Thursday, April 12, 2007

Five Good Questions with . . . Brian Bennett of The Louisville Courier-Journal about the Cardinals


Today's segment of "Five Good Questions" is with Brian Bennett of The Louisville Courier-Journal ....Brian covers Louisville football for The Courier-Journal and provided some feedback about the Cardinals players who are preparing for the draft....

Q1. After suffering a devastating leg injury in the first game of the season, Michael Bush still chose to enter the NFL draft. Where do you think he is going to be selected? If he did not get injured, where do you think Bush would have been selected?
Well, I think Michael Bush might be the most intriguing prospect in the draft. His talent really isn't in question, but his health certainly is. He recently had another surgery on the leg and isn't expected to run at full speed now until July. So whichever team drafts him will be doing so with a lot of unknowns. For this reason, I suspect Bush will not be taken before the third round, and I could see him slipping to the second day. Of course, all it takes is one team to believe in him, and so that could change. Had he not gotten hurt, I think Bush was a first- or second-rounder for sure.

Q2. All the draft publications have been praising Amobi Okoye as his stock has been rising. I notice that he is listed at 287 pounds while defensive tackles often tip 310 plus. Do you think his weight and youth are going to be an issue in the NFL?
Amobi weighed in at 301 pounds at Louisville's Pro Day last month. His weight has fluctuated quite a bit since the season ended. He actually lost some weight before his senior season, and that seemed to help him play faster and use his motor more. I can't see the weight issue being a major factor. I think any NFL team that wants him heavier can simply realize he's 19 years old and that he has plenty of room to grow. In a sense, it's a huge advantage drafting a 19-year-old rather than a 22-year-old senior, because you can control his rights longer.

Q3. Inside linebacker Nate Harris has the talent to make it in the NFL. However, character issues off the field may be scaring teams away to the point that he gets selected late on Day 2. What is the lowdown on Harris?
I don't know if the character issue is a big problem right now. Nate obviously had his run-in with the law as a high school senior, but he has kept his nose clean ever since and by all accounts was a model citizen during his two years at Louisville. If there's anything that's holding him back, it might be his size. At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, he's a shade small for an NFL linebacker. But he had a strong performance at Pro Day, and I think he'll get drafted because of his athleticism.

Q4. Why has the Louisville program been able to produce quality NFL prospects of late?
The recruiting definitely improved at Louisville in recent years. The Cardinals have always had a lot of pro talent on the roster, but some of that in the recent past stemmed from the fact that they were willing to admit players with somewhat questionable backgrounds. Now, with their on-field success, they're getting in with top high school talents without character questions. The other thing that I think helps is that they have run a pro-style offense and, for the most part, pro-style defensive schemes that both attract players and prepare them for the NFL.

Q5. What future NFL draft "studs" are currently on the Louisville team who we should keep an eye on in the future?
Obviously, quarterback Brian Brohm is at the top of any list. He has the potential to be a No. 1 overall pick with a strong senior season. Wide receiver Mario Urrutia, who's 6-foot-6, could also be a first-rounder if he excels as a junior, and fellow receiver Harry Douglas, while small in stature, has been incredibly productive and could be a Deion Branch type. On defense, a name to remember is sophomore-to-be Peanut Whitehead. He was one of the top recruits in Alabama, and if he continues to blossom, he could develop into one of the top defensive ends in the country.

I want to thank Brian Bennett for taking the time to respond.....it is much appreciated!!!....tomorrow we will hear from John Shinn of The Norman (Oklahoma) Transcript about his thoughts on stud running back Adrian Peterson....

On Monday, in a way to promote other quality bloggers, we will hear from Zach of The Big Picture and his thoughts about the upcoming draft....

Also, here are two links to stories that I thought were interesting......the first is from Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe.....Mike writes about how Bill Belichick is working to repair his friendship with Eric Mangini.....
  • Belichick Story

  • The second link is from Nancy Gay of The San Francisco Chronicle about new Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin....

  • Lane Kiffin Story
  • 1 comment:

    Zach Landres-Schnur said...

    Michael Bush has a big sign that says "steal" hanging on his chest...