LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --- Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino held a news conference before the Louisville-UConn men's basketball game Saturday to preview the start of spring football.
The Cardinals open spring practice March 18th at 4pm.
Below is a transcript of some of Petrino's quotes on newsworthy topics surrounding the Louisville football program this offseason:
On the quarterback situation:
"I won't make (a decision on a starting quarterback) in the Spring. We'll know who comes out of Spring #1...we have to make (a decision) by September 1. A lot of times you like to do it two weeks prior to the opening game. That would be ideal for me...but you never know. It might take care of itself before that."
On being impressed with QB Will Gardner:
"Will Gardner showed his competitiveness and the athleticism he has. His numbers on testing were unbelievable to me. He ran under a 4.6 (40-yard dash). I think he benched 330 (pounds). He cleaned really, really good. It would have been one of those deals where if he was going to the (NFL) Combine, his stock went way up, because his stock went way up in the testing for us as coaches just by his competitiveness and athleticism. I had no idea he could run like that."
Asked if he's waiting to hear about adding another QB (essentially USC transfer Max Wittek, without mentioning his name) or if he thinks the current QBs will be what he has to work with:
"We're always recruiting. Everyday we're recruiting and looking to improve our roster. We have a couple of initial scholarships left that we wanted to hang onto to see what happens at all positions...we'll just continue to recruit and see what happens."
On the arrest of LB signee (and potential incoming freshman) Sharieff Rhaheed-Muhammad and his status with the program:
"We're well aware of it. It's something that was shocking and concerning, but you have to let the court system play out. And again, one of those things where you don't make a decision until you have to."
On his impressions of WR DeVante Parker:
"Yeah, he's really impressive. He puts a smile on my face on the thoughts of how we can use him, utilize him, and get him the ball. I think he can run all the routes. He does a great job getting in and out of his breaks, catch the ball away from his body. He works hard and is very coachable. That was something that I was very happy to see. Obviously, we know he can elevate, go up and catch the ball when it's high in the air. He should have a great year for us."
On RB Michael Dyer:
"I haven't seen a lot of him. He's kind of been injured. When I first got back here he had a surgery, kind of one of those sports hernia type surgeries. He's been out mostly lifting with the team, but conditioning on his own. So we really haven't seen a whole lot of him.
On how he thinks Lorenzo Mauldin will transition from a true DE to outside LB:
"Really well. He did a lot of it last year, just didn't call him an outside linebacker. He line up in a two-point stance, dropped into coverage. He rushed out of it. He rushed in different spots out of it. When you look at the model of height/length/weight/speed, if we could recruit every guy to match that spot that is Lorenzo, that's exactly what we would want."
On what the focus will be during Spring Football:
"Our objectives for spring ball: #1 will be to really teach and learn the new schemes. It's a great challenge for our coaches to teach everything, and our players have to learn and really start to understand what the schemes are that we're going to use."
"The next thing that we'll do is to work extremely hard on our technique and fundamentals. That's always been really important to me. I think as a college football player, particularly playing at this level and moving into this conference (ACC), you're working to become an expert at what you do."
On if he's surprised by the level of speed across the board on the roster after speed/weight lifting testing:
"I think we have good speed. It's probably a little faster when you put them on the track and let them wear spikes and dress up for it. All the testing part is to give us an understanding of where we're at, what we need to recruit, and it builds confidence in the players. I would expect when we come back and test again in July that we'll do a much better job on bench (press) and cleans, because some of the technique we're teaching is a little bit different. But I am excited about the speed we have."