CRAWFORD | Transcript: Petrino on quarterbacks, IU series, secon - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Transcript: Petrino on quarterbacks, IU series, secondary and more

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Here's a transcript of University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino's comments to reporters before the team's annual Kickoff Luncheon this afternoon in the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Opening statement on the series with Indiana being announced: I think it’s great for our fans and their fans. It’s eight years from now, so I’m just hoping and praying that I’ll still be alive. 

Q: What does that series do for the program?

PETRINO: I think it’s great to be able to play another really quality opponent, one on a neutral site and one in each city. It’s always been a great rivalry in basketball, so to be able to play in football, I think is great for both programs. A win-win.

Q: How difficult was it to get a deal done?

PETRINO: We talked about it for a long time, trying to get a game or series with Indiana, and I think there was a lot of work done on both sides of the table. We’re just happy that it came about.

Q: It’s football kickoff luncheon day. Are you pleased with where the team is to this point?

PETRINO: We’ve had a very productive week. I like the way we’ve gotten better. Our players have worked hard, improving in their technique and fundamentals. And I think we’ve improved in understanding and execution of our schemes. We’ll go out tomorrow and have a nice scrimmage. That’s the nice thing about today. We practiced early, then they get almost 24 hours off their feet when they get to rest. They still have heavy legs at some positions, especially wide receiver. So as you get into it we’ll find out more as we start freshening up. Our timing will get better next week, and we’ll see a lot of improvement again next week. But I like the week we’ve had. I think our guys have improved a lot.

Q: Are you getting close to a quarterback decision?

PETRINO: I’m not close to a decision at all. I think They’ve all had days where they played real well. They’ve all improved. THey all understand the offense better. We are throwing the ball better as far as our timing goes and our accuracy goes. Then they’ve all had moments where they haven’t done what we expected them to do or execute the way we needed them to execute. They’ve all improved, and that’s the biggest thing we’re looking for, is improvement.

Q: Ideally, I guess you’d like to be able to name a starter two weeks out, and that would be tomorrow. Is that the case?

PETRINO: Ideally, after tomorrow’s scrimmage, you’d like to have a starter named. I’m not sure if that’s going to work out. I guess we’ll wait and see how it all plays out. But usually what I like to do is have two weeks where you work and know who your starting quarterback is. This has been a very close competition where they’ve all had their moments, so we’ll see how tomorrow goes, then evaluate the film all day on Sunday and Monday. I think the players will look forward to after tomorrow the grind is a little bit cut back, they get a couple of days off, even, as far as working on the field goes.

Q: Could you list some things you’re looking for in a starting quarterback?

PETRINO: The first thing you have to do as a quarterback is to really be trustworthy and be coachable, and do what the coaches want you to do, without surprises. That’s the biggest thing, to go out and operate the scheme and manage the game the way we want it to be done. You have to be a great leader, because the No. 1 thing for a quarterback is to make the guys around them better, elevate their game, their intensity, how hard they play, how hard they study and get prepared. We had some of our old players over last night to talk to the players, and one of the things I know they talked about was how each player was accountable to one another. They didn’t want to let their friend down, or their teammate down. That’s certainly something that the quarterback has to provide, as far as the leadership. And then he’s got to make plays while the pressure’s on. That’s why we try to practice with a lot of intensity and put a lot of pressure on them to perform in practice, so the games become a lot easier for them.

Q: Will all of those guys get reps with the first-team offense?

PETRINO: They get a lot of work. We’ll get a lot of work. A week ago we had a 175-play scrimmage. Tomorrow the plan is to try to have the first half just like a game, run the clock, run the 40-second clock, get the coaches off the field. We do have a lot of  young guys on offense who, a lot of times when the coaches are out there on the field and the play ends, and they turn around and look to find their coach to see what he’s going to say to them. We’ve got to get our coaches off the field to see how our guys operate in a game. And then at halftime I’ll evaluate it and see where we are and how many plays we went and whether we continue to work game tempo or put it more back into a scrimmage mode.

Q: How much improvisation do you allow quarterbacks?

PETRINO: Oh they have improvisation as far as what they do according to when things break down. That’s thing, what you’d really like to do is have enough trust in your quarterback to go out and call everything very aggressively, then they can get you out of a bad play. if the defense shows something, they can get you out. But they’re going to have to make plays when things break down, protection breaks down or receiver slips and falls. Your ability  to make plays with your legs after the play starts, even if its moving in the pocket, sliding right, sliding left, delivering the ball. You need a lot of instincts to play the position.

Q: Is the offensive line starting to come together?

PETRINO: It’s working out pretty well. I think we’re going to be big and physical. I like the way we’re coming together. Obviously there’s still a lot of competition there, and we have some young guys that are in the competition. We’ve made some moves where guys get different reps at different times, but they’e all worked with the ones and the twos, which is good, because then you get to see them against those great defensive linemen that we have. Unfortunately, none of them block those guys very well. I guess that’s unfortunate for the offense and fortunate for the defense and the team. We really do have a very, very strong defensive front.

Q: What about the secondary?

PETRINO: They’re doing well. When you have Josh Harvey Clemons back there, and Shaq, you feel like you have experience. So it doesn’t fee like you miss as many parts as we did a year ago. Some of the young guys are continuing to improve. Our corners are in a real close competition. That’ll be a fun thing to watch on the video on Sunday, how our secondary did, how they payed their calls, their leverage on the ball, how they tackled. Right now, we’re tackling well. I hope we continue to do that.

Q: Is the secondary helped by that strong line?

PETRINO: That helps a lot. That helps every secondary. When you have the ability to rush the passer with four guys and mix up your coverages, or rush with five guys and utilize some of those zone blitz schemes and put a clock on how long you have to cover, that’s always a great thing for the secondary. That’s one of the things we did really well last year. We sacked the quarterback, hit the quarterback, and distracted the quarterback so his concentration went from downfield to looking at the pass rush. Hopefully we can do that again.

Q: Is there a chance where you come up with a (QB) starter and the team knows the starter and you know the starter but maybe you decide that Auburn doesn’t need to know the starter going in and don’t make it public?

PETRINO: Sounds like a good idea.

Q: Don’t put it on me!

PETRINO: No, I’m going to tell everyone I got that from you, Eric. Great one.

Q: Do you know who played the best of the quarterbacks in the scrimmage last weekend?

PETRINO: Geez, that was a week ago. I can’t remember. I’m getting old, I can’t remember that far back.

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