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The Cardinal Countdown: 12 Days Until Kickoff

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Notre Dame at Louisville Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#12 Marlon Character

Class: Senior

Ht/Wt: 6-1/195

Position: Defensive Back

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Twitter: @riptrizzle

Thoughts: Character was a nice JUCO pickup (#1 safety in country) a couple seasons back, but unlike Kei’Trel who seemed to pick things up very quickly this year, Character and Coach Brown both admitted he struggled with the playbook. His athleticism could warrant him some playing time, which he did, but until he digested what the defense was trying to do each and every play he wasn’t getting the reps he likely needed. Fast forward to the end of 2019 and Character actually started four of the last six contests. While still battling with Johnson for the job, Character has raised himself up to a level where Brown doesn’t see a drop off with either in the game, and that is how you build winning teams.

It’s a play like this below (sack from Character) that makes me encouraged about the future. Watch this play five, six, seven times…tell me where Perkins is supposed to go with this ball in the time he has? Maybe the guy who released out of the backfield, but that would need to be a perfect throw and it’s likely a 1-2 yard gain max.

Sure, it’s just one play, but as 2019 progressed (sans UK game) the defense started to make plays more frequently. I noticed a “swarm to the ball” that I didn’t see earlier in the year, and just to make sure I wasn’t crazy I found a stat to back it up. In the November games in 2019 Louisville finished with 104 assisted tackles, meaning two or more guys brought down the ball carrier. That was more than any other month even though they finished with less overall tackles in November than August/September or October. There was a party at the ball, and the defense invited themselves to meet there every play.

There are things to point to as areas of concern on the defensive side of the ball, and I wont undersell that, but I think we continue to see that movement in a positive direction from the bowl game as Brown and his defensive coaches have had another full season to get guys to buy in.

Sweet Tweet:

My son occasionally has nightmares still, about what exactly I’m still not sure but of all the struggles and challenges he faces at 4 years old one can only assume it’s his mother and I running out of snacks or me maybe forcing him to brush his teeth twice a day. Poor kid. But, when he wakes me up in the middle of the night I always struggle to fall back to sleep…so what do I do….I watch INFOMERCIALS!!!

If you’re new around here please go back and check out seasons past as one of these may actually cause you to chuckle on a Monday morning, and damn if that isn’t a win to start the week. (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

Me: Well that is certainly something I didn't know I needed. Think they got those up at Bed Bath & Beyond?

Mrs CardinalStrong: We do not need that. I don’t want some big chunk of plastic sitting in our bathroom

Me: Think about our health, the health of our children. Our poor colon. Our poor large intestine crammed in there like the worlds messiest ‘jack in the box’. I mean this right here saves us the cost of a doctors visit.

Mrs. CardinalStrong: That’s not how intestines work, but if you really want to use something like that the kids have a little stool they use to help reach the sink.

Me: Little stool? That’s how we got in this situation.

Mrs CardinalStrong: Oh. My. Go-

Me: ORDER IT!!!

***

Me: Nice, exactly what I need for that nagging lower back pain I have

Mrs. CardinalStrong: I’ve never heard you talk about back pain.

Me: Kind of comes and goes. But if it’s good enough for a Hall of Fame QB, can probably knock out my little aches and pains.

Mrs. CardinalStrong: We’ve got a heating pad. Don’t buy that.

Me: Is a heating pad made of copper? Does it fit the contours of my body? Rumor is Brett was actually trying to snap a photo of a beautiful sunset outside his bathroom window many years ago but because of his lower back pain he was all hunched over and accidentally let the ol’ flip phone snap a pic of his “lead blocker” if ya know what I’m saying.

Mrs. CardinalStrong: That is obviously something you just made up, and you don’t even like Brett Favre.

Me: No...No I don’t. But I do like a pain free lower back. ORDER IT!!