BOZICH | Petrino Quickly Shows James Quick Will Be A Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Petrino Quickly Shows James Quick Will Be A Louisville Weapon

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James Quick caught five passes for 152 yards and a touchdown in Louisville's spring football game. James Quick caught five passes for 152 yards and a touchdown in Louisville's spring football game.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Charlie Strong did 1,001 things right as the University of Louisville football coach, but here is one thing Strong did 1,001 percent wrong – mishandle James Quick's freshman season as a Cardinals' receiver.

Quick did not say that. I'm saying that.

Strong and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson took a five-star recruit, three-time state champion at Trinity High School and the fastest man in the state of Kentucky and turned him into Joe The Scout Team Guy.

It was silly. It was senseless. And it was never explained.

You needed CIA assistance to find Quick on the U of L sidelines. He was usually hidden by the stationary bikes, seat warmers and extra rolls of athletic tape.

Quick played in nine games. He caught six passes, never more than one in any game. He finished with 73 yards receiving. He scored his only touchdown while scooping up a fumbled punt.

It wasn't the way that Strong treated Teddy Bridgewater, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Smith or so many other freshmen who moved onto the field early in their Cardinals' careers and stayed there. Quick never got the opportunity those guys had.

It was a colossal waste of talent. But it happened.

It won't happen again. Not with Bobby Petrino calling the Louisville offensive plays.

Petrino showed – quickly – that he has no intention of burying Quick by the student managers.

Petrino put Quick with the first team during Louisville's spring game Friday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Quick, with crisp assistance from quarterback Will Gardner, did the rest.

Three plays into the scrimmage, Quick flashed down the left sideline, wrapped both hands around a strike from Gardner and danced into the end zone with a 62-yard pass. That was just the opening act.

Quick caught four more balls for another 90 yards – the most productive performance by any Louisville receiver. Credit Quick with 9 yards rushing – and remember that he did not carry the football as a freshman one time.

I asked Quick if he thought we'd see more of him this season with Strong coaching Texas and Petrino calling plays at Louisville.

"I would hope so," Quick said.

Media people laughed. Quick laughed quite a bit.

Interpret that any way you like. I'll interpret it this way. Quick will be conditioned to deliver a big season in 2014.

Quick grew up in Louisville and does not have to do research on YouTube to find examples of the creative ways that Petrino effectively employs his wide receivers.

"When I heard Coach Petrino was coming with this offense, I felt a sigh of relief … at one point, coming in knowing that he's going to throw the ball," Quick said.

"If you're a receiver in Coach Petrino's offense you've got to be ready to catch a lot of balls. That's what I'm ready to do."

Quick said that he did not consider 2013 a lost season. He made certain that he learned things from the veteran receiver whose solid play kept him on the sidelines – Damian Copeland, a fifth-year senior. 

"I wouldn't say it was a challenge because I had somebody who was a good player in front of me with Damian Copeland being there," Quick said. "Watching what he did, I could put some of the things that he did last year into my game this year."

Petrino will do the rest. He did it with Mario Urrutia, Harry Douglas, J.R. Russell, Gary Barnidge, Montrell Jones. You know the list. So does James Quick. Petrino loves to invent imaginative ways to throw the football.

"I feel like Coach Petrino knows how to use his play makers with me, DeVante (Parker) and all the other receivers," Quick said. "I feel like he knows what to do at the right time."

Here is my prediction: James Quick will not be hidden by the stationary bikes any more.

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