Will Phillip Sims Ever Play Again for the Virginia Cavaliers?

By Tyler Brett
Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers are in the midst of a quarterback competition heading into the 2013 season. Head coach Mike London is taking a long hard look at three potential starters for next fall and taking his time to evaluate each one. There’s only one quarterback in the race with any game experience from 2012, however, in redshirt junior Phillip Sims, but Sims’ relationship with UVa has been rocky to say the least and he finds himself buried at No. 3 on the depth chart. Will he ever play again for the Cavaliers?

There will have to be a drastic change at Virginia for it to happen. Sims has had an attitude problem that has clashed with London and his coaching staff, leading the former Alabama Crimson Tide transfer to be very outspoken about his unhappiness with the team. That attitude is what has buried Sims this spring even after throwing for 1,263 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions while splitting reps with Michael Rocco.

And his play this spring hasn’t forced the issue much. While London insisted that the first team reps were “constantly in flux” during spring practice between the three quarterback candidates, the spring game showed that David Watford and Greyson Lambert were firmly entrenched as the No. 1 and No. 2 options at quarterback. Sims, stuck at No. 3, turned in a poor performance, completing just 8-of-18 passes for 87 yards.

Meanwhile, Watford and Lambert both completed more than 50 percent of their passes and led scoring drives. Lambert was the most impressive with his arm, completing 21-of-36 passes for 248 yards and a pair of touchdown passes while Watford showed off his athleticism with a 17-yard scoring run. Afterwards, Sims described the day, which saw the offense as a whole struggle, as a “slap in the face that we’re not where we want to be.”

Unless something drastic happens with Sims’ attitude or level of play between now and fall camp, the disgruntled quarterback will likely stay buried on Virginia’s depth chart. Can the Cavaliers win without contributions from their most experienced signal caller?

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