UVa’s Top Position Concerns For 2011

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Coach Bill Lazor needs to find a starter at QB.

As July meanders along and JHoo’s Summer Reading series winds down, Virginia football fans know that the start of practice and the 2011 season can’t be far behind. UVa announced this week that practice begins on Friday, Aug. 5 with practices open to the public at 3:50 p.m. each day on Aug. 5-9. Meet the Team Day is set for Aug. 14.

So with things getting started in three weeks, let’s take a look at Virginia’s top concerns for 2011, in descending order.

Quarterbacks. The Cavaliers are searching for a new starting quarterback for what seems like the 75th year in a row. And if that isn’t cause for concern in itself, there isn’t a clear leader heading into fall practice. Michael Rocco and Ross Metheny share the top line on the depth chart while Michael Strauss and David Watford share the second line. All four remain in the hunt to be the starter technically. This leads to two trains of thoughts for most of us: one, whoever wins out is young and still has plenty of time to develop into a good college quarterback or, two, if you have four quarterbacks, you have none. No matter how you slice it, this year’s starting quarterback for UVa has little experience and even less proven success. That’s a major, major concern for a team trying to snap a streak of three straight losing seasons.

Linebackers. After the defense struggled mightily in 2010, particularly with big plays, the next three spots on the list are all held by defensive units. First up is the linebackers where some front-line experience is countered by shifting positions and a lack of depth. Last season’s leading tackler LaRoy Reynolds is flipping from the strong side to the weak side of the LB corps and the second-leading tackler Steve Greer is listed on the depth chart as an “or” starter at middle linebacker. The opening day starter in the