CHARLOTTE — Mack Brown will be the one putting together scouting reports for the North Carolina football team this season. But when it comes to giving the Tar Heels a scouting report on what to expect from their new/old coach, Myles Dorn has been he go-to information source for his interested.
That’s because the senior safety has inside information on what it’s like to play for Brown, since his father Torin Dorn, played for the Hall of Famer during his first tenure in Chapel Hill two decades ago.
“He told me what it was off the real, what to expect,” Myles said Thursday at the ACC’s Football Kickoff media event. “He told me (Brown) was going to tell you the truth, whether you like it or not. He told me he’s going to be hard, but he’s going to give you what you need. And he’s done that. He hasn’t changed at all.”
As tight a ship as Brown might run on the practice field and during organized team activities, he’s played the role of involved grandfather figure in other areas to help earn his players’ trust and respect.
Offensive tackle Charlie Heck even said that the 67-year-old coach is “very hip.”
Brown and his wife regularly eat lunch at the training table with the players and he’s actively sought out their input on subjects as the redesign of their locker room and lounge facility at Kenan Stadium.
He’s also dazzled them with the large national championship ring he won while coach Texas in 2005 — even though he insists he only brings it out for special occasions.
“The first day I saw him on the elevator alone, he pulled it out of his pocket and showed me,” Dorn said. “It’s there, he’s done it, he’s seen it. Just knowing that he’s done it, when he tells us we can do it, that’s motivation because he knows what it takes and that’s big.”
Dark side of the moon: This weekend is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and Duke coach David Cutcliffe is one of the few ACC coaches old enough to remember it.
“I was 15 years old,” he said, “and we had this 13-inch black and white television in our living room.
While Cutcliffe was excited and watching, as was his sister, his parents weren’t as enthusiastic.
“My mother was in the kitchen,” he said. “They just weren’t interested in it.”
In fact, Cutcliffe’s father, who the coach said would die a short time later, was more than just uninterested.
“I remember, he said, ‘This isn’t a good thing,’” Cutcliffe recalled. “He said, ‘God didn’t intend for man to be on the moon.’ It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in the moon landing. He thought we went there. He just said, ‘Something bad will happen because of it.’”
Coastal chaos: The ACC’s preseason poll won’t be announced until Monday. But there’s a good chance that Virginia, coming off an impressive Belk Bowl win against South Carolina with dynamic quarterback Bryce Perkins back for his senior year, will be the pick to win the Coastal Division.
If that happens and the Cavaliers do go on to win the title, it will complete a remarkable run that has already seen six different teams win the division in the last six years.
Virginia is the only school without a title during a stretch that began in 2013 with Duke making its first ever appearance in the ACC Championship Game — followed by Georgia Tech in 2014, UNC in 2015, Virginia Tech in 2016, Miami in 2017 and Pittsburgh last season.
“Any time you’re part of a conference, the goal is to win the conference championship,” Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “Yes, it would be nice for us to clean up this nice little package of now us being the seventh team, the seventh different team to win the Coastal. It doesn’t always work like that. That will happen when we earn it, when we play well enough for that to happen.
‘We have as good a chance as anyone on our side of the division to win this league. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that. Now, doing that is the next part. So we’re optimistic, we’re excited, but also acknowledge the challenge. It hasn’t been done for a while for UVA. That would make it that much more gratifying if we are the team to be able to do that.”
‘Catching’ on quickly: Being a wide receiver at Georgia Tech used to be a lonely job under former coach Paul Johnson with his run-heavy option office. But things have changed now that new coach Geoff Collins is in charge.
No one is happier about the Yellow Jackets’ switch to a “multiple offense,” then the team’s wide receivers.
“We’re probably one of the most excited groups on the team,” said Jalen Camp, who started 11 games last season, but caught just 11 passes — the second highest total on the eam. “Just for the basis of a receiver, it doesn’t really change too much because basically as a receiver you’re asked to catch the ball and block. That doesn’t really change regardless of the offense that you’re in. But wth this offense, we kind of focused on coming out of spring footwork and releases and things of that nature.”