Charlie Strong is entering his third season as Louisville head coach and his 2012 team will definitely be his most talented. This year’s Cardinals are not loaded with seniors, but they have a large group of talented sophomores and juniors who will be relied upon to carry the load and help UofL take the next step as a football program. In order to do that, they must follow the lead of Charlie Strong and his staff.
Strong himself is still young in terms of his experience as a head coach. During his first two campaigns as coach of the Cards, Strong has grown as a coach and is establishing his identity as the leader of the program. Here are just a few things we know about Charlie as a head coach: he is not afraid to go for it on 4th and 1, he wants his quarterback to manage the game and not turn the ball over, and he will rely on his defense to keep the team in the game.
However, as we enter this year and expectations being what they are, I think Charlie may need to slightly adjust his philosophy as a head coach. The main adjustment I would like to see is him allow/direct offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to be more aggressive in his playcalling. Louisville has a bunch of explosive players on the offensive side of the ball coupled with a solid offensive line. Let the playmakers make some plays. UofL has been pretty conservative offensively the past two seasons. With the guys they have now, I’d like to see them open up the playbook and take some chances.
Defensively, I expect Charlie to have another strong unit. Strong and his defensive coaches have done a tremendous job of piecing together solid groups that often times have kept the game within reach while the offense struggled to score points. This year, Charlie appears to have his best group in terms of talent and depth. He even said during UofL Media Day they have enough talent to go win. I agree, now they have to go on the field and do it.
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