Last week, as one is too often wont to do with a bit of idle time on his/her hands, I found myself surfing aimlessly across the Google.
I arrived at a light bulb moment of sorts after hangin’ ten from a B/W video of Nina
Simone’s simmering “Sinnerman” to an illuminating video comparison of Jackie Chan’s exemplary work in Asian films with his lesser American movies, ending up somehow at a highlight reel of what is generally regarded as the college pigskin equivalent of Chaminade over Ralph Sampson and UVa.
Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32. In the Big House. In the first game ever televised on the BTN.
New Louisville Cardinal coach Scott Satterfied mentored the QBs on that overachieving Mountaineer squad. On App State’s first score, their southpaw signal caller found a wideout in a hole in the Maize and Blue zone. He then blew past several Wolverine DBs who thought they had him cornered, and crossed the goal line for six.
What immediately popped into my mind was this name: Tutu Atwell, U of L’s seriously speedy wideout.
Immersed in that Appalachian State tradition, Satterfield holds speed sacrosanct. On both sides of the ball.
That ‘07 upset was secured by two blocked FGs, when smaller but quicker defenders slithered past Go Blue’s bigs, including the capper as time expired.
Beyond my intention to confirm that speed will be the foundation of upcoming Cardinal squads, it was my design at Saturday’s Media Day to see if that Atwell hunch has legs, that he could be a centerpiece of this season’s O.
His freshman stats, like most all those from last year’s fugettaboutit season, are nothing special. 24 receptions. Only two TDs, both against the Ramblin’ Wreck. He played a smidge at QB, his prep position, when late the campaign was falling precipitously. His 17 yard ypc is the only numerical harbinger of his upside.
The other is how damn fast and slithery he is.
So, I was ready to ask Coach Satt about Atwell.
He beat me to the punch.
The first player name checked by Satterfield came when he was asked if any guys had been especially impressive during the first week of practice?
”Tutu Atwell.” After which he mentioned that the receiver is “fast.”
So, despite the reality that I’ve never been known for my football prescience, I was feeling a bit smug.
Soon enough, Defensive Coordinator Bryan Brown -- Yes, the same dude who had a short stint at PG for Ole Miss in the early oughts -- took the mic.
After talking about his the charges on his side of the ball, Brown was asked who of the offensive players impressed him?
Need I spell out his response? No. But I shall.
The DC asked rhetorically, “Who’s going to corner this kid?”
Remember where you heard it first?
* * * * *
After Scott Satterfield sat down behind the mic, and was waiting for the phalanx of scribes to set down their recording devices to begin the Q&A, the first year coach looked, well, I guess the word that comes to mind is “uncomfortable.”
Not really nervous. Not antagonistic as some of his predecessors.
He is not a big fellow. And, with his rimless spectacles and laid back southern drawl, the last employment you’d first consider were you on the “What’s My Line?” panel with Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, and Dorothy Killgallen would be “Head Football Coach.”
Beyond that outward impression, the fellow is obviously competitive. Which he admits.
”I’m laid back. But I’m extremely competitive.”
Of course, much of the Red & Black fanbase still wishes Vince Tyra could have lured homie Jeff Brohm back to town. Truth is that was never going to happen, and . . .
. . . while the proverbial time will tell, U of L football might be better off.
* * * * *
Satterfield also has a little Ram Dass about him.
Don’t understand the reference? Ask your hippie aunt about “Be Here Now.”
Several times, Coach Satt mentioned how he tries to worry about today only. How he attempts to stay in the moment. To ask “How good can we be today?”
I recall somewhere back around the team Satterfield was named the Cards’ coach, reading something like he tried to do the same thing on the same day football-wise every year.
I didn’t have time to ask about it before SID Rocco Gasparro spirited the coach away.
* * * * *
There is no worthwhile purpose to look back at the indecipherable fall of Bobby Petrino and how he pulled the program down with him. Last season was a disaster of Chernobylian proportions. Relatively speaking.
Satterfield and Brown and offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford all essentially confirmed Saturday that they were a Haz Mat/ Restoration unit when first meeting the squad last winter.
This team was broken. And there was much to be done in reestablishing confidence before the coaches started drawing Xs and Os on the chalk board, and cued the projector.
Brown even offered that the team “didn’t know how to practice.”
By all accounts, it would seem the new coaching staff has gained its charges trust.
It would be most surprising if U of L doesn’t compete stronger than expected. Though that might not translate to unexpected victories in Year I.
-- Seedy K