(Photo of Louisville Offensive Linemen: Michelle Hutchins - Special to Courier Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - With summer workouts underway, the 2021 season for the Louisville football program is roughly two and half months away. Talking for the first time since spring practice, Cardinals offensive lineman Renato Brown took some time to meet with the media.
He discussed his overall thoughts on the offensive line, their versatility, new OL coach Jack Bicknell, how he has improved, and more. Below is the transcript from the press conference, as well as the video:
(On his thoughts on the offensive line, and how deep he thinks they are)
I think we got eight guys, eight solid guys, that can play right now. We have young guys that are stepping up: Michael Gonzalez, Luke Kandra, Austin Collins, guys that are contributing. Dez Daniels, he came in as a tight end, but he's been putting on weight and he's been working. I think we'll be very deep, and we just got the transfer from Virginia Tech, Bryan Hudson, my roommate now.
(On how much last year's reps will help the line this upcoming season with they depth they have)
It's very important to have depth, because we're big guys. We get fatigued faster than the smaller guys. We've been really training hard this summer, so I don't think the fatigue problem should come into play, because we've been really working and grinding.
(On how versatile the group is, and how the last few years have prepared them for it)
Being versatile, guys can move around. Bryan Hudson can play all five spots on the offensive line. Adonis (Boone) has moved around as well, he'll be next to me this year at right guard. Everybody can really play. Cole Bentley, he can play some guard. Caleb Chandler, he can play center and guard, and tackle, so he can also play all five. We just got all around athletes at this point.
(On NIL, and if any teammates have deals already in the works)
We haven't really talked that much about it, but I would like to thank the governor and the NCAA for letting this pass, because as college students, it's hard for us out here. We can't have a job, but the name, image and likeness stuff would be helpful. I don't know too much about it, we have a meeting sometime this week to talk about it, but I dont' know too much better right now.
(On what positives he can draw from last season, and how different the offensive line can look)
Some things I can take away from last season, where we got the flow of the game. All five of us had to learn how to play together. Guys hadn't been in big time situations, so being in those situations are going to help in this season. Things that we've been working on are little stuff, like technique, coming off the ball, taking a right first step, getting your chest level right.
(On what it's been like playing under new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, and how it's different from playing previously under Dwayne Ledford)
It was a struggle at first, now we got everything rolling. At the end of the day, he just wants us to work hard, come off the ball, finish people and be aggressive. He is a more up tempo kind of coach, because he's got so much passion for the game, but so does everyone here. It's been a really good.
(On how Coach Bicknell's NFL experience helps them)
At the end of the day, he's been in the NFL. He's coached guys at the level that we're trying to get to, so at the end of day, we're just paying attention to the things that he's teaching us. He's treating us like pros, and we've accepted that fact that we have to come out here and play like pros.
(On what he worked on during spring ball)
Technique wise, the thing I worked on first was my first step. Coming off the ball taking that first step, backside of inside zone and outside zone. But I also try to work on my conditioning, so I can be able to take all the snaps that I need, even though I may not even have because we have depth.
(On how important keeping Cole Bentley and Caleb Chandler was for the offensive line)
They've been very important. Caleb and Cole, they've taught me a lot. Not just in the game of football, as growing up, because they're the vets. They took me under their wing, they taught me basically everything I know. Them, Mekhi (Becton), Tyler Haycraft, all those guys out here, they really helped me a lot, just in life and football.
(On how much previous guys set the standard for the line)
I believe that they did set the standard for us. Tyler Haycraft, he was always around the ball. Every time you see me in big pass, big play, I'm always trying to get down there, make sure I protect the other guys. Mekhi helped me, fundamentals, Robbie (Bell) helped me understand the place. At first, my freshman year, I really struggled with the playbook. Robbie used to meet with me, and the coaches and really sat down and made everything simple and easy.
(On if turnovers are the first thing the team is wanting to fix, or if something else jumps out)
I think this unit has the talent to take over the show, because we're hungry. We want to win, and everyone else wants to win. As soon as we take charge, it starts with the front line. Everyone's seeing us take charge and seeing us determined to win. They don't fall, hop right on the train.
(On how the offseason has been like in terms of stepping up as a leader)
It's been a fun experience. Just trying to help out the younger guys, being being that role model that guys look up to. I think I've been doing really good. It's been a learning process with me as well, being able to be in a position that that can affect other people. I'm not only thinking about myself, I gotta think about the team.
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