The last thing anyone expected at Media Day was for Charlie Strong to warn against complacency.

University of Louisville football was fun to watch last season, with obvious improvement from the first game through the last, a bowl game, a winning record. The off-season equally impressive, with Charlie Strong and company landing prized recruits, early and often. Grueling practice sessions, intense recruiting, rigid discipline standards.

Yet there he was, Mr. Intensity warning against Mr. Complacency.

“As coaches, we can not be complacent, there is no room to be complacent,” he said, warning against a sense of security on the part of coaches and players. “I say this to our coaches and I say it all the time, ‘The players will go as you go. If you’re out here working hard, they see you going hard, then they’re going to go hard. If they see you relax, then they’re going to relax. We can’t relax, there’s a lot of work to be done.'”

Having witnessed the coaches in game and practices, there has never been any evidence of anyone catching their breath or taking it easy. Strong won’t allow it, demanding every ounce of commitment, evey day, every minute. He’s not about to let anyone be satisfied with what may appear to be surprising gains for a team picked to be seventh in the Big East. Improvement is a slow, grueling, long-term process, requiring consistency and commitment, no lapses therein.

“All players want to be great, they want to be good,” he said. “It’s pushing them, driving them, letting them know how good they can be and not backing away. We have to continue to build this program and get it back to where it’s supposed to be.”

Charlie Strong is not going to let anyone relax. Ever.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.