Aug. 17, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Mike London’s football team spent Monday’s practice trying to correct the mistakes made in the Cavaliers’ scrimmage Saturday at Scott Stadium.
There was a lot to fix. London had to remind himself that things are rarely as bad — or as good — as they seem in such scrimmages.
“I thought for the first time getting out there on our field, at the stadium, where it’s very spacious, where guys had to make the throws and the right cuts and things like that, we did OK,” London said. “We did OK. But there’s a reason why you always have to say you’re a work in progress.
“We got some work to do, that’s for sure. We got some work to do. That’s why they call it practice. This week, there’s a no-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel approach, because next week you have all the distractions of the other things that are going on with school, moving in and all that. This is going to be a critical week as far as our development and us being able to execute the way we need to.”
In the first of its three intrasquad scrimmages, UVa ran through about 65 plays, London said.
“That’s extending them pretty good, because you also want to see their level of conditioning, how they can execute when they’re tired,” he said.
Among the players who impressed London were wide receiver Matt Snyder, a former walk-on, and linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, a converted safety.
Snyder, a junior from the Richmond area, “made catches and did the things that I thought he would do,” London said. “That’s the reason why he earned a scholarship. He’s a guy that’s on a mission, just trying to get it done for himself.”
Reynolds, a sophomore from Norfolk, intercepted a pass by starting quarterback Marc Verica and returned it for a touchdown.
“LaRoy did a nice job,” London said, “and there’s some other guys that did some nice things. But before I jump on the positive bandwagon, we’ve got eliminate this step that’s in error here, this alignment that’s in error. So until we do that, coming out of a scrimmage situation like we did, then I’ll just be reserved in my comments right now.”
Verica, the only quarterback in the program who has played in a college game, has thrown 17 interceptions — to 8 touchdown passes — during his UVa career.
“Marc did OK [in the scrimmage],” London said. “He did OK. But he’s got to do better. There’s no question about it. He’s got to make throws, can’t throw interceptions. He’s got to put the ball on the receiver that’s running to the flat. He’s got to have a commanding presence in the huddle, all those things. There’s a reason why you have practice, because you can address those things and get them done right now.”
The Wahoos’ opener is Sept. 4 at Scott Stadium against the University of Richmond, the team London coached in 2008 and ’09.
“We’re going to need all this time to get ready for this first game,” he said.