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Virginia Football: Notes and takeaways from Coach Mendenhall’s press conference

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Coach Mendenhall talked about all things Virginia Football as the Hoos prepare for their season opener Saturday.

NCAA Football: ACC Kickoff Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Cavaliers football head coach Bronco Mendenhall talked to the press on Monday afternoon in advance of the UVA season opener against William and Mary. Overall, Mendenhall seemed cautiously optimistic regarding his team’s performance.

Mendenhall said he know’s progress has occurred during the offseason, but it is difficult to assign a percentage to the team’s growth. “I can measure intuitively...progress happening,” Coach stated. He also acknowledged how difficult it can be for fans if they don’t see the progress on the field, but, “...that won’t take away the simple successes I’m seeing behind the scenes or at practice.”

Additionally, Coach Mendenhall talked to the difficulty in accurately predicting what can happen at game time, saying, “...no matter how much preparation, there’s always surprises.” Some potential surprises listed included player performance (whether over or underperforming on the field as compared to practice, perceived depth in any position, and team chemistry and confidence that may not manifest until game day.

The depth chart was released today, with some notable players (including back up quarterback Lindell Stone) still without numbers. “The simple answer is, ‘I’m not the one that chooses the selection order’,” Mendenhall said, explaining that Joe Reed and Jordan Mack have, in a sense, slowed down the selection process for the young players to really hit home the “earned not given” mantra. The next jersey selection (or draft) is this coming Thursday.

When asked how he feels regarding where the team stands, Mendenhall said:

“More educated, I think is the way to say it. I have a clearer reference point of where our program is.”

He continued by saying he remembered thinking during Virginia’s opener last year, “...this is who we are, this is where we are, this is how we are,” and having the first game serve as a barometer of sorts with what he was dealing with. “I feel more clear about where we are. Doesn’t mean that one game won’t change my mind in term of that reference point.”

In relation to starting quarterback Kurt Benkert, Mendenhall said, “He’s one of the best football players on our team. We expect through his maturity and his knowledge of the game to manage that [decision making] appropriately, so we don’t want him taking extra shots.”

“We’re talking about not only being successful in each game, but being successful hopefully for an entire season,” Mendenhall continued, explaining, “...that doesn’t mean soft or passive, it means smart.”

Mendenhall also shared the team had elected their three captains for the season in Kurt Benkert, Micah Kiser, and Quin Blanding. Each week, a special teams member will be named the fourth captain, based on performance.

Virginia teams - including football - will all be wearing #HoosTogether patches on their uniforms in response to the tumultuous events earlier this month.

“I think we’re much better prepared in relation to what I’ve seen of our league, what I know our team needs after seeing our team play. Sometimes,” Mendenhall said, “...I listen to the way our team plays.”

Coach Mendenhall continued regarding the overall fitness of the team, saying, “There was so much work to be done in the terms of core fitness. Hopefully the game sounds and looks different than it did a year ago.”

You can watch the whole press conference (in two pieces) below.

Coach Mendenhall Press Conference 8.26.17

Coach Mendenhall is LIVE with his first press conference of the season, previewing Saturday’s game against William & Mary!

Dikirim oleh Virginia Football pada 28 Agustus 2017
Cocach Mendenhall Press Conference

Bronco Mendenhall is LIVE looking ahead to the season opener versus W&M!

Posted by Virginia Football on Monday, August 28, 2017

Hoos kick off against William and Mary in Charlottesville this Saturday (9/2) at 3:30pm. The game will be available on ESPN3.