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UNC Coaching Around Roster Gaps



CHAPEL HILL, N.C. ̵

1; Mack Brown worked his way through his personnel groupings at the ACC Kickoff on Thursday afternoon, listing an offensive line that had some talent but needed to get tougher. He highlighted a solid starting defensive line before acknowledging a lack of depth. He mentioned potential positives at linebacker and wide receiver that needed to materialize. He praised his running backs after detailing a quarterback room filled with freshmen, just as he had a tight ends group before discussing a kicking game that has to replace five key players.

More than anything, Brown broke down a roster that has some quality parts but lacks talent in some spots and depth in others. It's the product of recruiting misses in recent years combined with injuries and other forms of attrition. It's also the reason Brown was hired as UNC's new head coach last November

In order for UNC to return to the postseason for the first time since 2016, Brown and his assistants will have to mold the available pieces, highlight the team's strengths

"We've got to do a great job coaching," Brown told reporters at The Westin Charlotte Hotel. “This is not on the players as much as it is us. There's enough stuff there. We've got to develop depth and we've got to put the ball in the right players' hands and we've got to call the right stuff on defense to help these kids. ”

Before coaching can take place, there first must be a level of trust achieved. Brown got to work on that aspect immediately after accepting the job, asking the players what needed to change and then addressing their concerns. The players lounge was updated with couches, carpet, games and pool tables. A renovated weight room and locker room will be unveiled to the players on Monday, followed by a celebratory dinner. Change was promised and before the training camp starts, the players will have tangible results.

(Photo: Jim Hawkins, Inside Carolina)

The trust component was under construction, then came offseason strength and conditioning program built on attention to detail and finishing, something the Tar Heels have failed to do in recent years . UNC has released six games in the past two seasons in which it was in the lead entering the fourth quarter. A combination of 45 turnovers and 159 penalties on the past 23 games certainly plays a role.

"The margin between winning and losing in college football is so clever," senior safety Myles Dorn said. anything, just minimizing the big errors and mistakes and we'll be alright. ”Brown hired offensive coordinator Phil Longo and defensive coordinator Jay Bateman for their modern schemes that don't rely on massive amounts or talent in order to succeed . Longo rewrote the record books at Sam Houston State before finding success in two seasons at Ole Miss, while Bateman's defensive engineering at Army drew the interest of NFL coaching staffs. Yet in order for the Tar Heels to effectively run their new schemes, they will need plenty of practice time to install and install the packages in training camp.

"You can't replace reps," Dorn said. really it. Communicating with your team and knowing where they're going to be. You get a feel for playing with them. You know it on the board and you know the calls, but playing with them and building chemistry is just something you can''t create. You've got to actually go out there and play. ”

That short window of practice that August offers is especially relevant this season, given a new coaching staff's efforts to produce a quality product before the reality of a front-loaded. schedule arrives on Aug. 31.

"It's South Carolina, then Miami, then Wake on the road, then App, which has 19 starters back, and then Clemson," Brown said. I got that far and I stopped. I’ve got enough problems… We can be better than anybody on our schedule, so we've got to play good every week. That's what coaching is all about. That's our job. Our job is to help them. ”

Brown preached confidence, work ethic and doing the right things in the Queen City. He also shared his expectations to win every game, while acknowledging that does not mean he expects to beat national champion Clemson, just that he wants to. Recruiting will eventually fill the roster gaps, but for now, coaching will take on even greater importance in UNC's efforts to compete for the ACC Coastal Division crown. {! function (f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {if (f.fbq) return; n = f.fbq = function () {n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply (n, arguments): n.queue.push (arguments)}; if (! f._fbq) f._fbq = N; n.push = N; n.loaded =! 0; n.version = '2.0'; n.queue = []t = b.createElement (e); t.defer = 1; t.src = v; s = b.getElementsByTagName (e) [0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore (t, s)} (window, document, 'script', 'https: //connect.facebook.net/en_US /fbevents.js');
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