No. 16 Louisville doesn't have a game this weekend, but that doesn't mean Charlie Strong's players are taking it easy. Louisville's coach updated his team's progress after practice Wednesday evening.
Charlie Strong talked about his team's progress after practice Wednesday
"We've had two good days of practice and what you try to do this week is refine the fundamentals and technique and that's what's really critical. We know we have to get better these two weeks. We have two weeks to get better before we go play Pittsburgh."
On improving tackling
"In the Southern Miss we as coaches should have been smarter and told them how to tackle. When you get into a rain game a running back can not make a cut, so undercut him. Don't try to hit him high because he'll run you over. But that is fundamentals and they get a lot of individual work with the coaches and they're able to work on tackling, and blocking with the linemen, and receiver routes. It's everything about fundamentals with each position."
On Arkansas comments from Jim Rome show
"We're five games into the season, he asked me that question, but we're five games into it. My focus is this football team. That's the only thing I'm ever concerned about is what I have right now."
On whether he talks about rumors with the players
"No, I nip it in the bud before it ever gets started with the players. The players kid around a lot and talk about it so I get it straight right away."
On changes his team must make before Big East play
"It's a new season and every game counts from here on out. We know we have to improve and play better than we've been playing because all these games are very critical for us. It's a one game season and each week we have to get ready to play."
On whether he'll use bye week to get young players ready to contribute
"We've been very fortunate that we haven't had any injuries so we haven't had to get any young guys ready to play. We've been very successful with [who] we've been playing with so we'll just continue to play with what we have."
On the Big East
"I haven't had a chance to see everyone play but we need to make sure we're prepared to play each week."
On having three Big East teams ranked in the national polls
"It's just about respect. The league is getting the respect it deserves because they say the Big East doesn't have anybody. Having the teams ranked speaks volumes about this league."
On whether or not he talks about rankings with the team
"I try not to talk about it. It's not where you start but where you are at the end of the year."
On if the coaching staff will use the off-week to go recruiting
"How I try to look at recruiting is that winning will take care of recruiting. So if you go win the games it's going to take care of recruiting even though you can go out this weekend and recruit. Guys want to be associated with a program that's a winner. So we need to take care of our business here."
On what he likes about his 3-3-5 defense
"We started that 3-3-5 defense when we were at South Carolina and we didn't have many defensive linemen. So what we were trying to do was get the athletes on the field. What it does is you play with three down linemen and the skill guys on the second level you can blitz or play man coverage. You can show people different looks and it's a balanced defense so what it forces offenses to do is they don't know where you're attacking from. When you have the athletic type guys it's a really good defense because with a lot of guys you can't run lead play because it's so hard for the back to sift through the line of scrimmage."
On running backs coach Kenny Carter
"I knew right away I would bring Kenny with me but I didn't know if he would leave the University of Florida. But he has a lot of energy and a passion for coaching. He has a great relationship with his running backs. Year one, Bilal Powell played well. Year two, we were just trying to find us a running back. Now this year you're looking at two running backs playing very well. But he's an outstanding coach just the relationship he has with his players. That's why they end up playing the way they play...they play for him. He loves to talk and has a lot of conversations. That's why we call him preacher."
On keeping players focused during off week
"I tell them this won't be like a game week practice and they'll have time for themselves. But this is no time to take a week off either because we're going to practice and go. So they have to understand that before we walk through that gate that I'm going to get it out of them. So if you don't want to practice hard we'll go back out and we'll start practice over. But we're going to get the time that we need."
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