The Tar Heel football team will come into the 2014 campaign with high expectations, largely thanks to an anticipated prolific offense with a bevy of returning scoring threats taking to the field.
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But who will be leading Head Coach Larry Fedora’s patented up-tempo offense remains to be seen. Coach Fedora says he’s pleased with the intense competition between both Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky for the starting job.
“Both guys have competed really well. That’s brought out the best in both of them. I think they’ll continue to do that through the summer and through fall camp. I wish that we could have that type of competition at each and every position on our team. When we do have that, then we’re going to be a really good football team. I’m pleased where both guys are,” Coach Fedora says.
Coach Fedora doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to name the leader of the offense. He’s not showing any of his cards and says it provides some rich content for chats around the water cooler this summer.
“I don’t have a given date that I’ll make a decision. That way, it gives everybody something to talk about all year,” Coach Fedora says.
Some scouts favor Williams’ experience and ability to evade tacklers while others side with Trubisky’s superior arm strength and pinpoint accuracy.
But one thing is for sure. Regardless of the man behind center, Carolina’s signal caller will have plenty of weaponry at his disposal with athletic receiver Quinshad Davis, elusive Ryan Switzer and promising running back Elijah Hood all in tow.
However, in a somewhat surprising twist, Coach Fedora says it’s not the offense that’s raised his eyebrows the most in spring workouts.
“I think our defense is probably more experienced than our offense right now. We have some seniors on the defense. […] Any of our age is on the defense. I just think our guys developed a little bit quicker. We’ve got guys that have been playing in the system now three years on that side of the ball. They totally understand what we’re trying to do,” Coach Fedora says.
The veteran leadership from guys like senior linebackers Norkeithus Otis and Travis Hughes could prove invaluable for the oft-maligned Tar Heel defense.
How hard is it for the Tar Heels to adjust to the warp-speed playing style at Carolina? Coach Fedora says that’s easy. Everything the team does in preparation for the season is at game speed, and that means lightning quick.
“We practice the way we play. Everything we do within our practice plan is an up-tempo-type plan. Our guys understand that’s the way we practice because that’s the way we play. That carries over to what we do in the weight room and the way we condition in the summer. Everything that we do is oriented that way,” Coach Fedora says.
Year three under Coach Fedora’s regime promises to be full of excitement, but for now, it’s a little bit of mystery that pervades at the quarterback position.