UNC’s Larry Fedora.
LARRY FEDORA: We had, I thought, a
very productive spring. We really wanted to work
on the fundamentals and techniques that we were
going to need, especially in a new defensive
scheme. We wanted to continue developing depth
in our offensive line and defensive line and at other
positions so that we could have some good
competition, and I think — I’d say for the most part,
we got all those things accomplished.
Q. Just wanted to ask you about
Williams, his rehab,
where he’s at, kind of how everything is going
with him as he progresses forward.
LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, I’d say things are
going very well. They tell us that he’s ahead of
schedule, and I think when he had his last checkup
in Nashville, they told him that these next four
weeks was a very crucial time because he feels
like he’s 100 percent, and so this is when they see
most of the recurring injuries, and so we have to be
very careful with him right now. He’s got to be —
stick to the plan. But we anticipate him being back
here full speed in just a few weeks.
Q. What was it like for you to go
through spring without him? Were you able to
assess a lot about the offense despite the fact
that he wasn’t there?
LARRY FEDORA: Oh, yeah, yeah. I
mean, what we did was Mitch Trubisky ran with the
1s so he got a lot of reps, a lot of meaningful reps,
and then you have Caleb Henderson and Anthony
Ratliff that were there that also got reps with the
2s. So I thought it was beneficial. We made the
most of it. I would have loved for ‘Quise to be
there so he could have gotten a bunch of reps, but
he has the most reps of anybody in the offense,
and so if it had to happen to anybody, I think it was good for him.
Q. Kind of piggy-backing on the last
question, was Marquise’s situation something
that happened during the season or was it
something that occurred after the season was
over? And given the fact that Trubisky has
gotten so much more work in spring practice,
do you anticipate the quarterback situation
being similar to last year or do you see Mitch
getting a little bit more reps during game
LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, it did happen to
him at a point in the season. I couldn’t tell you
exactly the time that it happened, but as you
watched his production as the season went on, I
think the wear and tear on the injury, it hampered
him a little bit.
I think right now we’ve got some great
competition right there,
which we’re trying to
establish, and we are. We’ve got some depth
there. Marquise is our starting quarterback, and
I’m looking forward to watching those guys
compete in fall camp, but Marquise, I anticipate
Marquise taking that first snap against South
Carolina and getting after it.
Q. I know you guys when it comes to
recruiting have been affected by all the
uncertainty with the NCAA investigation.
Wondering what you’ve been telling kids, just
kind of about that in terms of the timeline of it,
and are you familiar with any kind of — anything
going on with that in terms of the timeline of it?
LARRY FEDORA: No, really, I mean, to
be honest with you, all we do is try to tell kids that
we’re at the mercy of the NCAA. Whenever it
happens, it happens. We don’t have a timeline.
No one has given us any information.
I feel pretty confident in what — I know I
feel confident in what we’re doing since we’ve been
here, so right now we’re just — we’ll just have to
wait and see what they say.
Q. What, if anything, can you glean in
terms of the season opener from the game two
years ago in Columbia, and can you really
evaluate any of it just because there’s been so
many changes on both sides of the ball for the
LARRY FEDORA: Well, they’re still a very
strong football team, there’s no doubt about it, and
we’ll find out where we match up and how much
improvement we’ve made as a football team and in
recruiting and in developing and all those things.
There will be some guys that play in the game that
played in it a couple years ago, and hopefully
those guys are — because we
played a lot of young
guys in that game, and so hopefully those guys
have grown up and they’re
better football players
at this time.
Q. With Gene Chizik coming aboard as
defensive coordinator, what has this spring
told you about the impact he’s going to have
on your defense, both him and his scheme?
LARRY FEDORA: Well, obviously Gene is
going to have a tremendous impact on our
defense. He’s running it. We have a completely
new scheme, and I would say with the additions of
John Papuchis and Charlton Warren and the
things that they’ve brought also from Nebraska, it’s
a great mixture between the two.
But Gene is in charge of it. I mean, he’s
installing his style of coachi
ng, his style of way, the
way he wants those guys to play. Yeah, I’m just
excited about seeing the end result once the
season gets here.
Q. You’ve got a great core coming
back, but one place where you’ve got a little
gap are your two kickers. I wonder if you can
tell us what you saw in spring, who looked
good, and how you see that going forward.
LARRY FEDORA: Well, I thought both of
them progressed. I mean, we got three guys really
competing for that job, for the place kicking. I think
Weiler will definitely be our kickoff guy this next
year. He did a tremendous job last year, and he’ll
continue to do that this next year. But he is
competing with the other two guys this spring. I
thought they all made progress. I thought they
were all better than we were during the season, so
you know, I anticipate us getting much more
production out of that position.
Q. Is there one particular area on
defense you think you made the most
improvement this spring looking at it from last
LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, I would say our
secondary. You know, just the things that we’ve
changed in our secondary. Also those guys
have — they’ve all got a year
of experience in, and
also as far as just playing and being out there, but
they’ve adapted well to the new scheme and the
new techniques that Gene and Charl want them to
play back there, so I would say coming out of
spring, I’d say that would have been the most