Mike London's redshirting philosophy
Many Virginia fans took umbrage with former Virginia coach Al Groh's philosophy on redshirting -- or lack thereof. Groh often said when the player is ready to play, the coaching staff is ready to play him. This was sometimes in conflict with typical roster management of holding a player back if the position was particularly deep, or only using players ready to play major roles on offense or defense (as opposed to special teams roles).
Naturally, Coach Mike London was faced with questions about what became a hot-button issue, especially toward the end of his tenure at Virginia.
"I think with linemen you'd like to redshirt linemen just because the physical toll, the expectations that it has on a linemen," London said. "In the skill position, you put him out there, flank him out, he's going one-on-one with somebody else, you can utilize his speed or athleticism, if he's ready to play, if he's better than the ones you have, he can contribute to your team, then you're more inclined to play a player like that."
London stuck to Groh's well-reasoned theory that a player should play if he's ready, citing the terms of a player's readiness as how quickly they learn the schemes and how able they are athletically to adjust to the faster pace of college football.
London also acknowledged that certain players come to college with the ambition of playing immediately. However, the players on the roster and the challenges of the transition to Virginia's academics also become a factor.
"Once they come in, look around, see the talent, a lot of times they think it best to sit for a year. I'm okay with that, too," London said. Academically, you also need to build your academic muscles also and get acclimated to college, which this is a challenging place, which is okay. I think it will benefit them."
February 10, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
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