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Special teams expected to be simpler in 2010

When former coach Al Groh hired Ron Prince to coordinate the Cavaliers' special teams last season, Groh praised Prince's intricate schemes and said Virginia could make its biggest area of improvement in 2009 on special teams. That did not happen, and the team struggled in the third phase of the game that Groh so valued.

When Coach Mike London was asked about the special teams for 2009, he explained it with words that were seldom heard a year ago.

"It's make it simple and just run," London said. "It's make it simple and play. Not a bunch of elaborate schemes or this and that. You find guys who can run, have the temperament to run down, take on blocks or block. That type of thing."

Anthony Poindexter is now the special teams coordinator, and London said Poindexter has done a good job simplifying special teams for the players.

London also said that every player is "fair game" to play on special teams, and no starters will be saved. He did want to get into what went wrong with the special teams last season because he was not in the meetings and making the personnel decisions, but said Poindexter's experience has been useful.

"It led us to try to make the schemes less complicated and more direct," London said. "Run-and-hit type of thing. We're not trying to scheme anything up. Just trying to use their abilities to run."

By Zach Berman  |  April 2, 2010; 4:30 PM ET
 
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