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Al Groh Press Conference (Aug. 10) Video

Charlottesville, VA – Sunday the Virginia football team took a break from practicing for its annual Meet the Team Day at Scott Stadium. The Cavaliers and fans mingled from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. until storms in the area forced an early end to the festivities.

From 10:30 a.m. to noon the players had mandatory brunch at the dining hall at John Paul Jones Arena. Players could report to the athletic training room in the McCue Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for any medical treatment. At 1 p.m. head coach Al Groh met with a large assembly of media from around the state for a 45-minute interview session. Afterwards Groh, the assistant coaches and members of the various team’s support staff posed for a group shot at the entrance to the football practice fields.

At 2 p.m., football operations director Gerry Capone had the team loaded onto buses and the players were whisked to The Lawn for the annual team photo on the steps of the Rotunda. Several dozen University guests and tourists looked on in amazement as over 100 players orderly packed the steps while Charlottesville area photographers Pete Emerson and Geoff Kilmer captured the moment. Afterwards, each position had a group photo shot with its position coach.

Back on the buses at 2:45, the team made the quick trek to Scott Stadium where more than 3,000 fans turned out for this year’s Meet the Team activities. Under the shade of the pergola, players signed autographs, posed for photos and made new friends with the Cavalier faithful.

At the same time, two dozen players where shuttled in and out of the media area where they conducted interviews. Senior Scott Deke, speaking on behalf of the team’s quarterbacks, informed the media that until they had a chance to perform and prove something, they would not take part in interviews during fall camp. He told the media he understood their jobs, but did not want to see his position become the central focus of preseason camp.

Head coach Al Groh told the media earlier in the day the quarterbacks were showing good progress during the early practices.

“They’re all working hard, they’re all progressing,” Groh said. “As I’ve said on a couple of occasions, we’re not keeping a daily scorecard on them. We’re looking at the body of work and giving everybody plenty of opportunity to show us how the club will best operate.”

Groh stressed there was a need to have at least two players capable of leading the team at quarterback and that with their combined lack of playing time, it might take longer than just training camp to establish that rotation.

“We don’t have any games to play (USC on Aug. 30). So it might take some games to find out exactly who the one quarterback is or who the two are that we should plan on playing, however it works itself out.”

When the players returned to their locker room in the McCue Center, the newcomers had their posed action photos shot. Dinner was scheduled from 4:30 to 6 p.m. back at JPJA, another treatment session was available at 6 p.m. and then the team had the rest of the evening off.

Monday the team returns to the grind of training camp with practice scheduled at 2:30 p.m.

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