Brohm ready to call the shots for Cards Print
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Wednesday, 27 August 2008 23:32
NCAAF Headline News

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -When reporters approach Jeff Brohm these days, it's no longer to ask him about younger brother Brian, who has moved on to the NFL after four spectacular years at Louisville.
That's a relief for the elder Brohm, a pretty good quarterback for the Cardinals in his own right in the early 1990s.
``The less I have to talk, the better,'' Jeff said with a laugh.
Oh, the media still want a minute of Brohm's time. Nowadays though, the questions are a little more complicated than the ones he used to get about little brother, questions like how does the Cardinals' new offensive coordinator plan to get production out of perhaps the most untested group of players in recent memory?
How green are the Cardinals? Consider this, due to injury, graduation and other departures, Louisville could have new starters at every skill position on Sunday when it hosts rival Kentucky in the Governor's Cup.
``I think it's an unknown right now for sure,'' Brohm said. ``We think we have young guys that have talent that are ready to step up and perform, but until you get into game action, you're never really going to know for sure.''
Though Brohm is the team's third offensive coordinator in three years, he's made an effort to retain the fundamentals of the offense former coach Bobby Petrino installed when he molded the Cardinals into one of the most potent units in the country.
There will be, however, a slight change in mentality. Expect the Cardinals to pound the ball between the tackles a little more this season to help take some of the pressure off quarterback Hunter Cantwell.
``Last year we tended to air it out a little more than sometimes we wanted to,'' he said. ``That was for a lot of reasons. ... But I think to be a good team, you have to run the ball. That's our goal right now, to be good running the football, to set that mentality, to be tough and to be physical.''
Brohm will split the carries between Brock Bolen, Victor Anderson and Bilal Powell and has no plans to designate a true starter. That's just fine with the offensive line. Splitting the carries means fresher legs for the backs, which likely means more rushes and more opportunities for linemen to surge forward instead of nimbly stepping back trying to protect the quarterback.
``If you ask them, if you're always blocking somebody going backwards, it's a lot tougher than coming off the ball and being aggressive and hitting somebody,'' Brohm said. ``You have to let them do that little bit to set the tone, to pop (the defense) in the mouth, and I think the pass blocking becomes a little easier.''
An emotional player during his stellar career with the Cardinals - Brohm ranks in the top 10 in school history in yards, touchdowns, completions and total offense - Brohm has no plans to leave the field for the quiet solitude of the coach's box.
``I think I have a little bit of a temper, and obviously when the game starts and coordinators are on the sideline, they can feel the pulse of the team and crank it up when they need to and pat them on the back when they need to,'' he said. ``I think it can be a bonus. Hopefully that happens this year.''
Cantwell wouldn't have it any other way. The senior has spent four years under Brohm's tutelage and let out a sigh of relief when Brohm was selected to replace former coordinator Charlie Stubbs.
``He's been a big part of my life, and he's really brought me along as a player,'' Cantwell said. ``I think it's going to be fun. I know he likes to be aggressive, and he wants us to go after people.''
Brohm has stripped the offense down a little bit for Cantwell, whose powerful right arm is drawing the attention of NFL scouts.
``He's more, 'Tell me what the play is, and let me drop back and throw it,''' Brohm said of Cantwell. ``I think you have to have a good balance of giving him simple things to do and let him throw that sucker.''
Cantwell will sometimes be given the option of getting two or three plays in the huddle then deciding at the line what play to call. It's a freedom Brohm cherished as a player.
``I actually was one of those guys that wasn't afraid to run what I wanted,'' Brohm said. ``Occasionally I'd slip something in there. As long as it worked, the coach was OK with it.''
It was hard to argue the results as a player. Brohm hopes he can prove to be just as able with the headset in his hands as he was with the ball.
 

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