Sunday, July 24, 2011

Offensive line could be a strength for Heels

PINEHURST --  As a member of North Carolina’s off-injured offensive line two years ago, Jonathan Cooper always wanted to believe things would get better up front, “but I don’t know if we ever thought we would be projected as well as we are now.”
Indeed, the Tar Heels – who have steadily improved after struggling to both open running holes, and protect the quarterback early in 2009 because of youth and injuries -- begin practice on August 5 boasting a front line that is now one of its biggest strengths.
“This offensive line can be the best one Carolina has had in years,’’ UNC defensive lineman Tydreke Powell predicted Sunday at the ACC Kickoff.
The difference is experience. Cooper, a junior guard, headlines a position group that returns two other starters (center Cam Holland and tackle James Hurst), plus guard Travis Bond, who started four games last season. Combined, foursome has started 58 career games – leading to both continuity and confidence.
“Part of it is being healthy, and part of it is knowing our assignments,’’ Cooper said. “I think there were times [in the past] when we were just happy to get into our guys [assignments] some of the time, but now we’re going for perfection, because we know we have the athletes and the guys to do it.”
Boasting a veteran line will be key to an offense that replaces four-year quarterback T.J. Yates (more than 40 school records) with sophomore Bryn Renner (two career passes), and that also lost its three top rushers from last season.
“We have size, speed and strength,’’ Cooper said, “…and I think we can set the tone.”
- Robbi Pickeral


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"projected as well as we are now"

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, everything within kenan stadium these days is one big joke after another but the funniest joke of all will be watching a half empty stadium this fall. you people suck!!