"Up and down. It's good work. It's a tough camp. I think there was some good turnover and recollection from the spring that carried through the summer. When they reported for fall, they were pretty well prepared. Now you've got your base offense in and starting to build from that. The thing about it that's good is that you see a lot of different things in practice, which gives us a lot of things to work on. We just want to get healthy. We need to get healthy."
What are the significant changes between what offensive linemen have to do in this offense versus the pro-style offense that UNC has run in previous years? Is it as big of a change as some might suggest?
"First of all, that myth goes back to when Texas Tech was the only team running a spread and you had guys with eight-foot splits backpedaling. That's not what we are. We're really running a lot of the same plays everybody else in the country is, we're just going at it a different way. Our difference is the tempo we play at. All of our kids, when we first got here, had those same thoughts and now they see all of the linemen that have been in this offense and the different places that they've gone on to play and it's not an issue.
"The adjustment is playing fast. You have to be in shape and you have to be able to recognize a defense and make a call quickly. You have to process the plays and make your calls and move as opposed to being in a huddle, hear a play, process it, jog to the line and have time to think about it. You don't have that time [in this offense], so you really have to be a master of your technique and your assignments."
Is the pace of play the primary issue for the younger linemen?
"That is the big issue. It happens fast. You don't have a lot of time to think. Depending on what tempo we're working – some are faster than others – you've just got to be able to make a decision and go with it. You have to be able to adjust on the move, so that's the biggest difference. You get veterans like [Jonathan] Cooper and some of those guys that have been doing these same plays with the previous staff, but now you're doing it at a fast tempo. There's an adjustment to it."
You've got some known quantities working with the first unit, but how are some of the other guys performing that are filling out the depth chart?
"We're looking for consistency and we haven't had that. It's kind of up and down. Peyton Jenest has been very solid. He will find a way into the lineup somewhere. He's a solid center, whether he's the backup or the starter and he can play guard for us. After that, you're looking for Kiaro Holts to be more consistent. He's showed signs; he's up and down. Landon Turner, you want him to be consistent. He's up and down. The young kids – Caleb Peterson, [John] Ferranto and [Jon] Heck – have all shown some good signs. J.J. Patterson is a talented kid – just picking it up is a little bit different for him. We're just trying to find some guys that will be consistent. There are signs – David Collins, Nick Appel – but nobody is consistent."
What's the benefit of having talented veterans like Cooper and James Hurst in helping with their less experienced teammates?
"It's invaluable. It's the ‘been there, done that.' They have instant credibility. I'm running the meetings in practice, but they're around them when they're not with me. Those older guys take pride in teaching those young kids. The thing I like is when we're watching film and one of those young kids does something well, those guys take pride in knowing they had a hand in that. That's huge. That's huge for camaraderie, also. It's big to have that experience there and those guys have confidence to be able to show it on the field and be able to talk to the young guys about it."
Coach Fedora talked to us earlier about the importance of having versatile players along the lines, guys that can move between guard and tackle like a Travis Bond. How critical is that aspect in helping with depth?
"It's huge because if we had a solid 10, then you wouldn't have to worry about that, but we're not there right now. Our first projected five has not been on the field together since probably the second practice of spring – still. And that's the thing I wish we could get to. But the thing we're getting out of that is great experience for everybody. Sometimes you've got to have one or two guys that have been through the fire that can play a couple of positions and you know that if somebody goes down, you can slide them in there and he's not going to panic and knows what's expected."
Cooper is a guy that's played a little bit in his career at center. Is he a guy that you're willing to move around or do you like him at left guard?
"I like him where he's at. That's an emergency situation, but we're trying to groom three or four of those guys. I want Cooper to be that guy at guard and be able to help the centers and tackles when he needs to and just lock in that position."