In preparation for Saturday’s Louisville- Kentucky game in Lexington at seven, I thought I’d take a minute to reflect on some of the all-stars to come out of both of these programs. Creating both an “All-Cards” team as well as an “All-Cats” team, keep in mind, each of these picks are completely biased towards my personal opinions, but they’ve all been biased equally so somehow that makes it fair.
Don’t think about that too much. Anyway, I’m starting with the red and black of Louisville- specifically looking now at their offensive squad.
At quarterback there really is no question for me, Johnny Unitas, the only number that’s been retired by the University, Unitas was and continues to be ranked among the greatest quarterbacks of all time. In fact NFL.com called him the sixth greatest in the history of the game. After a stellar career in Louisville, Unitas became the number one slinger for the Baltimore Colts winning two NFL world championships and a Superbowl.
At the running back positions Kolby Smith and Michael Bush. What Smith brings to the table on this team is a quiet explosiveness, an ability to take on defenders, and take them on well. Michael Bush, currently an Oakland Raider, offers a strength, versatility, and intelligence that marks truly great running backs.
At the Wide Receiver positions- the double threats of Deion Branch and Mark Clayton. What Branch offers has been noted in the pros time after time, a current New England Patriot, Branch is a two-time Superbowl champion, winning the Superbowl MVP award in 2005. Mark Clayton, meanwhile played on the legendary Dan Marino lead Miami Dolphins teams. Acting as one of Marino’s major “go-to guys,” Clayton himself, is a five time pro-bowler, three time all-pro selection, and has entered the Miami Dolphins ring of honor.
Meanwhile, football insiders know that football games are won and lost on the backs of the linemen. As such the so-called talent positions are going to need that support, and on this team they’re certainly going to get it.
At left tackle the strong hitting Zach Perkins. Currently on the Cards roster Perkins is included here because it’s my contention that he’s going to be a guy to look out for. At left guard Roman Oben, who I’m moving from tackle, where he normally plays to guard namely because of his strength and to make spots for the other all-star linemen, a Superbowl champion, Oben played for the Giants, Chargers, and Buccaneers in his pro career.
At right guard a leader of the “hogs” Joe Jacoby, quite possibly the most decorated on the line Jacoby spent his entire time in the NFL with the Redskins and is legendary in Washington as well as the Derby City. A three time super bowl champion, four time pro-bowler, and a member of the NFL’s 1980’s all-decade team Jacoby is a no-brainer for the all-cards team.
Next to Jacoby at right tackle, Bruce Armstrong, with a retired jersey in Louisville as well as with the New England Patriots it’s easy to see why the combo of Armstrong-Jacoby will provide more than the backfield will need.
Meanwhile, snapping the ball to Unitas at Center- Eric Wood. A current Buffalo Bill, Wood’s experience as a standout in college and in the pros makes him an asset to the team.
At tight end- Scott Kuhn, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, Kuhn offers an understanding of the duties of a tight end which is such an essential position on any football team.
And, finally at kicker one of the best kickers in the NFL today and for about the last ten years, David Akers, a five-time pro-bowler, five-time all pro selection, and a member of the NFL’s 2000’s all-decade team Akers has proven himself to be an expert and experienced kicker.
And, there’s the offense for the “all-Cards team,” in preparation for the Louisville-Kentucky game Saturday. By the way, if you can’t make it out to Commonwealth Stadium the game’s airing live on ESPNU- kick off’s at seven, find out who made the defense tomorrow.
Image courtesy of University of Louisville