LOUISVILLE — Louisville Coach Charlie Strong called the quarterback position a "question mark," though he added that junior Will Stein is the early leader at the position.
Stein, a 5-10 former walk-on who appeared in two games last year and started twice in his first season, is competing with true freshman Teddy Bridgewater for the starting signal-caller job. Dominique Brown is expected to be third on the quarterback depth chart.
"If we had to start today, Will Stein would walk out as our starter," Strong said. "Teddy and Dominique are still learning."
Bridgewater enrolled in classes in January, which allowed him to participate in spring practice, but Stein's experience in the program is key as Strong emphasized the need for leadership from the position.
"Somebody's gotta step up and go lead this football team. The quarterback position is so critical because when you talk about leadership within your program, players are always looking to the quarterback."
Louisville offensive coordinator Mike Sanford said both players would play but that their playing time will be determined by their performance on the practice field. Bridgewater returned to practice Wednesday after missing the past two days with shoulder soreness.
Quarterbacks Adam Froman and Justin Burke were two of the 25 seniors lost from last year's 7-6 team that netted Big East Coach of the Year honors for Strong in his first season. The Cardinals are picked to finish seventh in the eight-team Big East in the league's pre-season media poll.
Strong also mentioned the defensive line and his wide receiving corps as areas of team strength, with the cornerback as the position of most concern. Louisville opens their season at home on Sept. 1 against Murray State.