Fans of North Carolina football want a consistent contender, and they want it now, but I have a simple message for all of you, it’s not going to happen as fast as you want it. The Tar Heels are a talented team and I understand the absolutely dire desire to see a perennial top 25 team on the field. Like it or not UNC fans, the worst exercise ever is something that needs to be practiced and that’s patience with this program.
Larry Fedora is installing two systems that most of these players have never played in before, on the defensive side of the ball it’s safe to say that most of them never even heard of this type of defensive scheme. I am a huge NFL fan and I’ve heard over and over that it takes at least one year before a team can really hit the ground running when a new coaching staff comes in.
Those are professionals who have far more experience picking up a playbook and understanding a system. But it’s not just picking up the new system, a couple other very important factors are at work here. Fedora inherited a team of players he did not recruit and unlike the pro’s he cannot simply release a bunch of guys that don’t fit into what he does and pick up players familiar with the system in free agency.
This is a building process, Fedora has proven so far that he is on the right track on the recruiting front, he needs time to build his team and that’s going to take a couple of years if not longer. Next is the stigma around this program, again this isn’t the NFL, nobody is working with a salary cap and a draft slotting system set up to help teams who are down. Fedora not only inherited a program that will provide him with less scholarships to offer thanks to the mess that is the NCAA scandal that earned the program sanctions. He has to convince elite players that UNC is the right program for them despite these concerns.
Basketball is UNCs sport, not football, this isn’t Roy Williams taking over for Matt Dougherty here. Fedora has to change the culture at the University, the mindset of prospects and the opinions of those around college football. That is a daunting list of responsibilities for a new head coach who is also oh by the way trying to coach a team to victory every Saturday.
Has Fedora been perfect? No. Has he been horrible? Absolutely not. On Saturdays I understand yelling at the TV at the puzzling calls in the red zone, screaming WHY after all the penalties the team racks up on a week to week basis. Wondering why in the world they aren’t calling more blitz packages and why they seem content to let the below average secondary try and cover the oppositions receivers for an hour on every down.
But after the game is over remember this, Rome wasn’t built in a day and Carolina wouldn’t become a contender in a year I don’t care who the coach is.