Ten days after news broke that defensive line coach John Blake would resign from the program, UNC has brought in former Buffalo Bills assistant Charlie Coiner.
Coach Butch Davis had indicated last week that there were no plans to fill the void left by Blake during the season, but evidently that opinion has changed.
Prior to working with the Bills, Coiner spent time on the Chicago Bears staff while current UNC offensive coordinator John Shoop held the same position with the Bears.
Coiner also became acquainted with defensive coordinator Everett Withers and secondary coach Troy Douglas while working as a graduate assistant at Appalachian State.
Obviously, the connections with several of the current staff and ties to the area helped Coiner land the job at UNC.
Coiner may have limited experience in coaching the defensive line, but the coaches around him have seen his adaptability to new challenges in the past. He will begin working with the unit this week but has little time to prepare before the home opener this weekend against Georgia Tech.
The defensive line is crucial to effectively defending Georgia Tech's triple option attack. The quarterback in this offense reads the defensive ends on nearly every play to determine whether to pitch the ball or not. Thankfully, the team has had nearly 10 days to game-plan already, and Coiner will continue to emphasize the urgency and importance of assignment defense.
Coiner will also face a depleted stable of talent, as the UNC Athletic Department has yet to make any more comment about the eligibility of linemen Robert Quinn, Michael McAdoo, and Linwan Euwall. Defensive tackle Marvin Austin remains under an indefinite suspension imposed by Coach Davis.
During the bye week, Greg Elleby was moved to the defensive line for more depth. Elleby was recruited for defense out of high school but played last season and in the game against LSU at offensive guard. After playing nine different offensive linemen in the opener, UNC has a much greater need on the defensive line.
The staff hopes that Coiner will help make the most out of those who are eligible.