With his Virginia football team coming off a 2-10 performance in 2013, and the start of spring practice just days away, coach Mike London said Wednesday that the focus around the McCue Center is on moving forward.
"Last year was last year. And this year, the opportunities that present themselves are challenging," said London, who will enter his fifth season at UVa in 2014. "But at the same time, they're ones that we embrace. We look forward to the opportunity to get better, to perform better, to produce. And all those things that it takes to be competitive on the football field."
London is 18-31 in his first four seasons as head coach at UVa. The Cavaliers return 16 starters from last year -- nine on defense and seven on offense, including rising junior David Watford, who started all 12 games at quarterback in 2013.
But the pre-spring roster released by UVa on Wednesday did not include a depth chart -- that will be released at the end of spring practice, the school said -- and London said he planned to open up the competition at just about every spot on the field this spring, including quarterback.
"I would say all positions are open, and they will be competitive in those situations," London said. "That's what the spring is all about, opening up the competition, playing the best players, and it doesn't matter to me what year."
A season ago, UVa was the youngest team in the country, with just six seniors on the roster. The Cavaliers will enter Saturday's first spring practice with 22 rising seniors on the roster.
This will also mark the second spring for the UVa program under coordinators Steve Fairchild (offense), Jon Tenuta (defense), and Larry Lewis (special teams), as well as associate head coach Tom O'Brien.
"It does help to have experienced guys, experienced coaches, with opportunities to repeat some of the things that they need to get better at," London said. "But then get better at a lot of the things that we need to do to be successful on the field."
This spring will mark the first at UVa for new coaching staff additions Mike Archer (safeties) and Jappy Oliver (defensive line). They replace Anthony Poindexter and Vincent Brown, who departed for Connecticut in the off-season.
Other notes from Wednesday:
-- London said rising senior long snapper Matt Fortin has left the UVa program, with the intention of joining the Navy SEALs. London also confirmed the departure of wide receiver Adrian Gamble, who plans to transfer to UNC-Charlotte.
-- The list of players who won't participate in spring drills because of injury includes defensive end Trent Corney; linebackers Daquan Romero, Demeitre Brim, and Darius Lee; and offensive linemen George Adeosun, Sadiq Olanrewaju, and John Pond. Another lineman, rising senior Jay Whitmire, is expected to miss part of spring practice.