CRAWFORD | Louisville Kickoff Luncheon: Five best quotes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville football team held its annual Kickoff Luncheon Friday at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, and while there was plenty of the typical preseason talk, there were a few moments that proved quotable.
Here are the five key moments:
1). Jonathan Greenard, redshirt junior linebacker on the challenge of playing Alabama in the opener: “We’re going to learn something from this game, win or win.”
If Louisville was worried about providing bulletin board material before its Sept. 1 opener against the defending national champion Crimson Tide in Orlando on Sept. 1, players and coaches didn’t show it.
Greenard’s comment was just one of several expressing a high level of confidence for the opener against Alabama.
Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra mentioned going to last season’s national championship game, “where Alabama – who we’re going to play, and beat – was playing.”
2). Bobby Petrino, on the mindset required for the opener: “Obviously they're a very good football team. They've got a great tradition. Obviously we're excited to play them. I think it's a great challenge, and we know that. But I'm going to tell you this: If we can get where we have every, single guy on our team, every, single coach on our team to believe like I believe -- because I believe we're going to go beat them -- I need everybody else here to believe that, then we will go beat them.”
Petrino said that on Monday, the Cardinals will turn to their specific preparation for Alabama.
3). Petrino on the Cardinals team speed: “This is the fastest team we've ever had, as far as the stopwatch goes.”
But that kind of speed, Petrino said, isn’t enough on the football field.
“One thing that we've really tried to do since we came here as a staff is to be the fastest team in the ACC,” Petrino said. “You do it a number of ways, but the first thing you do is go out and recruit speed. We've got some guys who have run amazing track times, and they're really fast. . . . So that's one way to be fast, but the other way to be fast is to play fast. The way you do that is understand what you're doing, you understand what Alabama is going to do, then you have complete confidence in it so there's no hesitation and you line up and go full speed, with all the confidence in the world.”
4). Petrino, doubling down on the offense being better without Lamar Jackson: “I was asked at media days how the offense is going to do now that Lamar's gone? And my answer was, 'We're going to be better.' And people kind of looked at me, laughed a little bit. I expect us to be better on offense. . . . Our expectations on offense, we expect to be the No. 1 offense in the country. That's what our job is, that's what we believe that we can do. And by gosh, we've done it a number of times, so we might as well do it again this year.”
5). Petrino on new U of L president Neeli Bendapudi: “"It's great to have Neeli here at our opening kickoff luncheon. It's really hard for me to call her Neeli. I'm used to calling my boss by their title, Dr. Bendapudi. But what I want our players to understand is she asked me to call her Neeli. And I'm being coachable.”
Petrino praised the new president’s handling of the recent controversy with John Schnatter and the naming rights to what had been known as Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
“She's done such an amazing job since she's been here and obviously we've had a little conflict come up, and her strength and her encouragement have really helped our entire team and our coaching staff,” Petrino said. “She came and spoke to our players and really showed them how strong the support is we have from the administration here. I feel great about how she came and really took control of the situation and helped our players.”
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