Bobby Petrino likes to score quickly and often, and he overlooks no detail, no matter how small – and it begins in the University of Louisville football film room dissecting the compilations of Dave Spina, director of video operations.
Spina, who has been with the program since 1998, is responsible for the filming and editing of all football-related video including practice and game footage. He also is charged with obtaining video of opposing teams. If anyone spends more time at the Schnellenger Complex than Petrino, it is Dave Spina. But that’s another story.
Coaches and players watch lots and lots of video. Watching practice or game film is like viewing reruns. After viewing the movie for the fifth time, you know the actors’ lines and where they should stand. After the 10th time, you are picking up every little mistake. You see the actors switching their watch from their left wrist to their right wrist. An actor will be wearing a yellow shirt in one scene, a red one in another. Hair is parted differently, hats change colors.
Teams will send certain personnel on the field trying to defend a certain type of play. It may be a short run for a first down. Medium length passes to gain five yards, or a longer pass for seven yards or more. Petrino has already made the adjustments before the game starts.
Louisville runs multiple offensive settings. Every now and then, instead of watching the quarterback or the running backs, watch the other players of the opposing team. See where the defenders are lined up, changing from play to play, hoping to outguess an offensive genius. Be careful, however, lest you get hooked on analyzing defensive strategies.
Every defense has its inherent weakness. Can the coaching staff and players find or see the weakness? Sometimes the weakness is for one play. The offensive team can take advantage of this weakness, if they find it.
Watch to see if a defensive back is cheating up, back, or to one side. See if a defensive lineman slants his body or feet so he can get a slight advantage over his offensive opponent. Watch the linebackers line up against good receivers as opposed to the average ones. Big difference in many cases.
Enjoy the season. What will be the outcome? Good question, but then I am a perpetual optimist. Every season I believe UofL is going to go undefeated and win the championship. See you at the game.