Take 5: Waiting On Southern Cal

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Virginia is wrapping up the sports year with baseball, women’s rowing, and men’s golf still in competition as May days fall off the calendar. That means it’s nearly time for a quick breather before the 2008-09 seasons get under way. Personally, I couldn’t wait to “Take 5” though. After all, Southern Cal is waiting in the wings and I’ve had some football thoughts on the brain.

John Phillips

For instance, (1) I’ve been wondering if there is a way to be Tight End U while throwing less to the tight ends. The litmus test may well be John Phillips . The senior captain has played third fiddle to Tom Santi and Jonathan Stupar for two years, but he is in the spotlight now as the No. 1 tight end. With a good year, he may even be a first or second round pick in the NFL Draft next year because his all-around tight end skills are downright impressive – he’s been one of the best blockers on the team throughout his time here.

With all that said, this year’s Cavaliers need to use him less in the passing game than his predecessors, no matter how good he is. Short yardage and red zone situations? He absolutely should be one of the key targets on the field. A swing pass or out on 1st-and-10 at your own 30? Once in a while at best. My stance on this is simple: there are too many other weapons that need touches to force feed Phillips and his tight end counterparts. Cedric Peerman , Mikell Simpson , Rashawn Jackson . We’re not even out of the backfield yet!

Speaking of weapons … (2) will receivers be on the move? UVa needs to help its receivers out more by putting them on the move. I don’t necessarily mean in motion before the snap, though adding a motion wrinkle here and there would be fine too. I’m referring to the combination of patterns for the receivers.