CHARLOTTE--- North Carolina attempted to host a spring scrimmage Thursday night at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, but unfortunately for the UNC coaches and players---as well as the many Tar Heel fans onhand---the game had to be cancelled due to inclement weather.
Head coach Larry Fedora spoke with us after the cancellation.
On the disappointment of not being able to scrimmage......
"I'm disappointed. I don't know if the players are disappointed, but the coaches, we never like to miss a single rep. We were excited about getting up here, and I think the kids were excited also about getting in front of some fans and showing what they've learned at this point. It is disappointing, but it's something you can't control and one thing about the game of football you've got to be able to just."
Is this something you're going to continue to do each year?
"Yeah, I think so. I think we'll probably do more than one site. We'll probably do a couple of sites in the future. This kind of gives us a start."
Any idea when you'll reschedule this particular session?
"What we'll do most likely, I'm not going to put it in stone yet, but probably the Monday after the spring game probably we'll come back and get another practice in."
"For him the spread is something he's comfortable with; now learning the terminology and how we do things may be a little bit different, but natural ability and the things you see from him as far as his movement and extending plays and finding open receivers once he extends them he does a really nice job with that."
On the support from the UNC fans at Mallard Creek tonight......
"It's a shame that we didn't get to get out there for everybody that was here, but I think they enjoyed getting to go in and spend some time with the players and get a few autographs. Hopefully we made the best of it."
When you look at all the high schools around the state, why Mallard Creek?
"Oh, you know [it's] a pretty good area. They've got facilities here and that was big. Football is important here at Mallard Creek. We wanted to get to a school that was important and our fans could get to. You had to pick somewhere, so we picked this. We'll see what we do in the future."
Larry, there's not a lot of Charlotte kids on the roster. What about recruiting down here now for you and coming down here and doing something like this obviously?
"Well, we've got to do a great job in Charlotte. There's a lot of good football players in the Charlotte area, so we've made this a plan of emphasis that we've got to do a much better job in this area. We've got a lot of fan support in this area, so it just makes sense that the players in this area should stay at the University of North Carolina."
In this something that you did at Southern Miss?
Did you have a lot of success with it?
"Yeah, yeah, we did. It just depends what you're looking for. For us we wanted to get a 150 plays in here tonight. We didn't get to do that. The weather didn't permit that, but that's one thing you're trying to achieve, so you're still evaluating players."
"It's a road game for them (the players) if you think about it. They're getting on a bus, they're going on the road and they're having to put their pads on and then practice, so it gets them into a game mode mentality of going on the road."
"And then it gives your fans an opportunity to see really where they are in that area, because we're practicing Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A lot of them work and don't have an opportunity to come see a practice. This would be a first time that they would have an opportunity, so in the past it has been successful."
How does this help you get out your brand, and how does it attract some of the top recruiting?
"Anytime people are talking about the University of North Carolina that's a good thing, and it's helping to create a positive buzz around the state no matter where we are. You hope people are putting it on Facebook, they're tweeting, they're seeing it on all of the websites that we were in Charlotte, that we were at Mallard Creek High School. They'll talk about the weather. We didn't get to go, but the fans that were here were probably excited that they got to spend some time with the players. They got to get autographs. You just make the best of it."
You joked around about the players maybe not being excited about the 150 plays, but were they excited to get on the road and play in front of some fans?
"I think they were excited about it. I'm just kidding (about them not wanting to scrimmage). I promise you those guys wanted to get out there and play today. They wanted to get out there and get after it. They prefer scrimmaging a whole lot more than just normal practices, and then to be able to have the opportunity to do it front of fans that makes it a lot of fun."
On what has impressed him most about the team so far this spring......
"Probably their attitudes. The kids have bought in. There's no reluctance to what we're doing. You can look at a lot of different schools around the country, and in transition you see a lot of problems."
"You see a lot of kids leaving, a lot of kids going elsewhere. Fortunately for us at this point we haven't had that problem. Kids have bought into what we're doing. They're excited about it. I think they're glad to have some stability in the program, and they haven't had that in the last couple of years."
Early on in the spring the change of pace in practice was a bit of a shock to players. How are they adjusting to do that?
"Just the workload itself not only the pace in practice, but the amount of reps you get in practice is different. It's something that they're not used to."
"The first thing that happens is you get fatigue and then you have soft tissue injuries and things that hurt more than they normally hurt, so you got guys having to try to overcome all of those problems and at the same time learn something that's totally new to them and do it at a very fast tempo while people are yelling at them the whole time. It's fun and then it's not fun if that makes sense."
On expectations for the quarterback position......
"The number one thing they've got to be able to lead this football team, and two they've got to be able to take care of the ball. If they do those two things alone they'll give us a chance to win."