April 1, 2006

Saturday in Pads: Who's got the Nasty?

On Saturday, the Louisville Cardinals put on their football pads for the first time since January 2 at the Toyota Gator Bowl. Coach Bobby Petrino and the gang worked most of the day on installing new offensive and defensive formations, but the action did get a little more heated in blocking drills when the offensive and defensive linemen went at it in full gear.

CardinalSports.com's Matt Willinger and Howie Lindsey were on the sidelines to bring you news and notes from inside practice including who was hot and who was not.

Back in Pads!

Several hundred Louisville fans milled around Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Saturday morning to watch Louisville take the field for the first time in pads. Some players said they thought the practice was going to be in just helmets and shoulder pads - so called shells - but the full gear came out for Saturday.

Despite having pads on, much of the practice was centered on teaching new plays and techniques and it wasn't until later in the day when the offensive and defensive lines started getting to hit each other. Ball carriers and receivers didn't have to worry about tackles, as defensive players were instructed to hit, but don't wrap-up.

Quarterback Brian Brohm will continue to wear the yellow "Lance Armstrong" jersey to prevent anyone from hitting him. On Saturday morning, Brohm threw passes during skeleton and timing drills, but was forced to sit out during the 11-on-11 contact drills because of his knee rehabilitation. Besides mobility, Brohm has looked fantastic in the pocket so far this spring, launching passes down the field with regularity.

With Brohm on the side for 11-on-11 drills, Hunter Cantwell fills in easily and also had several nice passes on Saturday. Cantwell and back-ups Bill Ashburn and Patrick Carter are sharing reps during the full team drills.

Fans, players and coaches may be in for a treat Sunday morning at 9:30 when coaches may have their first quick scrimmage of spring practice.

Who's Got the Nasty?
One of our favorite things about covering last year's Cardinal team was offensive guard Jason Spitz. Now gunning for the NFL (and from what we hear he'll be the first Cardinal taken), Spitz was easily the nastiest and meanest lineman each day in practices. Spitz could always be counted on to "finish his block" even if it meant running the defensive lineman into the ground.

So without Spitz, which offensive lineman is going to take over the role of 'nasty'? I asked sophomore center Eric Wood.

"I'm trying to take that over," Wood said with pride. "We have a lot of guys out here trying to get nasty and take over that role."

2006 Spring Practice Schedule

Sunday, April 2 9:30 a.m. - (Probable scrimmage)

Tuesday, April 4

Wednesday, April 5

Friday, April 7

Saturday, April 8

Tuesday, April 11

Wednesday, April 12

Friday, April 14

Saturday, April 15

Tuesday, April 18

Wednesday, April 19

Friday, April 21 (Spring Game presented by UPS and Chase Bank), 7:30 p.m.

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