The End of Spring (Practice)

A summary of quotes from players, coaches, and the media in the days leading up to & following Virginia’s spring ‘game’ on April 12th:

HC Mike London

  •  “In December, there were fragile egos, dark cloud hanging over the guys, ‘woe is me’ type of thing. Then change occurs. Sometimes when that happens, [guys] get a new lease on life. You introduce them to new people in their life that say, ‘Look, you can’t do this.’”
  • “There’s a lot of parts we have to work on — that I have to work on. But I know the attitude part has changed.”
  • “[Morgan Moses] blocks out the sun when he walks outside. Cody Wallace is another one. They look good. I saw them today. That’s what we need. We need to recruit players like that, of that caliber, and today we had a good group of prospects out there. Winning breeds success, and we have to taste some winning around here. We’ve got to get back to doing that, and you do that by getting good players. It’s an ongoing process to recruit good players, develop the players that you have, and just stick with the plan.”
  • “The offense is such that when you throw, you throw to spots. It’s timing routes, which goes back to the precision of the routes from the wide receiver… Fall camp, opportunities with two-a-days, just have time to hone in on a few things. I think Marc will get better.”
  • “Defensively, we’ll be fairly representative of putting a good team out there – guys that can rush, guys that can cover.”

Presumed starting QB Marc Verica

  • “When you turn on the film from the first practice, it’s actually pretty amazing to see how far we’ve come. I mean, the first day, we couldn’t even complete passes on air. We were just trying to throw outs and hitches, and we were missing guys and the balls were flying into the stands and out of bounds and stuff like that and hitting people, hitting fans.”
  • “It was different this spring. It was a new chapter… I think guys are playing more confidently, and they’re playing pretty loose, which is something we may not have had always in the past.”
  • “I haven’t thrown many interceptions at all. I’ve thrown none in team drills. It just so happens today I throw two. But that’s alright. We’ve done a really good job this spring. And although it wasn’t that great today, I’m not worried about it.”
  • “I think [Virginia’s defense] could be a special unit. They’re definitely playing much, much faster. I’m lucky that I won’t have to play against them in the fall.”

OC Bill Lazor:

  • “Offensively, we’re on schedule to do just what we want to do and to be just what we want to be.”
  • “From practice 1 to practice 15, we’ve come light years.”
  • “I thought Marc had a good spring. I thought first and foremost, he bought into the system of what we’re trying to do. He showed that he’s physically and mentally capable of running the offense… I thought also that he showed great leadership, and that’s shown by the fact that he was voted a captain by his teammates.”
  • I have a real good sense from going through 15 practices that we’ll be just fine as a running football team.”
  • “The vision of offense is that you should be able to run it when you want to run it and throw it when you want to throw it.”

DC Jim Reid

  • “For a better part of this spring, the offense had moved the ball on the defense. It was just that day, it appeared [the first-team defense dominated]. There were big plays, though, made against us… I thought there were some areas that we have to clean up.”
  • “We’re far, far, far away. But it was perhaps the most fun spring football that I could remember in a long, long time, because of, No. 1, the staff. It’s as close-knit a staff as I think I’ve ever been around. And then of course the players and their attitude and their willingness to accept coaching, hard coaching, and just their lively attitude.”
  • “In the first meeting I said, ‘Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, it will be my fault if you do,’ and I was almost fired after the first practice. Because we had thousands of mistakes, but on the thousands of mistakes we were going a hundred miles an hour, and that’s what you have to do, really.”
  • “At this level, you should be at least two deep at each position with players you feel can go in and win. So we are not there yet. That’s why you recruit, and that’s why we’re recruiting very, very hard.”

TE Colt Phillips

LB-turned-DE Cam Johnson

  • “I’m a lot more comfortable now, now that I know the schemes and where the coaches want me to fit on the plays. But I still got a lot of work to do.”

Early enrollee QB Michael Strauss

  • “[My high school friends are] at home, watching TV, getting ready for the prom. I’m going down for the prom, too, so I’m excited. But they’re definitely living that senior life. I’m thankful I could be here.”
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