April 3, 2013

Reading the Spring Football Tea Leaves

Short post today.  Sorry guys, been really busy.

Anyway, here are a few quick nugs that might just surprise you if you haven't already been following the Spring storylines coming from Virginia Football...

-- David Watford is currently running with the 1s, and seems to have a laserlock on the QB1 job this fall.  Greyson Lambert is giving chase.  Phillip Sims is running a distant third.  Word out of spring practice is that Watford put his redshirt year to good use, and has emerged as a take-the-reins type of team leader.  His accuracy has also improved (which is a good damn thing.)

-- Clifton Richardson looks better than he ever has, and seems poised for a big season running the football.  Kevin Parks could face a tough challenge holding off Richardson and Smoke Mizzell this fall.  Crowded backfield: a VERY good problem to have.

-- Morgan Moses has moved to left tackle, full time.  He's apparently improved a lot.  It still scares the crap out of me.

-- Mo's vacated right tackle position appears to be a problem, with neither Jay Whitmire nor Sean Cascarano being able to step up and generate a sense of security.

-- An avalanche of accolades have buried Vincent Croce, who moved from defensive tackle to fullback prior to spring practice.  Croce couldn't keep the weight on at DT, but appears to be using his tight end skills (played that position in HS) and defensive mentality in making a noticeable impact at fullback.

-- The defensive line rotation is being firmed up.  Eli Harold and Jake Snyder at end, with Mike Moore off the bench, and Brent Urban and David Dean at tackle, with Justin Renfrow off the bench.  All reports have been positive with this unit, and especially David Dean.  Good news, as we attempt to move forward without Chris Brathwaite.

-- Henry Coley is taking hold at mike linebacker.  This has met with some disdain on the message boards, with the high expectations surrounding Kwontie Moore seeming to not be met (so far).

-- Lots of general buzziness around both Daquan Romero and Demeitre Brim at outside linebacker.  We might just have two above-average - albeit inexperienced - starters in those roles.  Blitzing in the Tenuta scheme seems to fit both players to a tee.

-- The secondary has also gotten a lot of positive attention, from top to bottom.  Specifically, Maurice Canady, Anthony Harris, and Anthony Cooper have received accolades.

-- Overall, practices have been much more physical this spring.  Lots of live tackling, hitting, physicality.  Jon Tenuta and Tom O'Brien are largely credited for that change.  Hopefully the philosophy shift bears fruit this fall in the way of a tougher, grittier team.

-- It's spring practice.  Most of what you hear will be positive.  I'll see it with my own two eyes on Saturday at the spring game, and will provide you with a full report.

Also in the "coming soon" department, for all of you hoopheads:

  • Slicing the 200 Minute Pie, 2013-14 Edition -- It's a rite of passage at the end of every basketball season.  This edition is taking me longer to put together because we'll run a legit 13 deep and the exercise of slicing up the pie is freaking difficult!
  • A Look Around the ACC -- Who's leaving, who's back, and who's coming in for each of the 15 ACC basketball teams?  What's the pecking order for next season's ACC basketball season?  (Hint: Virginia just might be in the top three of the conference!)
  • What the Final Four Tells Me We Need -- I'll break down what the teams in this year's Final Four have that we lack.  Pretty straightforward.

Stay tuned!

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