Daily Focus – Offense
We started the last week of spring football practices on Tuesday. Today, we completed our twelfth practice of the spring and we have seen all three phases (Offense, Defense, and Special Teams) make big strides thus far. With the spring game approaching fast, we wanted to turn our focus on the Offensive unit, all together. You will see an experienced group when the Cards take the field in 2018; we will be returning 9 positions that started on the Offense in 2017. We also have some new names who have stepped up and started creating a role for themselves this spring. Jawon Pass has looked promising all spring and taken large steps in his throwing accuracy, offensive efficiency, and overall command of the offense. There have been multiple playmakers at the wide receiver position all spring, Dez Fitzpatrick has been the most productive and consistent on a day to day basis. Another playmaking position is the running back position, this has been the best spring to date for Trey Smith, where we have seen him finishing runs, showing patience, catching passes and running hard! Kemari Averett is a guy who really makes an impression on the field when you see him (6’7” 270 lbs) and he is a big target that is easy to throw to. As big as Kemari is, you see him stand next to Mekhi Becton (6’8” 350 lbs) and are impressed with how big the Cardinals are up front. The offensive line has really come together as a unit this spring, improving in technique, communication and overall football intelligence, a lot of that has to do with the leadership of Senior, Lukayis Mcneil. Expect the Louisville offense to continue building on the success it has had the last few seasons and give opposing defenses a lot of issues in 2018.
Coach Quote of the Day
“I’m really excited to see the steps that we have taken on Offense this Spring. Our Receivers and Quarterbacks are working well together and our O-Line, Running Backs and Tight Ends continue to develop. This team has a great attitude right now!
– Mike Summers, Co-Offensive Coordinator/O-Line Coach
Coach Petrino’s Practice Notes
This is the final week of spring football, we had a good, long, hard practice yesterday. One of our main points of emphasis was individual technique improvement. We went back and spent a lot of time re-teaching stance, get off, and vision. This being our final week of spring practice, we are reviewing previous installations and we saw good carry over and good understanding of scheme. This is a good week for us to show improvement in our fundamentals. We need to play fast, and not think or hesitate.
We had a really good blitz period, our defense continues to do a really good job of timing the pressure and getting to their proper gaps. Offensively, I felt like our Offensive Line recognized the pressure and communicated as well as we have all spring. One of the fun parts of practice, yesterday, was our P.U.P. (Pass Under Pressure) drill. This is where we emphasize a 4 man rush with base coverage, so the Quarterback has to go through his progressions and keep his focus down the field with jet rushes and line games. I felt like Jawon Pass did a great job, he is really starting to see coverages and Malik Cunningham probably had his best practice of the spring throwing the football.
This was a big Special Teams practice for us, we again, worked hard on our punt team and punt return team. Our specialists are doing a really good job, Mason King and Austin Johnson are punting the ball well, our operation times are getting closer to what we want on a more consistent basis. I really feel like our coverage on special teams will be much improved this season, from our improved length and speed.
Standout Performers from Day 12
- Offensive Grinder – Quarterback Malik Cunningham
- Defensive Grinder – Defensive Lineman Derek Dorsey
- Offensive Showtime – Wide Receiver Seth Dawkins
- Defensive Showtime – Defensive Back Chandler Jones
*Grinder = Gives all one’s got every day, influencing others’ work ethic in the process
*Showtime = The specific time to display or execute a performance of great magnitude.
Off the Field Highlights
Meet Kolby Smith – Running Backs Coach
Kolby Smith is currently the running backs coach at the University of Louisville, his alma mater, where he played running back from 2003-06. As a player for the Cards, he helped lead the team to a 12-1 season and first-ever BCS win in the 2006 Orange Bowl! Kolby was one of Coach Petrino’s first commitments as a head coach, along with teammate William Gay.
During his playing career, Kolby rushed for over 1,800 yards, averaging nearly 6.0 yards per carry and scored 18 touchdowns on the ground. He was also a threat catching the ball out of the backfield in an exciting offense that enabled him to pull in 56 passes for over 500 yards and two touchdowns.
Following his senior season, Kolby was drafted in the 5th round and went on to a successful NFL career predominantly with the Kansas City Chiefs. He then began his coaching career as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Arkansas in 2012. From there he went to Western Kentucky University as an assistant coach and returned to Louisville with Coach Petrino in 2014.
Kolby’s playing experience has helped him develop the most recent and current Cardinal running backs into a versatile and productive group. Although that position has dealt with multiple injuries, they have still been very successful by setting the school record for rushing yards in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
On a personal note, Kolby met his wife Ashley while he was playing in Kansas City. They have two young sons, Kolby, Jr. “K.J.” and Karter.
Petrino Family Foundation Update
Only two more days until the 2018 Spring Golf Classic. We have set a goal of raising over $200,000 this year, the same amount we are set to pay Norton Children’s Hospital. So how else do we raise money to help support and fund our many initiatives? Coming this Fall we will be hosting our 5th Annual Petrino Family Foundation Tailgates. Held 3 hours before every home football game, the Petrino Family Foundation Tailgate is the premier tailgate in town. With everything from locally catered food, a top shelf drink selection, live broadcasting of the 790 KRD pre-game show, live Marching Band and Ladybird Dance Team performances, to bouncy houses and corn-hole; The Petrino Family Foundation Tailgate has it all! We even provide an opportunity to get down on the filed before kick-off with a Pre-Game On-Field Access Raffle. Come rain, sun, snow, it doesn’t matter, the Petrino Family Foundation Tailgate is held inside of the Trager Center, an exact replica of the game field inside Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. What better way is there to pre-game? With 7 home games this year, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. We have a variety of options to purchase tickets and tables. Even tables that comes with football tickets and parking passes. For more information email Kelsey or Katie @petrinofamilyfoundation.org
As always for more information on the Petrino Family Foundation please make sure you visit our website. www.petrinofamilyfoundation.org