Even before his stellar Spring Game, sophomore-to-be Teddy Bridgewater had the coaches buzzing about his performance.
He passed for 2,129 yards and 14 touchdowns in just eight games last season, taking over for the injured Stein in the fourth game, but his coaches say he'll be even better next season.
"A lot of times when guys have had success so early, they get so full of themselves that they don't want to listen," Strong said. "Teddy, he can still develop and get better. He wants it - he wants to be coached."
Said Watson: "Teddy really works at it. He works hard on and off the field. He has to because Will is right there behind him, pushing him every step of the way."
Bridgewater has earned the respect of his defensive teammates as well.
"Teddy deserves to be the face of this team, really, because he is a remarkable athlete," defensive lineman Lorenzo Mauldin said. Mauldin compared Bridgewater to Houdini for his ability to escape pressure.
Since the end of last season, Bridgewater has hit the weight room and training table hard. He said he has gained 18 pounds and now weighs 213 pounds.
"They couldn't hit today, but I think it will help me when I take a hit," he said. "I can also feel it when I throw. It helps the passing game with arm strength and durability."
Louisville opens its 2012 season against Kentucky on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 3:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN. The Kentucky game was Bridgewater's coming-out party last season.