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Coach Fedora Instilling Competitive Nature in UNC Spring Practice

By Matt Oakes Posted March 20, 2014 at 6:02 pm

The Tar Heel football team is busy making preparations for a strong campaign in 2014, but it all starts with competitive spring practice.

Not everything is as stable as the Tar Heels would hope. Head Coach Larry Fedora says the offensive line remains a work in progress at this point.

“Right now we don’t have enough depth on our offensive line. We have a few guys out after postseason surgeries. We’re working really thin right now. The great thing is that all those young kids are getting a lot of reps right now. They’re making a lot of mistakes. It’s hard to get some continuity up front when you’re doing that, but it’s going to pay off down the road,” Coach Fedora says.

The progression of quarterback Marquise Williams into the leader of the team will be a fascinating development this season. Coach Fedora says the experience Williams gained in live game action in 2013 is really making an impact out in spring practice.

“He got more comfortable and more comfortable. That’s where he is right now. He’s very comfortable with what we’re doing. If the defense does something that he hasn’t seen, it gets him, but he can figure it out pretty quick, and the next time it happens he’s right back to where he needs to be,” Coach Fedora says.

On the flip side, Mitch Trubisky, the young signal caller from Ohio, still has a lot of the offense to absorb. Coach Fedora says he’s not completely at ease in the backfield just yet.

“It’s not at that level yet. Mitch understands what the offense is, but every rep is a new experience for him. I wouldn’t say that he’s at that comfort level yet,” Coach Fedora says.

Coach Fedora says nearly all the starting positions are up for grabs. He wants his players to earn their starting spots. And that applies to the battle between Williams and Trubisky for the leading quarterback position.

“They’re both competing. They’re both getting a lot of reps. They’re both getting after it. They’re helping each other and trying to make us better. They’re both handling it well and both competing hard,” Coach Fedora says.

Williams drops back for a pass (Elliott Rubin)

Williams drops back for a pass (Elliott Rubin)

With long, rangy targets like Quinshad Davis and Bug Howard at their disposal, Coach Fedora says the pressure to be perfect is taken off Williams and Trubisky.

“They don’t have to be perfect throwing the ball now because they have guys that have seven feet wingspans,” Coach Fedora says.

The annual Blue & White Spring Game will be held Saturday, April 12 at 3 p.m. in Kenan Stadium.

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