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Cards have smash mouth practice on Wednesday

Louisville's fifth practice of the spring focused on being physical, and that's exactly what happened on Wednesday afternoon in the Trager Practice Facility. The Cardinals conducted a 25-period practice indoors and really put the focus on making the offensive and defensive lines being tough upfront. "It was a really physical practice," junior tight end Stephon Ball. "We put our goal line setting in. There are only three of us tight ends so we play whether it's ones or two's, we're always going. It was a real tough practice."

Big East Blog- First Spring Practice

For those like me who could not be there. Are you itching for football?

Yahoo: Watson best QB coach hire of the offseason

This Strong guy might know what he's doing. Quarterbacks: Shawn Watson, Louisville The buzz: Watson, 51, brings a wealth of experience to Derby City, having most recently served as offensive coordinator at Nebraska. Watson, a passing-game guru, also has coordinated the offense at Colorado and was head coach at FCS member Southern Illinois.

Update: Miami Northwestern QB Teddy Bridgewater

From the Orlando Sentinel: "Several reports Saturday morning had Miami Northwestern quarterback Teddy Bridgewater committing to Louisville during his trip there this weekend. Bridgewater said Saturday afternoon that his reported pledge to the Cardinals was premature, at best. He texted, "NO ...NO COMMIMTMENT AT ALL," when asked to confirm the reports in a text message."

Louisville football tickets: 4-game mini-packages on sale this Sunday

Still looking for Louisville football tickets? The University's ticket office is offering 500 four-game ticket packages for $149 this Sunday afternoon. The mini-package includes the UK game on Sep 4th and two Big East matchups. From uoflsports.com: The package features the opener for first-year head coach Charlie Strong when the Cardinals take on their arch-rival at the newly-expanded Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The mini-plan, which has tickets available in sections 211-224, also features the Eastern Kentucky game on Sept. 11 and BIG EAST games versus Connecticut and South Florida. The packages go on-sale to the general public from Noon to 2:30 PM on Sunday, August 15 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in the Brown & Williamson Club during the Football Open House. Tickets can also be purchased by phone on Monday, August 16 at 9:00 AM. Fans interested in purchasing these mini-plans can call ticket representatives in the U of L Ticket Office at (502) 852-7254, 852-3706, 852-4984 or 852-4983.

UofL Football Spring Wrap-Up (Brian Bennett)

Spring answers 1. Only the Strong survive: From his "Circle of Life" drills to open practice to the way he and his staff raised the intensity of every workout, new coach Charlie Strong did everything he could to instill toughness and passion in the Cardinals. The team, which is tired of losing, seemed to buy in to Strong's methods wholeheartedly. Louisville hopes it can make up for what it may lack in talent with heart. ... Fall questions 3. Secondary concerns: Moving Ashley wasn't just a sign of strength in the offensive backfield. It was a desperation move to shore up the defensive backfield. Johnny Patrick is a solid cornerback, but the other corner spot was a mess. And with Terrence Simien sitting out the spring while he recovered from a kidney injury, the safeties didn't look so hot either. Combine the secondary issues with the lack of a legitimate pass rush, and there are major reasons to be concerned for this defense heading into the fall.

Charlie Strong still pestering Florida State

Head coach Charlie Strong, the former Florida Gators defensive coordinator who is in his first year as head coach at Louisville, remains a thorn in the side of Gators’ rival Florida State. On Thursday, Strong got a commitment from defensive end Deiontrez Mount (6-6, 215) from Fort Walton Beach. Mount also had offers from FSU, South Carolina, Minnesota, Iowa State, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Strong now has 11 commitments to the 2011 class, and two are from Florida. The other is Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast OL Mike Romano.

Strong brings hope to ailing Louisville

This is a really solid piece from Brian Bennett. Strong in many ways is the Louisville Cardinals program right now, though. He's the reason why Cardinals fans dream of returning to the top of college football after three non-winning, no-fun seasons under Steve Kragthorpe. He's the reason the school believes it can sell tickets for the new deck on Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, a place the team had trouble filling to half capacity by the end of last year. He is the agent of change. Strong would likely cringe at all those declarations. He's a soft-spoken guy who doesn't seem comfortable talking about himself or dredging up old stories about why it took so long for someone to give him a head coaching job. So we'll let others talk him up. "We all have a world of respect for him," defensive lineman Greg Scruggs said. "If you don't have respect for someone who's accomplished what he's accomplished, then I honestly think something is wrong with you." "When you come in with credentials like he has, then you automatically get respect," quarterback Adam Froman said. "You don't have to prove anything. It's like, 'OK, I'll listen to whatever you have to say.'"

Strong's struggle for respect ends

This is pretty fantastic. "Me and my wife [Vicki] looked at each other, and it was so emotional," Strong said when asked how it felt to finally have his first head-coaching job after 26 years in the college football business. That's when his voice caught. His head bowed. The new coach of the Louisville Cardinals snapped his fingers and then tapped them on the podium, trying to find the composure he didn't feel. Finally, he went on. "Because you just never thought it was going to happen," he said, biting his lip as tears filled his eyes. ... "That," said the man who hired him, Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, "was a top-five moment in my career."

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