Mack Brown met with the media Monday following UNC’s 63-61 win over Appalachian
State and talked about the defense, penalties, and more over the course of 40 minutes. Brown was disappointed with the fact that the Heels were unable to close the game and was insistent that the team has much to work on, “we messed up everything you can mess up and still won.” Brown talked about the need for improvement but likes the learning experience the game brought for his young players. Talking specifically about the defense Brown said, “They aren’t playing with much confidence.” He talked about his keys to playing good defense, which included stopping the run, something the Heels did not do well, giving up 288 yards rushing, and explosive plays, the Heels gave up 21, which Brown called, “ridiculous.” Brown also talked in length about tackling, saying that they have to do better.
On the offensive side of the ball, Brown talked about Drake Maye, saying that they have
to get him smarter about getting down and out of bounds. Brown also mentioned that he did
not know how good Maye could be, as practice does not always transition to games. Brown
also said that Maye is “smart, savvy, and accurate.” 3 traits that are important, if not critical for
a QB. Brown was proud of the young receivers, especially Kobe Paysour and J.J. Jones.
Brown talked about the need to fix the immature actions of his players. “We had a
young freshman running around taunting them on the onside kick! And he doesn’t talk!” Brown also mentioned his players celebrating after a Cedric Gray pick with the fans instead of getting back on the sidelines. Brown talked about penalties at length saying that without them they get off the field on four App State drives that were touchdowns. Here are a few takeaways from the many things Brown said.
1. Brown Was Upset at the Team for the Penalties
Brown showed frustration several times over the course of the press conference on the
many penalties the team gave up. Specifically, the penalties that extended drives. That’s rare for the coach as he is usually cool and collected. And it shows how much he wants to fix what has become a nagging problem for the program.
2. Brown Guaranteed Improvement on the Defense
Brown expressed the need for improvement on defense and guaranteed it, saying “we
will improve” multiple times during the press conference. This will be something to look
forward to and watch moving forward.
3. Brown Really Likes Kobe Paysour
Brown always says next man up, and Kobe Paysour was an example of that on Saturday,
Brown was proud of Paysour, saying that he did all the right things in the right situations even
though he had not played. Keep an eye out for Kobe Paysour as a potential top receiver this
Brown has said that the team needed a road win, which they got on Saturday against
App State. Looking forward, the Heels will play Georgia State on Saturday in a game that
Carolina fans will be paying attention to see if the defense can improve before the bye week
that will follow.