- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
If healthy, Phillip Sims will start Saturday for Cavaliers
Question of the Day
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Since Mike London arrived at Virginia, very little about the Cavaliers' quarterback situation has been absolute. So the coach's latest announcement was only fitting.
Phillip Sims will start this week against Duke.
London also said during his weekly "Coach's Corner" radio show that Sims hurt his leg during a fourth-quarter drive against Louisiana Tech. If Sims isn't healthy by Saturday, London said, the start will go to Michael Rocco.
That said, it's hard to imagine Sims, a transfer sophomore, won't get the ball in Durham. The play in question involved him scrambling and getting upended by Bulldogs cornerback Brice Abraham.
Abraham hit receiver Tim Smith hard on the next play and knocked him out of the game. Sims didn't leave, though, and threw a touchdown on that drive and his next one. He's also practiced since then.
For London and the coaching staff, Sims' inexperience is no longer enough to justify Rocco's inconsistency.
"This is football, and you have to get the best player on the field," London said on the radio show. "Michael's been fantastic throughout this process. He knows you have to be able to perform at a high level. It's just that Phillip has performed every time he's gone in, and has performed well."
Sims has also earned the admiration of his teammates.
Wide receiver Adrian Gamble said he was wowed the first time he caught a deep pass from Sims, and running back Kevin Parks praised Sims' leadership.
"When he came in, it was like he'd been in there before," Parks said. "He had great poise calling plays in the huddle."
The coaching staff has been waiting for Sims to realize that potential since he arrived from Alabama.
His struggles have been with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's timing-oriented passing game. Instead of letting Sims wheel around and look at receivers, the playcalling at U.Va. requires strictly-run routes and precisely-timed throws — something the receivers have also occasionally missed on.
"I just have to get my timing down, get my feet coordinated with the routes, and trust in the receivers," Sims said. "That's probably the easiest way I can put it. Just trust the receiver is going to be where he needs to be exactly when he needs to be there, and letting the ball go before he's there.
"When you learn a new offense, probably one of the hardest things is trusting the receivers, because you don't have chemistry with a lot of the guys, so you wait until they break open to throw them the ball."
That won't fly against Duke, but Sims also has all week as the de facto starting quarterback to learn.
It's a vote of confidence that came late, and with a caveat, but provides the Cavaliers' offense with a much-needed breath of fresh air.
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Cutler wins endorsement from gun control group
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Man says he shot burglar who said she was pregnant
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq