The start of classes will give the Tar Heels a brief reprieve from the rigorous tempo of the new offensive scheme — and the subsequently quickened pace of defensive play.
That doesn’t mean anybody is slowing down, though. In fact, Fedora wants the intensity to increase continually.
“The tempo and all those things won’t change at all,” Fedora said about practice after training camp. “If anything, we hope it gets faster as we go — as guys get accustomed to it and understand what we expect, we hope that it gets faster.”
The fall semester presents both a slate of 12 challenges on the field and countless challenges in the classroom. With all the recent controversy sounding the academic aspects of the athletic culture at North Carolina, issues of eligibility are not lost on the Tar Heels.
“You still have to know what you have to do on the field and now you’re adding on the off-field kind of things — school work and getting your grades right, being eligible of course,” said running back Giovani Bernard.
“For the most part, you have to approach it like every year. Just go into it with an open mind and spirit, it’ll work.”
The first of those 12 games is still nearly two weeks away, as the Tar Heels will kick off the season when Elon comes to Kenan Stadium Sept. 1. Until then, Fedora is looking for continued improvement in all areas of the game including, as expected, speed.
The end of training camp means the Tar Heels will start to work on things specific to upcoming opponents, but in reality, this North Carolina team has been looking forward to the Elon game since day one of Fedora’s time in Chapel Hill.
“September first — I mean, we’ve been talking about September first since (the new coaching staff) got here,” Bernard said.
“September first against Elon. We’re excited.”
For Reddick, the atmosphere created by his teammates is crucial to his team’s preparation for Sept. 1.
“I want to try to get better in practice, get more flexible, bend more coming off the edge,” he said.
“Just try to keep the intensity level going with all my teammates cause that’s what its all about.”
In Fedora’s mind, the Tar Heels still have plenty of work to do, but then again, he might never be fully satisfied.
“They’re never where I want them to be,” Fedora said. “That won’t happen on September first, or December whatever because I’m always going to expect us to be one more step, a little bit farther than we maybe can be.
“But that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to push for perfection and then we’ll see what we get.”
Contact the desk editor at email@example.com.