Uncertainty: The Only Sure Thing When it Comes to Virginia Cavaliers' Quarterbacks

By Justine Hendricks
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports


Mike London is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers, and not since his first year has he had a solid starter at quarterback.

In 2010, Michael Rocco and David Watford shared time; last season, it was Rocco and Phillip Sims, a transfer from Alabama.

Tired of the uncertainty, Rocco decided he’d had enough and transferred to Richmond, where his uncle, Danny Rocco, is the head coach.

“It’s an unhealthy environment for any quarterback at UVa. It was hard on all the quarterbacks, not just me,” Rocco told the Roanoke Times‘ Doug Doughty in December.

Sims might be the next Cavaliers’ quarterback to struggle under the strain of a lengthy QB controversy. Sims, who appeared in 12 games and started four in 2012, was expected to take over the role full-time with Rocco gone, but when the pre-spring depth chart was released, he was third-string, behind Watford and redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert.

“It is what it is,” Sims told reporters about his tumble down the depth chart this offseason. “I don’t know nothing about how it came that way or what’s going on.”

Cavs’ fans have to hope the coaching staff does — but they have every right to be skeptical after the last two seasons. After two years of seesawing back and forth between quarterbacks, the team enters the 2013 season without their most experienced QB, and with a brand new offensive coordinator, Steve Fairchild.

Fairchild might help bring stability to the position by picking one guy and sticking with him, a welcome change after former OC Bill Lazor‘s seemingly haphazard approach. During the transition to his playbook, though, there might be some growing pains among the remaining quarterbacks on the roster.

“Who can learn the terminology, who can pick it up? Outside of wiping the slate clean, it’s an aspect of who can pick up and execute the way Coach Fairchild wants the offense to execute,” London said last week.

Fairchild says the recently released depth chart, with Watford as QB 1, doesn’t mean anything.

“Each day is a little different, and the order they go in is a little different. Sometimes, David will start a period and some other periods, somebody else will start. We’re really not concerned with who’s going first,” Fairchild told The Daily Progress after practice Saturday.

That approach is fairly typical for early spring practices when there’s no established starter, but the sooner Virginia can designate a starting quarterback, the sooner the offense can start to move forward and gel with a new leader in a new system.

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