football Edit

What Are Carolina's Strengths & Weaknesses? Ask Mack

Michael Carter and the running backs are the strength of the Tar Heels, Mack Brown said in Charlotte.
Michael Carter and the running backs are the strength of the Tar Heels, Mack Brown said in Charlotte. (Jenna Miller, THI)

CHARLOTTE – So what does Mack Brown think about his football team two weeks before fall camp commences?

Allow him to speak for himself.

Brown was asked about his team’s strengths and weaknesses during the ACC Kickoff on Thursday, and the first-year, second-term, North Carolina coach proceeded to run through each position group sans quarterback. As he noted, that group has been discussed quite a bit, including at another time Thursday.

To paraphrase his thoughts about the QBs: He likes the trio of redshirt freshmen Jace Ruder and Cade Fortin along with true freshman Sam Howell. If Brown has an idea who may start versus South Carolina in the season opener on Aug. 31, he isn’t showing that hand. The truth is that is a three-man battle the staff would like trim to a two-man race, at least, by the first game. Young and talented and he would have recruited each of them at Texas if he was still the coach there.

Now on to the rest of the team:

Running Back

“The strength of this team right now would be running backs. To me, all three are really good. You take Michael Carter, (he’s) so fast in space, Javonte Williams I think may be a superstar. He’s 220 pounds and can fly. And then you take Mr. (Antonio) Williams, he can do everything. He’s special teams tough, he’s a leader, he’s the guy for everything we do.”

Offensive Line

“Offensive line to me has got to get tougher, just their mentality. There’s some talent there, but they gotta get tougher.”

Tight End

“Tight ends will be a strength. I think they can run and play.”

Wide Receiver

“Wide receiver can be (but) I don’t think we’re there yet. We’ve got a few. Dazz (Newsome) has been really good, but we’ve got to catch balls… and we’ve got to make sure we get free in space. People will bump us some and try to take that away.”

Defensive Line

“Defensive line is really good with the first group (but) there’s no depth. We’ve got to develop depth. That’s such a key.”


“Linebacker, to me, is all over the place a little bit. You’ve got young guys that are talented but nobody’s really – you’ve got (true freshman) Eugene Asante coming in there but I haven’t seen them all play yet. You’ve got Chazz Surratt that’s new. A quarterback playing linebacker. You’ve got a freshman in Khadry Jackson, (sophomore Jeremiah) Gemmel’s good, he’s got to get stronger. Dominique Ross is a really good pass rusher (but) he’s got to get better in space.”


“And then in the secondary, I think we’re going to be good, we’ve just got to figure out who one of the corners is going to be. Patrice (Rene) is playing really well. You’ve got the other safeties I think we’ll be fine with (Myles) Wolfolk and especially with Myles Dorn, but we’ve got to find the other pieces – the next pieces that we haven’t seen yet.”

Kicking Game

“And then you’ve got a brand new kicking game. And I didn’t even mention quarterback, we’ve talked about them a lot.”

In Closing

“I think we have a chance. We’ve got to do a great job coaching. This isn’t on the players as much as it is us, I think. There’s enough stuff there. We’ve got to develop depth and we’ve got to put the ball in the right players’ hands and we’ve got to call the right stuff on defense to help these guys.”