By Josh Cook
New University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong, as well as two of his assistants and several of his players, met with the media Tuesday to discuss the upcoming season.
Here are a handful of the highlights:
LOUISVILLE HEAD COACH CHARLIE STRONG
"We have two goals here - we're going to go graduate, we're going to get our degrees from this university, and we're going to win some Big East titles," Strong said. "That's going to happen, how soon? We're working to get that going."
"I told our seniors, I said, 'As a coaching staff we owe it to you to to get to a bowl game. As a coaching staff we owe that to you, you guys have been in this program for four years (and) you haven't been to a bowl game so we owe it to you as a coaching staff. Now it's going to take everybody on this football team to work and head in that right direction, but we owe that to you as a coaching staff.'"
"I believe that you win because you play great defense," Strong said.
Strong said he still hasn't decided who will be his starting quarterback for the Cardinals' Sept. 4 season-opener against Kentucky. He said he will sit down with assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, as well as quarterbacks coach Mike Groh, when the time is right and choose between senior Adam Froman, senior Justin Burke or sophomore Will Stein.
“And it’s going to come down to who can go lead this football team,” Strong said.
Strong, though, didn't completely rule out true freshman Dominique Brown playing some quarterback either.
“I just haven’t seen him enough,” Strong said of Brown, who just earned his eligibility last week. “He’s a young guy, he has a lot of abilities and he’s going to be a really good football player, but he just started out the other day in his first practice. Whereas everyone else has been here in the summer getting bigger, stronger and faster.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR VANCE BEDFORD
The only two players who have locked up starting positions are linebacker Brandon Heath and lineman Greg Scruggs.
"The secondary is a big concern," Bedford said.
"The biggest thing is, they need to learn how to finish," Bedford said.
"One of our concerns is we're not very big," Bedford said. "We must be able to stop the run. If we can't stop the run, then they don't have to throw the ball."
"We're not big enough right now," Bedford said. "We're out recruiting, because we must get bigger."
Bedford also said that he and Strong call senior defensive end Rodney Gnat "Big Pretty."
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE SANFORD
Sanford said that 6-foot-8 Josh Chichester is moving to tight end. He also said that some of the new receivers to watch this season will be junior college transfer Josh Bellamy, as well as freshmen Michaelee Harris and Jarrett Davis.
SENIOR QUARTERBACK ADAM FROMAN
“This year’s offense is so much more aggressive than last year’s,” Froman said. “And what I mean by that is just that we attack, every single day. The defense does not dictate what we do. We dictate hat the defense does, and it’s a lot of fun to run.”
SENIOR QUARTERBACK JUSTIN BURKE
About the three-way QB competition Burke said: “It makes it so much better, because you’re competing every day, you have to be on your game every day. You compete in meetings, you compete in runs, you compete at the dinner table, it’s all the time. It makes you be on your toes 24-7.”