This article was posted Monday morning on ESPN.com by Andrea Adelson. She talks about the many challenges that Bobby Petrino will face in his first season back at UofL where he will have to replace a lot of really good players.
By Andrea Adelson:
There are universal challenges every first-year coach must face, whether he is a veteran or a newbie: getting to know new players, implementing schemes, setting a foundation, making sure there is buy-in across the locker room.
Then there is the challenge facing Bobby Petrino at Louisville. As he embarks on his second stint with the Cardinals, he has to go through all these getting-to-know you moments while also:
Replacing potentially the No. 1 quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft.
Replacing his leading tackler.
Replacing his leading sack producer.
Replacing his all-conference tandem at safety.
But wait, there’s more.
Petrino also must get his players prepared for a much more grueling schedule, in a much more grueling conference home. Gone are the days when Temple, UConn and USF clogged the league schedule. The Cards open at home against Miami without much let-up to follow, as they join Florida State and Clemson in the much tougher ACC Atlantic Division.
Of all these tasks, one stands out as the most difficult.
“The biggest challenge for us is to replace a guy like Teddy Bridgewater, one of the premier players in the country,” Petrino said in a recent phone interview. “We have to go out in spring and compete and find out who it’s going to be. We have a couple guys who have the talent, just real inexperience.”
Will Gardner and Kyle Bolin are at the top of the list when spring practice opens next week. Gardner spent last season backing up Bridgewater. He played in five games, and has attempted 12 career passes. Bolin, a redshirt freshman, has never played in a college game. Incoming freshman Reggie Bonnafon, a four-star recruit, joins the mix this summer.