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DL Coach Jeff Hanson to move 'up top' while DC Jim Reid transitions to sideline

By Steve Yanda

Virginia Defensive Line Coach Jeff Hanson will observe the remainder of the Cavaliers' games from the coaches' box, Defensive Coordinator Jim Reid said Wednesday night. Coach Mike London announced Monday that Reid -- who coached the first nine games of the season from the coaches' box -- will move down to the sideline for Virginia's final three games.

"We've worked together for a long time, and that's always been our arrangement," Reid said of his relationship with Hanson. "Where we worked before, I was on the field and he was up top, so there's a great comfort level. I don't think it will be a big adjustment."

Reid and Hanson previously worked together at two different programs. The pair worked together on the defensive staff at Richmond from 1992-93. After Reid spent a year as the defensive coordinator at Boston College, he returned to Richmond to become the Spiders' head coach, and he kept Hanson on staff from 1995-2003. In 2007, Hanson became the defensive line coach and chief of staff at the Virginia Military Institute, where Reid was the head coach at the time.

Reid began the season in the coaches' box because he said he liked to have all of his options spread out in front of him on a dial-up sheet. Each week, Reid prepares three or four defensive calls for each situation that might arise -- first and 10, second and long, third and short, etc. -- during a game based on the scheme that the given opposing offense runs.

During the first nine games of the season, Reid relayed the call choice for each play down to Linebackers Coach Vincent Brown, who then signalled in the call from the sideline to the players on the field.

With Reid now coaching from the sideline, it will be Hanson who relays the call alternatives for each situation down to Reid, at which point Reid will make a determination on the best course of action and help signal in the call to the players.

"I'll have my sheet with me on the sideline," Reid said. Hanson will "have a sheet up there, as well. But I don't want to be looking at it and have my eyes off the field."

In explaining his decision to ask Reid to move down to the sideline, London pointed to the effectiveness Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor has had communicating with players and making in-game adjustments. Lazor has coached from the sideline all season.

"It just makes him more accessible," fifth-year senior quarterback Marc Verica said of Lazor's close proximity on game day. "He's just more readily available. We can use him as a resource, and another benefit to it is he's right there on the sideline. He gets an up-close look at what the defense is doing, and I know he likes to get that perspective, rather than being in the box."

Verica said having a unit's coordinator on the sideline during games also might provide a motivational boost to the players. Given Reid's fiery personality, it seems likely the Virginia defense will experience such an effect. Whether or not that translates to an improved performance on the field remains to be seen.

"I like to be in the box, like to have all my papers out in front of me and just have a clear idea about visually being able to see what they do and what we can expect on certain downs," Reid said. "But it's a lot more fun and exciting on the field, so I'm really looking forward to it."

By Steve Yanda  | November 11, 2010; 6:01 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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