Deion Branch and JR Russell weren't highly touted coming into their breakout years, so look for Long or Beaumont to perform better than might be expected. However, losing players to dismissal, injury, and early-entry has really handcuffed this bunch, forcing players who may not be prepared to play significant, important time on the field. The potential is there, but the experience is not. It will be interesting to see how the new faces perform when practice starts in the next month.

Tight Ends

As was with the receivers, Cards fans haven't had to worry about their tight end situation in a long time. But Gary Barnidge and Scott Kuhn are not walking through those doors and neither are their combined 68 receptions for 826 yards and 9 touchdowns from last season. Instead the Cards will be suiting up a group of guys who have zero starts and catches at tight end. Louisville is so thin at the position that Johnnie Burns, a defensive end the last three years, along with three Freshman and two Sophomores are competing for the starting job.

"We lost two dynamic guys." said Coach Kragthorpe referring to Barnidge and Kuhn. "We have to find guys who will step up for us" Kragthorpe added during spring practice.

Coach Kragthorpe likes to set up in two tight end sets and play smash-mouth football, mixing ion some play-action. That will be hard to do with all the surrounding questions that haunt the tight end position this season. If the Cards want to be a run first team, using bigger formations, someone or in this case two, will have to step up. Uncertainty at the tight end is something the Cards could live without. They need to be able to have confidence in their tight ends and not be forced to use three and four wide outs in running situations, something the Cards may be forced to do.

The 6-3 245 lb Johnnie Burns (pictured left), a three year defensive lineman, was a four year letterman in basketball in high school and the senior is hoping to use that athleticism to make the transition to the offensive side of the ball. Redshirt Sophomore Pete Nochta (6-5 246, lower right) is also in the mix for playing time. Nochta is the only Cardinal returning who has any experience playing the position, however he has yet to record any catches or starts. Louisville will also hope to get contributions from true Freshman Mike Fennerty, a 6-4 220 pound recruit from Olympia, Washington, who is hoping to take advantage of the Cards weakened state to earn himself immediate playing time. Another is JUCO transfer Rock Keys, who may hold the keys to a starting job if he demonstrates with the Cards what he has the last couple of seasons at Jones County CC in Mississippi. Nate Nord out of west Boca Raton, FL is an interesting case, being the nephew of TE coach Greg Nord and having the size (6-5 230) of a prototypical D-1 tight end. It will be interesting to watch how the younger Nord plays under the elder Nord.

As, Coach K pointed out at the beginning of Spring ball, the Cards are desperate for help and need not only one, but two or three players to step up and at least soften the blow left by the graduation of two NFL-caliber tight ends. Hunter Cantwell needs someone to stop the blitzing corner or keep the safety honest. As long as they come CLOSE to matching the production of the last four years, the coaches and fans will be pleased. Whether or not that is able to be accomplished is another story.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Step One Towards Radio History

At 6pm Louisville's newest and best nightly sports show...Sports Night kicked off. UK Blogger (Kentucky Sports Radio) Matt Jones and the Courier-Journal's Jody Demling, along with myself covered several topics and were lucky to to be joined by, now former UL beat writer, Brian Bennett (leaving the C-J for, as well as Louisville's tight ends coach, Greg Nord. If you didn't listen to it live...shame on you but just in case you did miss it listen to them here. Also on Wednesday Sports Night will have on UK offensive coordinator and future head coach Joker Phillips and much more so be sure to tune in.

If the links below only play :30 seconds worth, sign up for an account (c'mon it's FREE) to be able to listen to tons of interviews with Louisville coaches, athletes and personalities. also streams the shows live.

GREG NORD INTERVIEW - SportsNight on 93.9 The Ticket

BRIAN BENNETT INTERVIEW - SportsNight on 93.9 The Ticket

Joanne Pitino Saves a Life!!!

From the Boston Globe....

That Joanne Pitino, wife of former Celtics coach Rick Pitino, helped save the life of a passenger who had a heart attack on a plane. Our spies in the sky say Mrs. P helped administer CPR and assisted with the oxygen mask after the man sitting next to her collapsed. The plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia and the passenger made a full recovery!
She saved our lives as Louisville fans, convincing her husband to return to the Bluegrass State, now she is saving random lives on flights. What a woman!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Redman To Show This Isn't Just A Young Man's Game

The Falcons may have wasted ( yes wasted, Matt Ryan is overrated ) the third pick in this season's draft and gave away 72 million dollars like they were a drunk at a strip bar but there still is one man in the city of Atlanta who might have something to say about the future of the Falcons...Chris Redman. Redman was a great feel good story last season, going from selling insurance to being on the Falcons roster. When every player ahead of him on the depth chart stunk it up like a truck stop bathroom, Chris took full advantage of the chance. He ( Redman ) got his first start in four years on Monday night football against the Saints and carved their secondary ( it was a pathetic defense granted ) up for 298 yards. Against Arizona he recorded a career high 315 yards and notched four touchdown passes on Seattle ( career high ) in the final week of the season, earning him NFC Offensive Player of the Week. It wasn't all roses, throwing for only 34 yards against Tampa Bay ( best defense he faced ) but still finished the season with 1,079 yards, 10 touchdowns ( five interceptions ), a 59.7 completion percentage and a QB rating of 90.7.
Heres what some local papers in Georgia have had to say about Redman...

Summer Recruiting Update

Rick Pitino is still a titan in the coaching ranks and he is proving that through his recruiting. It is hard to find a blue chip recruit around that doesn't at least mention the Cards when asked what school they are interested in. Coach was bitten by the lack of an age limit in the NBA for a few years which led to Pitino losing at least 5 possible All-Americans in 3 years. Sebastian Telfair, Amir Johnson, Donte Jones, James Lang and maybe even Lebron James (maybe wishful thinking) could have donned the red and black and led Pitino's Cards to the promise land. Now with the one year rule, Pitino will at least get a season with these players who before would just jump staright to the league. All Pitino has to worry about now is getting the kids qualified and ready to compete in the beast that is the Big East conference.
Pitino's young coaching staff seems to have invigorated the 56 year old. They surely help close the generation gap Pitino has with the young players who are much different now than they were ten years ago. Steve Masiello has the Northeast connection and is a player's coach. Walter McCarty can tell stories of a 10 year NBA career. By all accounts, Richard Pitino is a straight clone of his father. All are under the age of 35. All the recruits I talk to have given glowing reviews to all three assistants individually and as a group. From the looks of it, they are building a stable of solid recruits, all filling roles needed to achieve the ultimate goal, a national title.

Since the summer AAU season is completed here is a rundown of all the players I could find that Louisville is going after and/or are interested in joining the Cards. Rivals rank is in the parentheses. Today 2009. Tomorrow 2010 & 2011.


PG Peyton Siva 6-0 180 Franklin HS Seattle (31)
Siva continued to show off his PG skills by leading Seattle Rotary to a fine showing across the country. Siva showed off his freakish leaping ability by ripping off some nasty dunks and displaying some marksmanship from three point range. He is an energetic, pedal to the metal guard who plays with a swagger that Louisville fans will fall in love with. Cons include defense and distribution. I interviewed him right before his commitment (2nd article down). He joined John Renshaw on 93.9fm the Ticket last week. The interview can be heard HERE.

PF Rakeem Buckles 6-8 200 Miami Monsignor Pace (39)
First off, Buckles will have one of the coolest names in Louisville history. Besides that, the lanky, athletic PF has shot up the rankings like a rocket and ended the summer putting up ridiculous numbers in late summer AAU games like 36 and 14 a day after traveling from Vegas to Orlando. Here's are Jody Demling's Buckles-related articles. Rakeem can bang inside and has developed a nice dribble game. He needs to put on some weight but he has the frame (and the coach) to do it. Put 20 pounds on this guy and he could be extremely dangerous.

SG Mike Marra 6-4 190 Northfield Mt. Hermon MA (NR)
Marra will come into Louisville and try to fill the shoes of Jerry Smith and Reginald Delk from beyond the arch. Marra can flat out shoot the basketball along with the ability to create his own shot off the dribble. Marra will fill a specific role, outside shooting. He also has the capability to get to the rim. I have been in contact with Marra and we should be doing an interview with him within the next week.

'09 Targets - Most Wanted
SG Dominic Cheek 6-5 175 St. Anthony's NY (11)
Kansas and Villanova seem to be high on Cheek's list right now and Louisville is just now getting into the mix, offering the scoring machine a scholly within the last six weeks. Asst. Steve Masiello's NY connection could work wonders. Cheek is my personal choice right now assuming that Samuels, Jennings, and Caracter all return for the Cards. Cheek represented the USA in the U-18 World Championships this summer. He has an assassin touch from three and may be the best ball handler left in the class. Here's a video of him at work...

C Bawa Muniru 7-0 255 Madison AL (NR)
This is Pitino's backup plan in case any of the three bigs returning in 09 decide to leave. Muniru was profiled by Jody Demling in the C-J and is compared to a young Hakeem Olajuwon. U of L has a history of getting burned by African imports in AL (see Ousumane Cisse & Ben Eze) and English is Bawa'a SIXTH language.

SG Aaron Dotson 6-4 180 Seattle Rainer Beach (NR)
Dotson (pictured upper left) would add to the Seattle pipeline started by T-Will and continued by Siva. It is rumored he is the main target for Pitino and his commit could lead to a domino effect with AAU teammates Josh Smith and Tony Wroten Jr. Dotson is solid as a rock on both ends of the floor and was also featured in a C-J piece recently. He comes from a Rainer Beach program that has produced pros Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson.

Still on the Radar
SF Noel Johnson 6-7 180 Fayette Co HS GA (36)
A few weeks ago it looked as if Johnson was the most likely to finish off the recruiting class however Louisville has quit recruiting Johnson after a few tough outings in a row. Johnson is best known around Louisville for torching the King of the Bluegrass last winter. For some reason, according to Demling, Pitino has soured on Johnson who will most likely end up at USC or Georgia Tech. I think he would fill a need at the wing in 09 and create matchup problems. Pitino seems to think otherwise. Louisville has offered Johnson according to Rivals.

SF Christian Watford 6-7 215 Birmingham Shades Valley (40)
Like Johnson, Louisville has seemed to back off of Watford (upper right) after offering him an early scholarship, which might bode well for arch-nemesis Tom Crean who is in desperate need of the strong, athletic wing at IU. Both Watford and Johnson could still be very much in the mix with Pitino posturing with other options just in case both decide to go elsewhere. What happens behind closed doors at the Yum! Center is unknown. Aside from IU, Watford is also considering UK, Alabama, Missouri and Texas and wants to make a college decision by November

PF Stephan Van Treese 6-9 225 Indianapolis Lawrence North (NR)
Van Treese joins a talented front line at Greg Oden's alma mater, with 4 players in the Rivals 100 including UK commit Dominique Ferguson. His recruitment by Pitino has flew under the radar all summer and he still lists Louisville in his top 5 with IU, UCLA, Ohio St. and Kansas. Van Treese's teammate, Jordan Hulls, has committed to IU yet there is no indication which direction the big guy will go. He too holds an open offer from the Cards.

Wishlist (Not Likely to Come but Looking)
PF Renardo Sidney 6-10 230 Lakewood Artesia HS (4)
If Pitino pulls Sidney away from UCLA or Memphis it will be on par with stealing Samardo Samuels from North Carolina. This guy is a freak and a monster who would fit in perfect in the Big East's bruising style of play. He is already being projected as the #1 pick in the 2010 draft.

SG Lance Stephenson 6-5 195 Brooklyn Lincoln HS (7)
The next big thing from Lincoln (Telfair, Marbury) might bring more trouble than good with all the hoopla surrounding his recruitment. He would be too good not to pass up on. He was interested early but I think Pitino saw the headache that Tyreke Evans gave him (all for nothing) and decided to move his attention elsewhere. Stephenson has a documentary about his JUNIOR season in high school. Seems a little much.

G John Wall 6-4 184 Word of God Christian Academy NC (1)
Louisville was in the mix early then we got a Wagner/Houston scheme involved when Wall's AAU coach's brother signed on as an assistant at Baylor. The coach WAS in line to work basketball operations at OK St., Wall's presumed favorite. Wall could commit at any time to either school so it doesn't look like we're going to get him. He has been compared to Derrick Rose and it's believed that the team that gets him will be an automatic contender. Just as long as he doesn't land in Lexington

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Freak And Coach John L Smith Chat It Up

John L. Smith Interview - The L Yes! Report

A great turnout came to Jocks to listen to John "The Freak" Renshaw talk with former Cards coach John L Smith. The two Johns went back and forth and covered all sorts of topics from the coach's days coaching former Cardinal greats like Chris Redman, Dave Ragone and Deion Branch, who Smith referred to as Deion the Moochies and the Belmonts. John laughed about how he still roots all his former teams, minus Michigan State. And also about how he regrets the way he chose to leave Louisville in 2002 for East Lansing. A great interview, recapping the rivalry between Kentucky, including the Lightning Bowl ( 2000 ) and sadly the 1998 game. The state of the Louisville program and coach John L Smith's future in coaching and coaching is something that he wants to get back into. Makes you wonder if Louisville fans are going to start chanting for him to comeback to the sidelines of Papa Johns Stadium.

A great clip of the fire coach Smith has...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cards fans to get blast from the past

Former Louisville football coach John L Smith will be on the Freak Show with John Renshaw on 93.9 FM The Ticket today. He will be live on location with the freak at Jocks sports bar and will be joining him at about 4:15pm. Cards fans feel free to come out and say hello to the former coach who helped lay the foundation to a Louisville team that would eventually win a BCS bowl game. Smith of course came to Louisville in 1998, replacing Ron Cooper ( thank God ) and compiled a 41-21 record between 1998 and 2002, going to a bowl game in every season and winning back to back CUSA Conference Championships before leaving for Michigan State. John L Smith also brought with him offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino in 1998. Theres no reason to talk about that story though.

Future Cards Point Guard Speaks Out

siva interview.mp3 -

Future Cards point guard Peyton Siva was on the "John Renshaw Show" on Thursday and showed excitement in coming to Louisville. Topics ranged from Peyton's abilty to knock down the outside shot to his desire to help lead the Cards into a dynasty era. Peyton spoke with Lyes Report a few months back, but this was the first time Cardinal fans got to hear his voice and meet their future.

Tigers up to no good Jeff Goodman bought to light today a possible recruiting violation by the Memphis Tigers. Memphis is of course a former conference rival of the Cards in several differ ant points in time. And most Cards fans , including this one, still can't stand them. As Goodman reported, the CEO ( David Bronczek ) of FedEx and noted Memphis booster, took it upon himself to call the mother of highly recruited guard Abdul Gaddy, who happens to be a CSR for FEDEX in their hometown of Tacoma, Washington. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Checkout Jeff's entire article and listen to him on the "John Renshaw Show" on 93.9 FM The Ticket every Wednesday in the 3 o'clock hour.

NCAA to investigate Memphis booster's phone call
Jeff Goodman