Today was the first and last football media days for Louisville in the American Athletic Conference, and they certainly made their mark on the league.
Before all the interviews started today, it was announced that Louisville were the media favorites to win the first ever AAC Football Championship. The Cardinals received 28 out of 30 first place votes, with the only other votes going to Cincinnati.
After all the polls were announced, it was time for Coach Charlie Strong to take the podium, which can be viewed below:
Some key points/answers given by Coach Strong:
- Our players work really hard, but there’s been really some real unrealistic expectations placed upon this football team. And the thing we’re going to have to do as a team is a lot of questions has to be answered. Number one, we’ll be a team that can continue to focus week in and week out. Can we be a team that’s going to be prepared week in week out? Is this going to be a team that’s going to get complacent?
- I think that Teddy is an amazing young man. But he’s surrounded by some outstanding players himself. But he’s a very humble young man. If you look at him, just watching him grow over the years, he’s loaded with a ton of athletic ability, but just getting to know him as a person.
- …what I try to do each and every week is not so much that we focus on the opponent but we focus on ourselves. And what’s key for us is that we have to get better and see if we can go be the best each and every day as a player.
- He’s [Michael Dyer] not part of our program. And when you talk about he’s not been a part of our program, our core values are within our program and the men that in our program, and they understand our core values and what they’re all about. But it’s for the players that are within our program.
- It’s all about us making sure that we maintain our focus and making sure, you know what, guys, at the end of the day, just win the football game. And I’m not going to allow that to happen where winning becomes a sigh of relief. Hey, we’re happy, now let’s get on with the next opponent, but let’s enjoy this win.
- When we’re looking for teams — and I know there’s a lot of teams out there. You talk about this league, this is an outstanding league. There’s really good teams in this league with outstanding football players. By no means do we think we’re the top level team in this league. Each and every week we’re going to have to go out and prove it.
- The theme for us is going to be either we’re growing or we’re dying. If we’re growing, we’re trying to get better each and every day and we’re trying to improve the program. If we’re dying, we’ll be at the program that’s just going to want to maintain. We don’t want to get better. We’ll become complacent. And that’s what we can’t do. We can’t become complacent. We can’t be self-absorbed, or we get cocky. We get arrogant. Because there’s still a lot of questions and this team still has a lot of room for improvement.
- So let’s not get full of ourselves and let’s not think that we have all the answers because the moment you do, you will walk into a game, you’ll get into a week where you won’t practice well and you’ll go get it put on you pretty good. And then that would be a wake-up call. We don’t need any wake-up calls. We need to hit the alarm button before somebody comes in there and puts it on us really good.
- So it’s about us making sure we maintain our focus. And the preparation has to be there, the commitment has to be there, the right attitude. Our players need to have an attitude of each and every week, that attitude of myself, I want to go get better as a coach, as a player, as a whole program. And if that happens within our program then we have a chance. But we have to make sure that that happens and it happens each and every day. And if that happens, then we’ll be able to carry it on through the year.
Thanks to the Courier-Journal for the full transcript.