Familiar face helping out UVa defensive line

Virginia coach Mike London made some significant changes to his staff this offseason. He also added one more responsibility to his own plate.

Not only did London move Vincent Brown over from linebackers coach to the defensive line, London became more involved with the line as well. Defensive end Jake Snyder said it was great to have his head coach helping out during spring practice, given how much experience London has with the big guys up front.

During his time as an assistant, London spent time as a defensive line coach at William & Mary, Boston College and with the Houston Texans. He also coached the UVa defensive line in two separate stints.

"He’s got a lot of knowledge of the game and of the position," Snyder said. "Any time he comes in there and helps out, it’s a learning experience for myself and the rest of the D-linemen. We really pay extra attention. For the most part, he’s coming up during drills in practice and giving us one little bit of advice and then he gets back to the big picture stuff. But having him out there and having him help out has been great."

Snyder also said it has been a smooth transition learning from Brown as well. Brown, who played linebacker for the Patriots between 1988-95, replaced defensive line coach Jeff Hanson, one of four assistants dismissed at the end of last season.

"He’s been very up front with us, we didn’t miss a beat," Snyder said. "We love playing for him. We’ve had a couple meals together, we’ll get together and hang out and just talk. He’s a great mentor having played in the NFL for so long, he can really relate with a lot of the guys who have those aspirations and tell them what not to do, which is an important thing for a coach."