The Don’ts Of Spring

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What did Hoo fans learn about Scott Deke and the Cavs this spring?

Spring practices are done and the Spring Game is in the books. What does that mean? For me, it means that I have no good excuse to get out of all of the spring cleaning jobs I have been putting off as long as possible. All over the house and yard I go, Mrs. JHoo only a half-step behind, tackling one task after another instead of watching linebackers do the tackling. So with Mrs. JHoo’s “don’t do that …” and “don’t do that other thing either …” comments ringing in my ears, I think it would be somewhat therapeutic for me to throw out a few “don’ts” of my own.

Since I am much too smart to direct any of those “don’ts” at Mrs. JHoo – read, JHoo is a coward – I figured I would toss a few your way, football style. Or more precisely, spring football style.

Don’t … read too much into the spring. The first don’t feels a bit like Groh-speak – absent the requisite use of the word “circumstances” – but Groh-speak or not, it is true. In fact, in many ways, it is the theme of this column.

This spring, after all, was one marked as much by who was not on the field as who was. Between dismissals and suspensions and early NFL departures and injuries and so on, the 2008 team spent most of the spring in getting-to-know-you mode without a lot of the expected to play “you” on the field. Some of those missing players will not be returning in the fall, some will. But there was a lot of learning to do this spring, and it is difficult to gauge the progress that was made by the team as a whole when many players were missing.

Don’t … underestimate the task ahead for the staff. Let’s say that UVa had managed to hold on to win its bowl game, and let’s say that this offseason had been as uneventful as one could imagine. In that perfect world, the coaching staff would be chewing on how to replace Chris Long ‘s leadership on defense, how to build the