January 4, 2013

Hidden Benefits

Yesterday's hiring announcements marked a turning point for the Mike London era at UVA. It signalled, among many things, that we are all-in when it comes to winning. Our staff underwent a transition from a focus on recruiting and stockpiling talent, to a focus on taking the talent, and maximizing its development and success on the field. It was a move that was necessary, and one that can do nothing but improve the program as a whole.

However, for all the benefits that we hope to see in the players and results, the biggest benefit could be felt in the coaching staff itself. And it could solve one of the biggest problems we have had. That is the perceived disconnect between Mike London and Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor, especially at the QB position.

Say what you will about the Mike Rocco comments following his transfer, but they do clearly highlight at least a disagreement between the coaches over who should be starting. While I don't think there is a problem and a lack of respect between the two men, I do think that Coach Lazor perceived a greater ability to express his opinions, and challenge Coach London. This, in my opinion, would be due to Coach London's relative inexperience as a head coach. This is all speculative of course, but I think the QB carousel is a good demonstration of the lack of an authoritative voice on the subject. To me it screamed that each man thought they could make the decision better than the other. 

Regardless of the validity of that last paragraph, that all ended yesterday with the hiring of Tom O'Brien. TOB comes in as the voice for the offense, and a coach of his experience and proven track record should be the definitive and final decision maker for that side of the ball. This highlights the importance of the relationship between Mike London and Tom O'Brien, which from all indications is very, very strong. London now has someone that he trusts to run that side of the ball, which allows him to focus on the defense, and specifically the defensive line. While this sounds like he is seceding control that should ultimately be his, that is the incorrect way of looking at things. The point of the head coach is to put the team in a position to ultimately be successful. Part of that is having a staff you trust to take some of the burden off of you.

This is a huge hire. with OB in charge of the offense there will no longer be uncertainty. Expect Phillip Sims to progress nicely, and be firm in his hold of the starting job. Any QB rotations are a thing of the past now. Continuity has come to Hooville, and man does it feel good.


  1. Good stuff, Mike. The last couple of days have been like a long refueling at the enthusiasm station.

  2. I feel a strudel/fritter/other pretentious pastry bet coming on over the starting QB for this season.