Fedora ready for pace to quicken
CHAPEL HILL North Carolina on Saturday held its second scrimmage of the preseason – a sign that the official end of the Tar Heels’ training camp is near. Not that UNC coach Larry Fedora expects things to slow down.
“The tempo and all those things won’t change at all,” Fedora said of how practice might change once classes begin this week.
“If anything, we hope it gets faster as we go, you know, as guys become accustomed to [our system] and understand what we expect we hope that it gets faster.”
The Tar Heels will practice on Sunday and Monday before taking off Tuesday, which is the first day of classes at UNC.
The team will resume practicing on Wednesday, and then will attempt to settle into its in-class routine.
As classes begin, the Heels’ focus will eventually turn to game preparation for the Sept. 1 season-opener against Elon. Fedora said he would finalize the depth chart a few days before that game, which leaves about a week and a half for players to earn starting positions.
In the meantime, UNC is perhaps entering the most difficult part of the preseason, when time seems to drag on.
“You really get tired of hitting each other, your teammates,” Fedora said.
What position(s) for Connette?
DURHAM When David Cutcliffe announced that Brandon Connette was no longer the backup quarterback, he didn’t specify a new position for the redshirt sophomore. Turns out Connette can’t give a simple answer either.
“I don’t even know,” he said with a laugh when asked what he calls his position.
Here’s what is known: In Duke’s second scrimmage, Connette caught a 15-yard pass from Sean Renfree in traffic for a touchdown before he lined up in the backfield and took his only carry 36 yards for another score. Cutcliffe had said that Connette would be all over – tight end, running back, under center in a wildcat package and at receiver – and that proved to be true.
When TE Braxton Deaver and WR Blair Holliday went down with what will likely be season-ending injuries, Connette realized that the Blue Devils would need him to take more reps at receiver. So, he and Renfree worked over the summer on running routes and catching passes.
In 2010, the most recent full season Connette played (he redshirted last year after sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury in the second game against Stanford), he would often come in for Renfree once the offense entered the red zone, and his eight rushing touchdowns set a freshman record. Connette said the experience at quarterback will still serve him well, as he knows what the entire offense does on each play.