Navy Field resembled something of a classroom Wednesday afternoon – the only notable disparities were the students dressed in pads and the room temperature was a balmy 82 degrees.
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Coach Fedora addressed throngs of UNC professors after practice, sharing his own educational tools and expertise with some of the world-class faculty at Chapel Hill. Coach Fedora says he’s all for more opportunities to bridge the divide between academics and athletics.
“It’s an opportunity for them to step into our classroom and see how we teach every day. And see what these guys in their classes do on a daily basis – the amount of time and effort they put in to on-the-field things. We’re always open to continue to bridge that gap,” Coach Fedora says.
The Tar Heels road-tripped it down to Charlotte last week for an open scrimmage. In the Queen City, the coaching staff threw all sorts of curve balls at the players, but above all, Coach Fedora says the trip provided valuable live reps for the team.
“We got about 120 reps of good, live work with officials, a crowd and adverse conditions. There were a lot of really good things. We put them in as many uncomfortable situations as possible. Hopefully, they’ll get comfortable in those situations,” Coach Fedora says.
New offensive coordinator Seth Littrell says he’s really enjoying his transition into the Chapel Hill community.
“Chapel Hill has been great. People are great. Players and coaches are great. My family really enjoys it. I’m just glad the weather is back to where it’s Carolina blue. Transition is always initially hard. But the people around here have been fabulous. I’ve really enjoyed it,” Coach Littrell says.
One of the areas of concern for Coach Littrell and the Tar Heels in 2014 will be the offensive line. The absence of James Hurst is devastating to the unit. And Coach Fedora isn’t hiding anything, saying the success of the big men up front will dictate the team’s success.
“You ask the opposing coach if they’ll go seven-on-seven, and if they won’t do seven-on-seven, good luck to you. I’ve never been on a good team that didn’t have a good offensive line. You won’t be good. There’s no way around it. You can only do so many ‘smoke and mirror’ tricks. Eventually, you got to block somebody,” Coach Fedora says.
As a whole, Coach Fedora says the Tar Heels will never live up to his expectations in spring football. But he says striving for improvement each and every day will help the team achieve its goal of playing in the ACC Championship game.
“We still have a long way to go, but we’re making progress. That’s all that I care about right now. They’re not going to reach my expectations right now in the spring. But we are making progress. The challenge is to be a little bit better than we were the day before. Hopefully, you keep raising that bar and by the end of the spring, you’re a pretty good football team,” Coach Fedora says.
The public will be afforded the opportunity to grab a hard look at the progression of the Tar Heels for themselves next Saturday at Kenan Stadium in the form of the Blue & White Spring Game.