Saturday marked the next step in the evaluation process for the new football coaches at Virginia -- the first time they got to see their new players practice in pads.
Mike London's coaching staff was overhauled over the winter, including new coordinators on offense, defense, and special teams. With spring practice kicking off this week, the adjustment process has fully begun.
"It's been a process. It's been interesting," said rising senior defensive lineman Jake Snyder. "We were able to get up there a little bit beforehand, before practice started, and learn some stuff. And it's still a process, for sure.
"We're still in the very fundamental stages of it. So we're trying our best," Snyder added. "We're getting better every day and learning more every day, and it's going to be a process up until the summer."
"When you have a down year, 4-8 last year, change can be good," said rising junior tight end Jake McGee. "So I mean, it's sad to see some of the guys go, but it's also a business approach. So it hasn't been that difficult, and I think in the long run it'll help us."
Virginia fired four coaches -- including defensive coordinator Jim Reid -- and reassigned special teams coach Anthony Poindexter last December. In January, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor left for a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles' coaching staff.
The new faces include Virginia alum Jon Tenuta at defensive coordinator, former Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild at offensive coordinator, and former NC State head coach Tom O'Brien as associate head coach.
Fairchild and Tenuta both talked after Saturday's practice about learning their new personnel, and implementing new terminology and schemes this spring.
"It's new for them, it's new for me," said Tenuta. "So all that part of it takes place, and it's kind of a mix-and-match aspect."
"I think they like what we do," he added. "I think they like the aggressive style. Obviously, you know, it's crawl before you walk, walk before you run and get going."
"We're going to keep pushing forward, and try to challenge them to get as much of the offense in as we can these 15 days," Fairchild said. "Some good and bad. It's a little sloppy a little bit right now. But we'll clean some things up, look at this tape, and get back to work on Monday."
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