Matt Fortuna, who blogs for ESPN.com, recently broke down the strongest and weakest positions for the Louisville Cardinals heading into the 2013 football season. Here is what he had to say. To read the actual blog on ESPN’s site, click here. Everything in the rest of this post is what Fortuna had to say about the Cards…
Strongest position: Wide receiver
Hold off the angry emails and tweets all at once. No, this is no knock on Teddy Bridgewater, who is the best quarterback in the conference, maybe even in the country, and deserves all of the praise he has been getting this offseason. But this series is about position groups as a whole, not just one player. And even though there is only one quarterback on the field, there is some uncertainty about who Louisville has behind Bridgewater, especially after the loss of Will Stein. At receiver, meanwhile, the Cardinals are stacked. They were the best passing offense in the league last season, 24th overall in the nation, and they return their three leading pass-catchers from that unit. Damian Copeland (50 catches, 628 yards, 2 touchdowns in 2012), DeVante Parker(40, 744, 10) and Eli Rogers (46, 505, 4) are forces to be reckoned with, and they will be nightmares for opposing secondaries to prepare for this fall.
Weakest position: Offensive line
You can take your pick of either line here. Neither is “weak,” as most preseason top-10 teams rarely feature true “weak” spots. But they are not as proven or as deep as some of the other units on the roster. We’ll go with the O-line here because it has a bigger impact on Bridgewater’s play and his health, something that cannot be overlooked when considering he finished the 2012 regular season playing with a broken left wrist and a sprained right ankle. Louisville loses two starters in left tackle Alex Kupper and center Mario Benavides. Abraham Garcia, who has no career starts, appears to be the front-runner to start on the blind side this fall. Kamran Joyer, meanwhile, has moved from guard to center. The only better passer in the league than Bridgewater is a healthy Bridgewater, and these guys up front will play a big role in keeping him that way in 2013.