University of Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson lays awake at night trying to figure out how he is going to get all the weapons on the field at once. Mind you, it's a problem a lot of offensive coordinators would like to endure.
Louisville returns seven starters on an offense that averaged 418 yards of total offense and 31 points per game. While two of those starters were on the offensive line, the Cardinals brought back most of their skilled position players, including offensive leader in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
After 20 practices, the Cardinals are right where they want to be and need to be at this point of camp. Watson thinks that is so important because of all the amenities the team boasts this season.
"We have our entire package in. We have been able to expand and go places that we haven't been before and that's been a good thing," Watson said. "We have been able to do it because of the experience at quarterback and then the wide receivers. Then, we need to do it because of all the people we want to target in our offense."
Watson has been very comfortable adding wrinkles to the offense each day because of the experience and likes where his offense is at with 10 days left before the opener versus Ohio.
"We have been very multiple and we have been able to do a lot," Watson said. "We have had a good camp and I'm very pleased at where we right now. Overall, I'm really happy with the progress that we have made."
The only real question mark heading into camp was the offensive line because they needed to replace two starters upfront. However, those questions have been answered on the offensive line with the first unit, but they are trying to establish their depth.
"The offensive line has done well," Watson said. "We have been able to work several different combinations. We feel like we have targeted who we are going to play with. The first group of guys had done a good job. We have had a good healthy battle at right tackle with Ryan Mack and Nacho Garcia."
One position that has been a pleasant surprise has been at right guard, where Chris Acosta has stepped in and filled a huge need with Kamran Joyer going down due to an injury.
"Chris started to have a really good spring for us and he is starting to come on," Watson said. "He has been a very solid player us, so much so we feel like we have to play him because he is well-assigned.
"He is playing his best football."
Another bright spot during Wednesday's practice was the return of wide receiver Damian Copeland to the fold. Copeland was being held out for precautionary measures, but returned to the field and looked like the receiver that had 50 receptions for 628 yards a season ago.
"It was great to have Damian back out there," Watson said. "He is great to have out there because he is so fast. He can stretch the field for us and was so reliable out there last season."
The return of Copeland to the mix along with the huge receiving corps and the Cardinals' stable of running backs, Louisville is poised to explode on the offensive side of the football. It's going to be fun for Watson to maneuver all these weapons and figure out who is going to get the football.
"The good thing is we have so many targets," Watson said. "We want to spread the football around and not have one or two guys that defenses can target."
Watson certainly won't have a problem finding one or two targets. He has bigger problems of trying to find ways to get all the playmakers involved.