Flashback: Eric Wood

Former University of Louisville center Eric Wood was drafted in the first round yesterday by the Buffalo Bills. I thought it worth taking one more look back at his career, to a column I wrote about him after his final game as a Cardinal.

Cards’ Wood says goodbye with class

By ERIC CRAWFORD
Nov. 23, 2008

There’s plenty of time for the autopsy on this University of Louisville football season.

The problems for this program, in fact, aren’t going anywhere.

But Eric Wood is.

The senior center played his last game in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium yesterday. And while there will be plenty of documentary evidence to record yesterday’s 35-21 loss to West Virginia and its ramifications, somebody needs to record Wood’s day, because numbers and statistics will not.

In fact, there couldn’t have been more than a couple hundred U of L fans who saw what Wood did after congratulating West Virginia’s players and accepting a handshake from West Virginia defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, who had sought him out. While his teammates were streaming toward the locker room, Wood went a different direction.

He headed toward the stands and started circling to shake hands with the few fans who remained.

“I just thought, the people that stayed, we should appreciate them a little bit,” Wood said.

But before he moves on to the NFL, it is Wood who should be appreciated. Yesterday, in a game that was little more than a sad footnote in a deflating season, Wood played one of the finest games you’ve ever seen a Cardinals offensive lineman play. For a line that injuries have left as dilapidated as old Cardinal Stadium, the game plan simply was this – run behind Wood.

And the Cardinals did. They sent running backs straight up the middle, for 5, 6, 7 yards. I counted a dozen times when Wood was still driving a linebacker back when the run finished downfield.

That he played well is not in itself remarkable, because he’s done that for four years, for 48 consecutive starts. But I’ve seen NFL-bound seniors here before. I’ve seen them dial it down a notch once nothing major was on the line. I’ve seen high draft hopefuls become timid, fearful of injury.

You’ve never seen that from Wood. He has played most of the season with a strained knee ligament. He’s missed more practices than he’d like to admit. Nobody would’ve blamed him for sitting. But he wouldn’t.

“Yeah,” he said, “there have been times when I just wanted to sit on the field and let them come get me. But we don’t do that here. Stefan LeFors came back when he had concussions. Travis Leffew and Jason Spitz never took plays off. That’s not who I am.”

Even Mountaineers coach Bill Stewart singled him out afterward.

“He is one of the stars of our league,” Stewart said. “And he is pure class.”

My most memorable moment with Wood came in the summer of 2006, in the film room, as he broke down Miami with a clicker in his hand. He not only could explain line schemes, he could point out where defensive backs were tipping what they were going to do in coverage. He could hardly sit in the chair, talking about how the Cardinals were going to exploit the Hurricanes.

Those days seem a long time ago. Wood represents a powerful link to them.

So often, linemen are told to finish their blocks. As center, Wood has pulled the trigger on some of the biggest plays in U of L football history. Yesterday, at the end of a lost-cause game in a half-empty stadium for a faltering team, he played like it was the Orange Bowl.

He finished his blocks. And that’s worth remembering.

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Flashback: Eric Wood

  1. ghd hair straighteners mk4hair straightnersghd iv styler hair straightener ghd hair straightnerscheap ghd hair straightenersClothing has always been a thing that has been given a great importance by human beings. It displays the attitude that the people exhibit. ed hardy clothesed hardy shirtsLots of brands have been existent in the clothing industry and a famous one among them is the Ed hardy clothing brand.ed hardy jacketsed hardy hoodiesThe brand got its name from the famous American tattoo artist Ed Hardy. He was a very famous tattoo artist and has published many books on tattooing techniques. ed hardy bootsed hardy polo shirtsBut his tattooing turned into a brand by the efforts of a company called Christian Audiger. This company was a very famous and very powerful company in the field of clothing. ed hardy shoesed hardy jeansThey felt that it would be appropriate to create a brand called Ed hardy and use Hardy's art as the main selling point for the brand. This venture had turned out to be a very successful one and Ed hardy clothing is one of the most famous brands in the clothing industry.ed hardy outerweared hardy long sleeve shirtsThe brand became very famous because it was worn by many famous celebrities like Madonna, Britney spears and also Sylvester Stallone. ed hardy bagsed hardy ugg bootsThe brand has clothes for men, women, and kids. They have also diversified their business by having a lot of accessories to support their clothing business. ed hardy love kills slowly shirtsed hardy love kills slowly shoesed hardy love kills slowly bootsfor men they have a variety of products such as active wear, denim, outwear, swim trucks, sweaters, t-shirts, tops etc. ed hardy trousersed hardy mensthe accessories include things such as belts, caps, scarves, shoes, socks, jeweler, sunglasses, ties and even wallets.The art works is a unique combination of American and Japanese cultures. The unique selling proposition of the brand is the way in which the company has used the art works of Ed hardy.ed hardy womens ed hardy t shirtsed hardy sunglasses

  2. Nice work and thanks!RunningAdidas currently manufactures several running shoesNike shoes, including the adiStar Control 5, the adiStar RideCheap nike shoesDiscount nike shoesthe Supernova Sequence and the Supernova Cushion 7, among others. Nike shox r4nike shox torchnike shox shoesAdidas also uses kangaroo leather to make their more expensive shoes. Association footballOne of the main focuses of Adidas is football kit and associated equipment. puma catcheap sport shoesAdidas also provides apparel and equipment for all teams in Major League Soccer. Adidas remain a major company in the supply of team kits for international football teams. cheap nike shoxcheap nike maxAdidas also makes referee kits that are used in international competition and by many countries and leagues in the world. In the United States, referees wear the Adidas kits in MLS matches even though the primary referee supplier is Official Sports. nike tn dollar nike running shoes The company has been an innovator in the area of footwear for the sport with notable examples including development of the Copa Mondial moulded boot on firm dry pitches for forty years. nike air max tn puma shoes Adidas became renowned for advancing the "Predator" boot design.This design featured a ribbed rubber structure for the upper leather of the shoe, used to accent the movement of the ball.discount puma shoes puma mens shoes The Predator also features the Craig Johnston invented "Traxion" sole. As the development and popularity of Football continued Adidas played a leading role in shaping the style of the play itself. puma running shoes puma shoesFIFA, the sports governing body, commissioned specially designed footballs for use in its own World Cup tournaments to favour more attacking play.

  3. Abercrombie and Fitch JeansAbercrombie and Fitch Jeans Abercrombie and Fitch PantsAbercrombie and Fitch Pants Abercrombie and Fitch TeesAbercrombie and Fitch Tees Abercrombie and Fitch ShortsAbercrombie and Fitch Shorts Abercrombie and Fitch SweatersAbercrombie and Fitch Sweaters Abercrombie and Fitch OuterwearsAbercrombie and Fitch Outerwears Abercrombie and Fitch HoodiesAbercrombie and Fitch Hoodies Abercrombie and Fitch PolosAbercrombie and Fitch Polos Abercrombie and Fitch ShirtsAbercrombie and Fitch Shirts abercrombie and fitch clothingabercrombie and fitch clothingabercrombie clothingabercrombie clothingabercrombie and fitchabercrombie and fitchabercrombieabercrombie

  4. That Ed hardy clothesyear Ed hardy hoodiesthe B.J.P. Cheap ed hardy hoodies won control Ed hardy t-shirtsof Uttar Pradesh, Cheap ed hardy t shirtsthe state Ed hardy shirtswhere the Ed hardy clothing mosque was Cheap ed hardy clothinglocated. On Dec. 6, 1992, Cheap ed hardy bootsa day Ed hardy jeansthat Ed hardy jackets had been Ed hardy swearteridentified Ed hardy shoesas an Ed hardy mens shoesauspicious Ed hardy long sleeve one to worship Ed hardy beltsat the Ed hardy hatsbirthplace of Ram, Ed hardy beddingthousands Ed hardy cotton of Hindus Ed hardy bootsdescended Ed hardy womens bootson the mosque. Ed hardy christian audigier As the police Christian audigier long sleevesstood by they Christian audigier womens hoodiesoverran the building, Christian audigier clothingreducing it to rubble Christian audigier jeans in hours using nothing more than hammers, picks and their bare hands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: