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Inside Carolina Interview with Vic Koenning

Inside Carolina interviewed UNC’s new associate head coach for defense, Vic Koenning covering a ton of technical details about the defensive schemes he prefers. Be sure to check out the whole Q&A here since it is very in-depth as to what kind of defense he has implemented in the past. I will note one particular answer Koenning gave as a refreshing change from the way the previous defensive staff was perceived.

But the plan is to take a look at your players and find the best fit for what you would like to do?

“We’re going to watch them work out and watch some film of last year and just try to make the best guesstimate we can. It’ll be a work in progress. What’s amazing this year is the same as it got to be at Clemson where the kids understood the package so well that we could do things even on the sidelines.

“The other day, late in the game, we put in a four-man rush that we haven’t run since about Week 4, but the kids remembered it and knew how to run it, and then went out there and got two sacks in the first three snaps that we ran that. It’s something that we need to teach them how to play football and we need to teach them not memorization, but teach them football and fundamentals. Here’s how you play leverages and here’s how you run angles and here’s how you tackle. You can’t practice half-speed or three-quarters speed even and play full speed. You have to practice full speed. We’ve had to teach that every stop I’ve ever been. I’m not saying anything about anything that’s happened here in the past, I’m just saying that’s been the norm for us having to teach that.”

Wait. Did Koenning just say late in Illinois’ bowl game he changed the defense to a package his team had not run since late September and not only did they players remember it but they executed it to the point it produced two sacks in three plays? You mean Koenning made an adjustment on the fly during the game and it worked? I am not sure UNC fans will quite know how to act if that is going to be the case in Chapel Hill.

The real takeaway here is clearly Koenning can teach his schemes and get the players to execute it during the game. He also talked about full speed practices and drilling fundamentals which I think is an area UNC lacked despite having the cupboard full of defensive talent. It will be interesting to see what Koenning and defensive coordinator Dan Disch does with the pool of players they inherit. Hopefully they can get the most out of them resulting in some instant improvement in the defense as a whole.

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