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The first-year coordinator answered questions after another disapointing performance by UVa on Saturday.
Associated Press | File September
Virginia QB David Watford was 15 of 37 for 123 yards in Saturday's loss at Pittsburgh.
The Roanoke Times | File August
Virginia offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild was an offensive assistant for the San Diego Chargers as well as the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
It was only a matter of time until first-year Virginia coordinator Steve Fairchild was called upon to answer for the Cavaliers’ impotent offense.
“Obviously, we have not been playing very well on offense,” Fairchild said in a teleconference Wednesday, four days after a 14-3 loss at Pittsburgh. “We need to improve in every area in a hurry, myself included.”
It was the first time since the 2011 season that UVa had failed to score a touchdown and the Cavaliers’ 188 yards dropped them to 13th out of 14 ACC teams in total offense.
“If you’re asking me what’s frustrating, we played very well defensively and [Saturday’s game] was definitely winnable,” said Fairchild, a former head coach at Colorado State and offensive coordinator for two NFL teams.
“A conference game on the road was winnable and you hate to let those get away.”
Head coach Mike London subsequently announced several position changes, one of which involved right tackle Jay Whitmire going to right guard in an effort to protect right-handed quarterback David Watford from the nearest rusher.
Also, UVa unveiled a depth chart that included nine possible starters at the three receiver spots, including the slot.
“We’re going to try roll more people through not only practice but the games to see if we can get more consistency at our receiver spots,” Fairchild said Wednesday.
London said UVa receivers dropped 10 passes on a day when Watford was 15 of 37 for 123 yards. Watford could be seen later that night, throwing passes to veterans Darius Jennings and Dominique Terrell after the team plane landed in Charlottesville.
“David’s a special person and prepares like no one I’ve been around,” said Fairchild, who noticed that Watford and some of the wideouts were on the practice field without coaches Sunday morning.
“The kids are good kids and they practice hard and they want to do well. I feel for them and I’ve got to do a better job. I’ve got to get them in better spots to succeed.”
Fairchild doesn’t pretend to have a magic wand.
“Regardless of where you’re at, what you do on the practice field is what you’re going to do out there in the game,” Fairchild said. “Obviously, we’re not going to throw more things at them and try and reinvent the wheel.
“We’ve had some guys in and out of the lineup, but there’s no excuse. We’ve got to continue to practice as perfectly as we can during the week and hope it carries over to the game.”
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