Yesterday was the first day of fall camp for the Virginia Cavaliers, who will try this season to continue the upward momentum that resulted in a Chick-Fil-A Bowl appearance on New Year's Eve. All eyes were squarely on the quarterback battle between Rocco and Phillip Sims, though it wasn't necessarily either of them that left the media abuzz Monday afternoon.
We weren't able to get our eyes and ears on the ground in Charlottesville last night -- that will come later this week as Justin Ferber pays Scott Stadium a little visit -- but we've pulled together some of the best insight out there to keep you up to speed on what's happening in camp.
Because Sims joined Virginia over the summer, yesterday was actually the first day that the coaches have been able to work with him, per NCAA rules. However, this doesn't mean he's been twiddling his thumbs all summer, as the team's been holding players-only practices. According to the Daily Progress, former high school teammate Tim Smith was less than impressed.
"He was in there just giving bad body language and he was very tired and just not showing what I expect from him," Smith said. "I had to call him out about it. It's different from Alabama. He said that himself. I just said, 'Yeah, you're here [at U.Va.] now. This is not Alabama, so you've just got to keep working harder than how you've been working.'"
But when camp started up, it was a different story. "Whatever you've learned is going to help," Sims said. "But it's putting that aside and accepting the new things that the coaches are trying to teach you – accepting everything instead of trying to compare it.
So how did that go over?
Sims took snaps with the second team during the 11-on-11 drills, and while he threw an interception to C.J. Moore, the Washington Post reports that OC Bill Lazor "came away impressed, both with how Sims did in the quarterbacks' meeting room and how he took teaching over the course of the actual practice."
"We thought it would be the right thing to challenge him mentally a little bit and I thought he showed poise," Lazor said. "He made some mistakes, but he also made some good plays and I liked the way he handled himself."
And actually, all five quarterbacks took snaps yesterday -- Rocco, Sims, David Watford, Greyson Lambert and Matt Johns. All five did reasonably well, which I suppose isn't too tough when you don't have pads on and Auburn is not on the other side. But it was David Watford that impressed the media.
Most impressive QB on day 1 may have been David Watford, who said afterwards he will not consider a position change. Here to play QB.— Mark Giannotto (@CavsJournal) August 6, 2012
While most of the— Jerry Ratcliffe (@JerryRatcliffe) August 6, 2012
#UVa QBs looked good, I would have to say that TODAY David Watford had the best overall day.
Watford was really sharp, connected on some big plays, especially with Tim Smith who took 3 to the house.— Jerry Ratcliffe (@JerryRatcliffe) August 6, 2012
Though it should be noted that Watford, too, was picked off by Moore, in 7-on-7.
The Daily Press writes that, "Watford had two of the prettier connections of the day." CavsCorner.com also jumps in ($) with a breakdown by position, including who's making plays on offense and who's in the doghouse.
More to come throughout the week as camp rolls on.