Fedora Looking for Production at QB

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Quarterbacks Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky alternated days working with the ones during spring practice. That rotation pattern has continued into North Carolina’s first two days of training camp.

Williams, who posted a 4-2 record in six starts last season, took the first-team snaps on Friday, while Trubisky, a red-shirt freshman, took the reps with the ones on Saturday morning.

With roughly four weeks before the season opener against Liberty, UNC head coach Larry Fedora is focused on one primary qualification in determining a starter.

“It’s going to be who makes the offense most productive,” Fedora told reporters at UNC’s media day on Saturday. “There’s no doubt about it. It’s going to be who’s the most productive player on the field and who makes the offense most productive. And then on top of that, it’s going to be who leads this team the best. Those are two major factors for us, but production is still going to be No. 1.”

Trubisky provided insight into the coaching staff’s definition of production, highlighting ball security and explosive plays as critical components to winning the job.

Both quarterbacks spent the offseason working on different aspects of the their games. Williams has worked on his mechanics, learning from the nation’s best at the George Whitfield quarterback camp in the spring and then at the Manning Passing Academy in July.

Williams indicated that he’s focused on staying on his toes, getting his left shoulder rotated through and delivering the football. And possibly most important, he’s stressed not being lazy on any throw, as his upper body strength has lulled him into throwing off his back foot at times throughout his career.

For Trubisky, his emphasis has been studying film, learning opposing defenses while fine-tuning his understanding of Fedora’s offense scheme. The Mentor, Ohio native has also cultivated his leadership abilities.

“I’m getting a little more comfortable with being vocal,” Trubisky said. “I think that’s one of the big things the coaches wanted me to do coming in and trying to play quarterback. Quarterback is a leadership role, and stepping into that role, I’ve got to be more vocal. I know the guys can count on me and my voice to possibly lead this team.”

As far as the intensity level between the two quarterbacks, it’s been status quo thus far, according to Williams.

“It’s been the same as spring,” Williams said. “There’s no difference. It’s just competition. That’s what we’re going to do… I don’t want anything handed to me.”

Fedora said he doesn’t feel rushed to make a decision for chemistry purposes because both quarterbacks are getting enough reps to settle in.

“The guys up front, the running backs, the receivers – they don’t worry about who’s there,” Fedora said. “They’re just playing, and right now, I’d say they’re doing a great job of that. I think they all feel confident with either kid that’s back there.”

When asked about the timing of a possible decision, Fedora played coy.

“The game’s on the 30th, right?” Fedora asked. “We’ve got to make a decision that morning sometime, I would imagine. We’ve got to put somebody out there for that first snap.”

 

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