Monday Morning Quarterbacking

By Tom Stosberg

It’s a fact. Steve Kragthorpe will never in his lifetime win the big ones. Reason? He will never have any concept of defense or special teams.

Proof? In Year One as Louisville football coach, he spent the entire season interfering with his defensive coordinator.

In Year Two he hired an excellent Defensive Coordinator, Ron English, whom Krag knew would not stay. He constantly interfered with English. English flew for his life.

Year Three he hired his buddy, Brent Guy, who having failed miserably as a head coach, needed a place to stay. Krag decided to give him a free ride at Louisville. Guy has the defensive expertise of a gnat. He cannot coach defense, can’t teach it, he has no idea of what it is.

But what could you expect when a coach believes that all that is required of him is mediocrity. 6-6. 5-7.

If the first game is any indication, Louisville’s defense is a disgrace for the third year in a row. Kragthorpe is plagued by a stream of bad decisions for the third year in a row. My guess is that there will be no fourth year.

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Tom Stosberg

Tom Stosberg and his wife, Linda, also an active participant on this site, have been U of L fans for nearly 40 years. Tom is self-employed by MarketFit, Inc., an outsource marketing advisory. Tom worked in radio, television and advertising for 35+ years. His web site is located at

12 thoughts on “Monday Morning Quarterbacking

  • September 21, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Louisville’s defense is ranked 10th nationally in total defense allowing just 223.5 yards. They created two fumbles and had a interception against UK.

    There is still work to be done there, especially on stopping teams on 3rd down, but cannot be considered one of the worse defenses in college football.

  • September 21, 2009 at 10:01 am

    What facts do you have? Mike Cassity went from being our D-Coordinator to a high school position coach since he was so competent. Ron English did a heck of a job, but there was zero depth on D last year. And, Brent Guy was hired by Idaho St. from ASU where he assembled a pretty stout defense.

    This post should be removed from this site. It’s an embarrassment to the author and to Louisville fans.

    • September 21, 2009 at 9:16 pm

      Dee, my man, before you get your BVD’s all twisted up into a square knot, let’s take a look at the facts. This is Krag-o’s third year, third D-Coordinator, and he still doesn’t have a solid D-line, a big time middle linebacker or major league free saftey. Boo-Hoo…so Bobby left the cupboard bare. Three things SK (or his D coach-of-the-moment)hasn’t done on that side of the ball – recruit, recruit, recruit.

      Big question…will Louisville next year be able to lead the Nation in Jucos?

      Fact: neither the weak side nor the sstrong side linebackers were sure of where they were supposed to be. But let’s take a look at Saturday’s game.

      Fact: many times the cornerbacks didn’t know whom they were supposed to cover…on several plays they obviously didn’t know whether they were in man coverage or zone.
      Fact:the tackling has fallen off since Ron E left.
      Fact: The D ends won’t be stunting until at least the 8th game of the season.
      Now here’s the most important fact: I really like Steve Kragthorpe. I think he’s a first class gentleman. No joke. His motives are pure, he loves the kids, and he’s extremely intelligent with a great knowledge of the game. I would want him for a neighbor, a friend, an employer or employee. He is a very nice person. Mother Teresa was also a nice person but someone told me recently that she also was a lousy on the Defensive side of the ball Coordinator.
      You can toss me off the site if you want but I still LOVE your enthusiasm, Dee Money You be da man!

  • September 21, 2009 at 10:05 am


    I think Tom is just a tad frustrated that when UofL had a few opportunities to take the game by just making a reasonable 3rd down stop they couldn’t pull it off. UofL also still hasn’t shown an effective pass rush in 2+ years. Add both of those together and UofL will lose games b/c of its defense. I will say Utah and its potent offense will probably capitalize on these weaknesses more so than UK did.

    • September 21, 2009 at 9:21 pm

      Not really frustrated, cf4l, just waiting it out. After this chapter is over, I think you’re in for a treat. Big Time college football may be back in town sooner than you think…and I mean REAL BIG TIME college football. Hang on….

  • September 21, 2009 at 10:08 am

    While the post is pretty strong, there is some basis for his conclusion. The worst thing that could happen for the Cards Saturday was to give Kentucky a series of downs. Having said that, I believe it gave the defensive unit something to build on. The defensive unit is at the bottom of the learning curve and presumably will get better.

  • September 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    The Cards Defense is indeed in need of improvement, but so is the whole team. The UK offense was good but not great. However, give credit where it’s due; UK’s offensive line is one of the most experienced lines in college football. They have haven’t given up a sack this year. To say that UL didn’t play good defense is to also overlook an interception and fumble recovery, along with several key stops. The primary reason UK was in the game was special teams play (their return for a TD and our fumble of a punt). So I believe the defense played pretty good.

  • September 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I tend to agree that the defense wasn’t as awful as it was made to sound in the original post, but I’m also not ready to start bragging about that # 10 ranking because it’s fools gold. The reality of the situation is that our defense gave our team plenty of chances to put the game away. The blame for this loss falls on Krags (imagine that) for the horrible game management and play calling. There is no excuse for not capitalizing on the UK turnovers. No excuse to run Powell twice in a critical late game series. No excuse to run awful option plays on 4th and short. No excuse for having multiple delay of game penalites, and avoiding even more by burning priceless timeouts.

    The Cards should have won this game, and they would have with a competent coach on the sidelines. The defense is bad, but it didn’t cost us this game.

  • September 21, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Defense kept us in it, got the ball back for us and gave us a chance at the end to take the game. We’re not great, maybe just average but I think we will get better as the season goes on if we can stay healthy.

    Those red zone opportunities have to improve, though.

  • September 21, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    I can live with this defense (of course I really have no alternative) because aside from some hitting high with arm tackling caused mostly by lack of speed it isn’t that bad, at least against average teams. It has the possibility of getting better too because there was a lot of effort shown in the UK game.

    What I absolutely cannot live with is the special teams. This is a coach who should be coaching middle school at best. Against ISU the special teams committed 4 of the 14 penalties. That’s 29% of the penalties and I guarantee the special teams were not on the field for more than 15% of the plays.

    Against UK it was the same thing. The offsides on the kickoff cost us 7 points. Coverage on other kickoffs wasn’t very good eithere. Add the missed field goal and that’s 10 points. Check the final score and tell me you don’t think those 10 points would have changed the outcome of the game.

    I could add more but the keys on my laptop are getting too hot. We absolutely stink at special teams and this needs to be addressed much more than the defense.

  • September 21, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I stand by my original post, Card Fans. As I said in my response to Dee Money’s comment (see above), I think Steve Kragthorpe is one outstanding human being. He’s a gentleman, he’s intelligent, has a great knowledge of the game. I’d enjoy having him as a neighbor, friend, in-law, employer, inurance agent, doctor…I’d like to watch football games with him. I like him, no joke.

    He’s simply a nice person. I knew an 88 year old woman who was a nice person, too…but on the defensive side of the football, she was a dud.

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