April 10, 2013

The View from 515: What's the Deal with the QBs?

In some recent conversations I've had, it's stuck out to me that our off-season football coverage could use a little beginner's-level information to break down some of the broader topics surrounding the team and the upcoming season for those who don't scour the internet for deeper info/analysis in all UVA sports. As a result, so begins our "The View from 515" series. These will be a little more introductory towards important topics facing the football team next year - a perfect starter's guide for a fan looking to care a little deeper about what's going on on the gridiron. Don't worry, diehards, there will be plenty of nerding out in other articles to come as well. You can get musings on UVA sports anywhere, but only at Wahooze will we literally write about anything you request.

So! Let's take a look at one of the bigger issues facing the football team this offseason, which will almost certainly play the biggest role in the team's success next year: The Quarterbacks.

Putting it simply, the dual-quarterback rotation that Mike London and Bill Lazor employed in previous seasons has resulted in some terrible performances. Cycling quarterbacks with little plan/warning does a disservice to the whole team, not to mention affecting the confidence of those targeted players. Now, we did win 8 games in one of those years, but I think most would agree that was largely in spite of quarterback play (or at least the QB rotating). Now, could Mike Rocco have secured the position for the rest of his career by playing better? Let's hope/assume yes. So one ENORMOUS goal for London and his new staff (including new offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild and associate head coach/offensive mentor Tom O'Brien) is to stop the insanity and name a starting quarterback for the upcoming season. Woefully, no one sticks out after spring practice as the clear guy for the job, so we likely wont know who it will be until later in the fall.

So, who's the race between? In bulleted digestible format, in order of familiarity:

Phillip Sims

  • Junior, from Chesapeake
  • Held in VERY HIGH regard in the 757, owns records, god-like status
  • Transferred from Alabama, after committing there as the #1 QB recruit in the country out of high school
  • Played some behind Rocco last year, did not do anything to convince the coaches that he's the man for the job
  • Probably the best arm of the QB group, also probably spends the least amount of time training/studying film (this is some wide-spread hearsay, so take it however you want)
  • Currently 3rd on the depth chart. 2 new coaches in charge of the offense looking at all 3 guys with a clean slate, something stuck out in Sims' performance to put him currently clearly 3rd in the race.

David Watford

  • Sophomore, from Hampton
  • 757 guy from a school that rarely sends players to UVA
  • Redshirted last year, after cycling with Rocco throughout his freshman year
  • Mobile QB with less-than-good accuracy (at least during his 1st year). Gives the offense a boost with his speed, plus can make up for other weaknesses/broken plays with his scrambling
  • Can he make the throws needed in a pro-style offense? Accuracy wasn't the best in the Spring Game, but neither of the other QBs were better
  • Seems to be slightly ahead in the race, likely tied with Greyson Lambert as the future starter 

Greyson Lambert

  • Redshirt Freshman from Georgia
  • Highly regarded recruit, obviously born to break records at UVA, lord all over grounds - his name is freakin Greyson Lambert. Look at that picture and tell me it doesn't scream STAR QB. He's Lance in Varsity Blues before the injury (spoiler alert).
  • Good arm, good accuracy. Some say he doesn't look comfortable in the pocket. Do any of the QBs?
  • No game experience yet from which to judge
  • Not as mobile as Watford, but probably better suited for the intermediate throws that will steady this offense
So there are your choices. Each with risks/benefits. I see no clear answer, and like most fans, just want to see the coaches pick someone and stick with him, no matter who. That said, I'd put my wishlist most likely in reverse order of above. Again, I'll be happy with whoever wins (as long as they play well). Who do you think should start vs BYU?


  1. Great stuff, Pierce! I love the new series!

    Prediction: We go into the BYU game with another QB carousel spinning (between Watford and Lambert), and we lose that super-crucial contest. Then we get crushed by Oregon, but one of the two guys plays well at the end of the game as we score some points in garbage time. That guy then goes into the bye week as the unquestioned starter, beats VMI soundly, then leads us to a win over Pitt and puts the job on lock for the rest of his career at UVA. My guess is that it's Lambert, but losing that BYU game puts us at 5-7 and out of a bowl game. We curse the QB carousel (for costing us the BYU game) and the decision to schedule Oregon instead of a more winnable OOC game.

  2. This is going to be a fun series.

    I don't think Sims will be on the roster in the fall. BAM! To me this move to demote him on the depth chart provided the exact opposite of what they wanted. Instead of showing him to be a competitor and motivate him to get better, he seemed almost offended that they would demote the great Sims. That being said I would love to be wrong because this kid has a world of talent. But as of now I have 0 expectations.

    I think we'll see Watford start and play all of BYU, and play OK, then we'll get smacked by Oregon and Lambert will come in and play awesome. I think whoever starts the VMI game starts the rest of the year. Personally rooting for Lambert, but would not be crushed either way.

  3. Minor correction, Sims is from chesapeake, not va beach. He's an Oscar Smith alum.

  4. Truth! I'll fix that - thanks.