Larry Fedora says it’s not a matter of if the Tar Heels will grow into a productive and consistent football team. The question is when.
“When it will come together, I wish I had that crystal ball,” he said Monday in the wake of the Tar Heels’ 55-31 pounding by East Carolina Saturday. “But there’s no doubt in my mind that it will. If I wasn’t sure about what we were doing and how we were doing it, maybe my confidence would waver. But it’s not. We’ll get there. I just don’t know when.”
Fedora acknowledged the obvious two days following the Pirates’ total domination of the Tar Heels, that Carolina was bad in all three phases of the game.
“The film didn’t show many positives,” he said. “It was as bad as it looked. We played poorly in all three phases, we got outcoached all three phases. We have to do much better job—each and every person associated with this program, including myself.”
The Tar Heels have been sporadic through a 1-3 start on offense trying to break three new starters into the line and find a worthy replacement for Gio Bernard. Injuries have hurt at tailback, with Romar Morris missing Saturday’s game and freshman sensation T.J. Logan yet to see the field. The hope is that Logan will be ready within one or two weeks.
The defense appeared to be making strides following its first-half performance at Georgia Tech, but the unit has been hampered by the lack of bulk upfront and speed at the backend. That means they have to play perfectly—no missed assignments and no missed tackles.
“We are sound with our schemes,” Fedora said. “It’s not like we’re doing something that no one else has ever done, that we’ve just invented something and are throwing it out there. We as coaches have to do a better job making sure the kids understand what we’re trying to and keep it simple enough that they’re not having to think so much. Then the players are responsible for executing the plan.”
Fedora made one particularly impressive remark at his Monday news conference when asked about the urgency of recruiting and filling the roster with players he and his staff had hand-picked.
“I don’t want anyone to think these are not ‘my guys,’” he said. “These are my guys. They were last year and they are this year. We’re going to do what it takes to win with them right now.”