Charlie Strong: More than anything, what pissed me off was grades

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A year ago, a lot was made of Charlie Strong’s first team meeting. Strong didn’t exactly go Ed Orgeron style, but he admittedly absolutely ripped the Louisville players.

Reflecting back, Strong told ESPN this week, "More than anything, what pissed me off was grades. That's why I said I want a team meeting right away, because of their grades.”

“You show me a good football team, and I'll show you good grades. You show me a bad football team, and I'll show you bad grades. [Bad grades show you] they're not committed, they don't care, they're just going through the motions. A team with good grades has players who want to graduate, who want good things to happen."

Strong led Louisville to a 7-6 record in his first year as head coach. As Spring practice approaches, he will undoubtedly reiterate his core of toughness and stopping the run.

He added, "We have a lot of skill guys coming back. But what you don't ever want to do is let that be the core of your team. The toughness of your team is built up front, with the offensive and defensive lines.”

This off-season, Louisville had just one change to the coaching staff. Former Nebraska offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson replaced quarterbacks coach Mike Groh, who accepted the wide receivers job at Alabama.

Louisville opens against Murray State. The Cardinals play FIU, at Kentucky, Marshall, and at North Carolina before Big East play begins.