With 10 starters returning on the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals’ strength this year could be on the side in which head coach Charlie Strong is so familiar. It wasn’t very evident in the first scrimmage, but the defense responded in last Saturday’s scrimmage and is beginning to take shape.
Senior linebacker Daniel Brown, who is beginning his third year as a starter, thinks the defense is ready for the opener on Sept. 2 versus Kentucky.
“We are still working technical techniques with the players, then we will move on to the Kentucky stuff,” said Brown. “It will happen soon. I can’t wait another 13 days, but it’s coming, and we are preparing as hard as we can.”
Brown, who has been at Louisville with this staff for all three seasons, likes where the defense is right now and hopes they could be better than the first two defenses, which were ranked in the top 25 nationally.
“I think the coaches think we are where we should be,” said Brown. “I heard one of the coaches say we are moving faster than the last two defenses since they have been here. I think we are in a good spot.”
With Brown and Preston Brown, the only two veterans of the group, the Cardinals will likely rely on three freshmen in James Burgess, Keith Brown and Nick Dawson to bolster this unit. Through 18 practices, Daniel Brown thinks the future is bright with these three newcomers in the mix.
“Those freshmen are going to be great guys in the future,” said Brown. “You can’t even tell those guys are freshmen. They come out and practice hard. They make everyone practice harder because you know you have guys coming out and competing every day.”