Standing in the taco line next to U of L’s then new, recently anointed head coach at 2003’s Football Media Day, I attempted to engage Bobby Petrino, mentioning some imbroglio or another taking place at Auburn, where he’d been OC the season before.
Uneasy, fashioning a crinkly, forced smile, obviously wishing to be left alone, he mumbled, “Yeah, I saw that,” or something to that effect. Which, if subtitled, would translate into “I’d really like to grab a little lunch here without engagement, and head back to my office and watch film by myself.”
Fast forward to this Saturday past, at this season’s beginning of practice meet and greet with scribes and talking heads. Petrino is a different person. After his Belknap Campus abdication for a self-shortcircuited stint in Atlanta with the Falcons, his successful on-field performance and peccadillo engendered meltdown at Arkansas, a season in exile, a season helming the Hilltoppers in Bowling Green, and a Tom Jurich rapprochement rehire at Louisville, Bobby P appears finally at comfort with himself.
Walking to the mic, he waved at a photographer, joked with good nature how quiet the room was, and hurled a gentle barb at one of the assembled writers.
With a welcome smile, he opened by saying how much “fun it is to be in camp.”
He joked about defensive ace Devonte Fields, who was way out of shape this time a year ago, “We were waiting to see if he was going to throw up again or not.”
When asked how much freedom QB Lamar Jackson would have this season, Petrino smiled a totally different grin than the one a baker’s dozen years ago, this one warmer, confident, with a wink.
“He has the freedom to do exactly what we tell him.” Continue reading Monday’s Card Quips: A New Bobby P; An Old Face: Cardinal Futbol & More