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Tag: Louisville football

Teddy Bridgewater’s slip among NFL draft prospects defies logic

April 19, 2014 1 Comment

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.

Or whether they missed seeing Teddy almost have his head taken off by Florida defender Jonathan Bostic on the second play of 2013 Sugar Bowl, bounce right back to lead Louisville to a convincing 33-23 BCS victory?

Or Teddy directing a nine-play 88-yard drive with five passes to put UofL back on top of Central Florida in the closing minutes in a game in which UCF ultimately prevailed? Or his dominating performance in the Russell Bowl, competing 35 of 45 passes for 447 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-9 thrashing of Miami?

Were these guys not taking notes? One suspects that a herd mentality may have overtaken the decision makers and the speculators. Either that or some of them are deliberately downplaying Bridgewater’s potential to gain an advantage when it comes to draft picks.

Bridgewater has always performed best at crunch time, and not surprisingly during pre-scripted workouts in laid back leisurely settings. Teddy Bridgewater is a football player who may not the fastest, strongest or biggest but he has a knack for the game, every aspect of the game, a quick thinker, makes the right decisions in real time, makes the great reads, finds the open receivers, lives and breathes football, and has an infectious winning attitude.

Whether Bridgewater turns out to a first round draft pick or is picked up in the second round or later, one NFL team is going to be extremely fortunate to get him. The team that defies the herd mentality is going to come out way ahead.

Big dates for Louisville football

April 18, 2014 0 Comments

2014-football-schedule This image of the 2014 football slate on the video board during the spring game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium provides a reminder that the University of Louisville will be challenged by the best schedule in the school’s history next fall. Cardinal Athletic Fund donations are due by May 1, and the bill for season tickets is due June 2nd.  UofL officially joins the Atlantic Coast Conference July 1st.

Tom Jurich: Adidas the only company UofL considered

April 17, 2014 4 Comments
Tom Jurich, of the University of Louisville, and Chris McGuire, of Adidas, announce $40 million deal.

Tom Jurich, of the University of Louisville, and Chris McGuire, of Adidas, announce $40 million deal that runs through the 2017-18 season.

There’s that magic tough again, the Tom Jurich Wow! factor.

The University of Louisville and Adidas have agreed to a five-year deal valued at almost $40 million over five years that places UofL among the top five athletic departments nationally in footwear and apparel rights among all brands.

UofL was not involved in discussions with any other companies, including Nike, according to Jurich.Three stripes

“No, there was not,” he said during a Thursday press conference. “I wanted to make sure Adidas had the first shot because they were the incumbent. They’ve done a marvelous job for us in the past and we know we can grow together and get better in the future.

“We had a number in mind where we wanted to be. We’ve earned that right, and fortunately they agreed with us. We were able to settle on a number that was extremely generous and allows us to grow as a department.”

The UofL football team will be outfitted with five different Adidas uniforms, with dozens of varying combinations. Men’s and women’s basketball teams will continue to have three to four different uniforms, as well as special post-season attire.

“Their brand is at an all-time high,” said Bobby Petrino, UofL football coach. “It’s definitely going to help us in recruiting.”

Adidas will also make extensive investments in the athletic program, including equipment room expansion, advertising campaigns, digital and video technology, spirit squad support, and a scholarship program for at least 20 students work with athletic department leaders. They also have co-branding opportunities nationally and in UofL facilities, including TaylorMade equipment for the UofL Golf Club.

Fans will reap some benefits as well, including shirts for student season ticket holders and ACC inaugural year fan giveaways.

Adidas is the official apparel provider for the National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer, and 120 collegiate programs, including Michigan, Texas A&M, UCLA, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

Petrino ignites fireworks at Louisville spring game

April 11, 2014 0 Comments
James Quick scores quickly on a 62-yard pass play.

James Quick scores quickly on a Will Gardner pass play covering 62 yards. 

A game day feel to this year’s University of Louisville football spring game, the Green Lot already two-thirds full two hours before kickoff, many fans more than ready to tailgate again, hyped up, eager to experience Bobby Petrino-style football again.

An estimated 27,500 of them showing up at Papa John’s Cardinals stadium expecting an explosive offensive display and they wouldn’t be disappointed.  Too many to count wearing T-shirts proclaiming, “Bobby is Back!” Just couldn’t wait for the fireworks to begin.

They weren’t alone, with many former UofL football players returning for the game, proclaiming how exciting they were about the return of an offensive genius at the helm. Among them Doug Beaumont, a Petrino recruit, who had to wait until his senior season to score a touchdown.

They wouldn’t have to wait long, quarterback Will Gardner connecting with wide receiver James Quick on a 62-yard touchdown on the third play from scrimmage. Also answering a couple of questions about a couple of players who saw limited action last season.

Yes, Gardner can pass and, oh my, Quick looked as good as he looked in high school. Gardner completed 32 of 37 pass attempts for 542 yards and four touchdowns. Quick would make five catches, good for 152 yards.

Any questions about Michael Dyer were answered, too. The second year transfer with the Clydesdale thighs from Auburn is going to be a work horse in the Petrino system. Petrino liked him so much he used him on both teams, Dyer rushing for 99 yards and two touchdowns in 10 carries for the Red team, and 51 yards on four carries and still another touchdown for the Red team. He was also good for 25 yards on a  pass.

L. J. Scott, an impressive freshman running back who never stops churning, saw action on both the starting and second teams, rushing for a total of 128 yards in 19 carries and a touchdown. He may be a backup but he’s going to see a lot of action in Petrino’s high-scoring offense.

Dominique Brown, who has nothing to prove to Petrino or anybody else, was used sparingly, with 31 yards in six carries and a touchdown. Petrino know what he has in Dominique, wanting to see more of Dyer and Scott, we suspect.

DeVanta Parker picking up where he left off, with 10 receptions for 109 yards. Eli Rogers with six catches for 109 yards. But Gerald Christian with eight receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Plenty of targets to go around for Will Gardner.

The grind-it-out, run-out-the-clock, protect-the-lead, wake-me-when-it’s-over approach of the past four seasons has departed for Texas. The scoreboard is going to get a workout in 2015.

Hut, hut

April 9, 2014 0 Comments

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.06.07 PM

Petrino pleased after Louisville’s first football practice

March 18, 2014 0 Comments

Anyone recall Bobby Petrino being as enthusiastic as he is now during his first go-round as head football coach at the University of Louisville?

Petrino obviously liked what he saw during the opening day of spring practice, praising the running backs, the wide receivers, even the offensive line. He called quarterback Will Gardner a natural leader, a player who has the respect of this teammates.

The offensive genius admits he wasn’t paying much attention to the defensive side during practice but, rest assured, Petrino will know all about the defense after a late-night video session.

One happy person, thrilled to be back coaching football at UofL.


Louisville football prepares for ACC action for the first time

March 18, 2014 0 Comments

Spring football practice begins for the University of Louisville Tuesday, with all kinds of optimism on the horizon. Bobby Petrino is back, and that promises to create a new level of excitement as UofL joins the Atlantic Coast Conference in September. Heather Dinch, who covers ACC football for the ACC, is of the belief that Louisville will be very competitive.