CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Although the regular season is still a long ways off, Larry Fedora has no intentions of letting up on physicality during spring season workouts.
It looked physical out here earlier, is there a limit to how often you’re physical in spring to keep players safe?
“The only time we don’t want them to be physical is when we’re just in helmets. Anytime we have shoulder pads on we’re gonna be physical in everything we do. That doesn’t mean we’re always taking people to the ground, but we’re gonna be physical. You can’t play this game without being physical. We only go live three times during the spring. For the spring game and the two other scrimmages are the only time we really go live. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not gonna be physical your practices. Anytime you’re competing and going offense against the defense, you still have to be physical in what you do. It may not be full speed live, and you may not be taking a guy to the ground, but you’re still going to be physical.”
Have any guys stood out to you early in the spring?
“It’s still early. We’ve got a bunch of guys that are playing hard. We’ve got a bunch of guys—I’m impressed with all eight of those young guys that have come in and how quickly they’ve picked things up. They’re eager to be good football players.”
Elijah Hood was running around really well, is he being slowed down by anything besides contact?
“I promise you that Elijah is working as hard as anybody else out there on the field. You don’t have to ever worry about that with him, I assure you.”
Do you like what you’ve seen with your linebacker group?
“I think we’ve got a bunch of guys that are fighting their butt off, and they’re competing. They’ve still got a ways to go. I don’t know that we’re gonna have the leadership from that group that we did last year, because of the two guys that we had there, but we’ve got some really athletic guys that can run, and it’s been really interesting to watch them compete on a daily basis for those spots. We’ve got some great competition there.”
How much time does it take to discover a team’s identity?
“It’ll be in the fall camp. The chemistry of this team and the bond that these guys are gonna build, that’s happening all spring. But that’s still gonna go through the summer and through fall camp. You’ve got to have some adversity to figure out who you are. All of that’s still coming. It’s still coming. Then we’ll figure out the identity of your football team. We try to make them as uncomfortable as possible, and hopefully they will become comfortable being uncomfortable. If they do that, then we’ve got a good chance.”
Who is your offensive leader right now?
“I’d say right now that Mitch (Trubisky) has stepped up. Actually, T.J. (Logan) has stepped up and done some good things. (Caleb) Peterson, our left guard, has really stepped up and probably come farther than anybody in that role, I’d say.”
How’s it been getting some of your offensive linemen healthy again?
“It’s been good, because we finally have some depth over there. All those guys are competing hard. Pretty much every one of them understands, because they were all over here last year, so we’ve got a little experience on that side of the ball over there on the offensive line. That group’s probably—they feel pretty comfortable right now.”