Jonathan Cooper was wondering how North Carolina would do in its first football practice after last week's firing of coach Butch Davis. Cooper, a junior center, quickly learned the answer Friday afternoon. North Carolina had an enthusiastic workout to begin preparations for the 2011 season and showed little initial strain making the transition to interim coach Everett Withers.
Tar Heels have first practice under Withers
The Winston-Salem Journal
Running a college practice for the first time as a head coach Friday, Everett Withers made the rounds through his charges as they went through stretching exercises.
Withers greeted player after player with a smile and a fist bump until he came to junior offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, who left his coach's right fist hanging and embraced him in a bear hug instead.
Smiles and playful whoops ensued, which is something the Tar Heels sorely needed now that practices for this football season have arrived.
Withers, Tar Heels get back to work
The Durham Herald-Sun
The past week has been hard on Lilly Sapp. But despite the turmoil that rocked her beloved North Carolina football program, Sapp made the drive from Martinsville, Va., to be there Friday as the Tar Heels began preseason practice.
Withers, Tar Heels begin preseason practice
The Fayetteville Observer
After weeks of tumult, North Carolina's football program veered back into somewhat familiar territory Friday afternoon as the Tar Heels took the field for their first official preseason practice.
Tar Heels open practice, try to return focus to football field
The Burlington Times-News
Last year, North Carolina's Everett Withers spent all of his time on the practice field with the defense - concentrating on the secondary, with the offense mostly an afterthought.
So Friday, during his first official workout as the Tar Heels' interim coach, North Carolina's former defensive coordinator admitted there were moments when he didn't know where to put his focus.
Withers welcomes first Heels practice
The Charlotte Observer
Only one face is different, the man with the whistle, interim coach Everett Withers. Butch Davis is gone, and nothing is going to change that for North Carolina.
Really, though, with or without Davis, what has actually changed for the Tar Heels?
Gentlemen, we can rebuild them: Tar Heels post-Davis
The Charlotte Observer