Teddy Bridgewater’s slip among NFL draft prospects defies logic

So Teddy Bridgewater’s stock appears to be dropping fast among in the upcoming National Football League draft, according to NFL scouts and pro football analysts. Getting ahead of themselves, losing sight of some essentials.

They apparently don’t put much stock in what he accomplished during three seasons at the University of Louisville, a career that included a Sugar Bowl win over Florida and a Russell Bowl win over Miami. He completed a school-record 68.3 percent of his passes for 9,817 yards,  72 touchdowns in 1,142 career attempts.

Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater

NFL scouts apparently were less than impressed with his Pro Day workout in Louisville, on a day when he decided for some reason not to use a glove on his throwing hand as he had in every game at UofL.  They have doubts about his skinny frame, standing 6-foot-2, weighing 214 pounds. His hands are smaller than the average pro quarterback. On and on it goes.

Did former UofL football coach Charlie Strong over-estimate Bridgewater’s chances in the NFL when they talked after the 2013 season or was Strong obsessing about his his next job at Texas at the time? Bridgewater would have been an even better fit under Bobby Petrino at UofL.

Mark Dominik, an ESPN analyst and a former NFL general manager at Tampa, expressed the sentiments of many, saying “I like the young man, I think he’s a quality individual, he’s got character and leadership and those things. But this is a quarterback, and you’re judged by what quarterback you draft, and I think Teddy Bridgewater might not have all the pieces you’re looking for.”

Mel Kiper, who earns his living on ESPN predicting draft picks, has Bridgewater going to the Houston Texans in the second round.

One has to wonder where these people were when Teddy Bridgewater entered the final regular season game against Rutgers with a broken wrist and a sprained ankle in 2012 to lead Louisville to a 20-17 win — one of the most courageous performances this observer has ever seen.

Continue reading “Teddy Bridgewater’s slip among NFL draft prospects defies logic”

Petrino hasn’t seen much of Michael Dyer

When Michael Dyer arrived on campus last fall, University of Louisville football fans were elated, expecting the one-time most valuable player in a national championship game to greatly enhance UofL’s running game.

Dyer participated in seven games during the 2013 season, gaining 238 yards in 44 tries, averaging 5.3 yards per carry while scoring two touchdowns. He saw no action, however, during the final six games, having incurred an injury. He’s still listed on the roster, but Bobby Petrino wasn’t able provide much  information about Dyer’s future during Saturday’s press conference.

“I haven’t seen a lot of him, he’s kind of been injured,” said Petrino. “When I first got back here, he had surgery — one of those sports hernia-type surgeries. He’s been out, lifting with the team, conditioning on his own. Really haven’t seen whole lot of him.”

Coach Charlie Strong had welcomed Dyer to UofL last season after he had been dismissed from the Auburn and Arkansas State programs.

Petrino is the kind of coach who keeps a close watch on every player. If Dyer is still recovering from a groin procedure, his availability for spring practice starting March 18 is doubtful. He obviously needs to work on making some kind of impression on the new coach if he’s going to see any action next fall.

Clint Hurtt can’t say no to Chicago Bears

Clint Hurtt

Too good to be true, Clint Hurtt sticking around to coach the defensive line at the University of Louisville, staying here to resume recruiting duties when his show cause time is up next summer.

The big guy is leaving UofL to become defensive line coach for the Chicago Bears, an NFL team that needs help restoring the franchise’s legendary penchant for defense.

Such a likable person, endearing himself to local fans with his sense of humor and involvement in the community, a person Tom Jurich liked and respected so much that he kept Hurtt around despite his run-in with the NCAA Enforcement Committee.

Hurtt always had a commanding presence on the sidelines, personifying big time football.

Continue reading “Clint Hurtt can’t say no to Chicago Bears”

Charlie Strong still teaching on the way out

Life lessons.

Turns out Charlie Strong had been talking about the football coaching job at the University of Texas for weeks, telling his athletic director, assistants, players and fans there was no substance to the rumors.

Charlie Strong
Charlie Strong

“I’ve got a good job here,” he kept telling them, leading people to believe he had no interest in leaving.

Last week, however, Strong told the Longhorn TV Network that discussions began right after Mack Brown announced his resignation, saying he denied the reports because he didn’t want it to become a distraction during the days leading up to the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Lied about it, at least to everyone outside of his immediate family … and the daughters’ volleyball team, which apparently knew about it before Tom Jurich flew back from Colorado to meet with Strong. All that way, we’re told, because the coach still hadn’t made up his mind.  Jurich said he knew as soon as walked into Strong’s house that he was gone.

Continue reading “Charlie Strong still teaching on the way out”

Short list: Candidates who won’t make the cut

Fascinating to watch the speculation, with all the ups and downs, in the search for a new University of Louisville football coach to replace Charlie Strong. The only person who really knows how the search is going is Tom Jurich, and he’s not saying anything until the deal is done.

In all probability, Jurich had made a choice before returning to Louisville over the week to address the team. About now, Jurich and Kevin Miller, his senior associate athletic director, are putting the finishing touches on the contract.

So many hot lists out there ranking the candidates. Here’s a short one of people who may have received a telephone call or a courtesy interview but won’t be getting the nod:

Bobby Petrino — The former UofL coach would be a PR disaster for Tom Jurich who has worked so hard to build an image of the program as first class in every respect. Rehiring Petrino after the way he has treated administrators, players and fans here and elsewhere would not be in the program’s best interests. The school’s image doesn’t need the hit that hiring Petrino would bring with it.

Rich Rodriguez — He hasn’t done all that well at Arizona even though he has had some top 15 recruiting classes. He left West Virginia under bad terms after leaving there for Michigan where lasted three seasons. He’s not an up and coming coach or even a proven consistent winner despite claiming a couple of BCS bowl wins.

Vance Bedford — While he’s a motivator and a fan favorite, the current UofL defensive coordinator lacks the air of gravitas that commands respect like his former boss. Going into the ACC, this program needs someone with a track record not on-the-job training.

Shawn Watson — Whether it was him, as the offensive coordinator, or Charlie Strong dictating the terms, the UofL offense was simply too boring this season, causing some die hard fans to fight drowsiness even during key games. Enough of that.