The University of Louisville defense has seen numerous changes over the last couple of seasons, and this year is no different with the addition of defensive coordinator Bryan Brown.
Working under their fourth defensive coordinator in the last four seasons, the Cardinals have found something intriguing with the hiring of Brown, who orchestrated a top-10 defense at Appalachian State last season.
Finishing their second week of spring practice, there is a new energy inside the practice facility, and it’s translated into improved play after just six practices.
“A lot of it is effort,” Brown said. “That’s the number one and most important thing for us right now. Giving effort and getting to the football and we’ve seen tremendous improvement since day one and that’s a bright spot, it really is.”
“The way the guys practiced from the very first practice and now they understand how we run practice and how hard we want those guys to practice. That’s been a really big improvement since day one.”
The Cardinals have put their difficult season behind them, and are excited to look forward under the excitement and intensity of Brown’s defense.
“Spring football has gone very well,” sophomore cornerback Anthony Johnson said. “It’s all a new feel with the new coaches and a new playbook. I like the new defense and the new mentality the defense has after two weeks. We have a lot of good calls and we are doing a good job of mixing our coverages.”
Finishing near the bottom of all FBS programs on defense last season, the Cardinals know that’s not the standard around the football complex, and despite being only two weeks into learning a new defense, the Cardinals are close to getting on the same page.
“The next thing is execution,” Brown added. “The other day we were laughing as a whole group as a defense. It was day number five and we actually had all 11 doing the exact right job on one play, so that’s a positive. We’re getting there. We’re going to crawl before we walk. We’re going to be okay.”
In a short period of time, head coach Scott Satterfield has changed the culture within the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex, and it’s translated onto the field after just six practices.
“The thing is, all these guys are eager to learn,” Brown said. “They want to get better. They want to do right. They want coaching. You see guys coming in and out of the offices, asking questions in meeting, asking questions on the field. That lets me know that these guys want to do right. They want to win, they want to play right and that’s a big, big positive step.”
As the team continues to get comfortable with a new scheme, Brown’s defensive unit has given full effort and an increased energy that’s noticeable on each play.
With an innovative staff and condensed playbook, Brown has tried to keep it simple to ensure the team continues to play at full speed without having to think.
“That’s why we’re not putting in a whole lot of defense right now,” he said. “I just want those guys to execute our base and play hard, and give effort each and every play. Because if play hard and give effort each and every play, good things will happen and you can erase some mistakes.”