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Peter King on the UNC Coaching Staff

ACC Now has this quote from Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who in the course of his Monday analysis of the NFL weekend took at shot at John Bunting:

The stupidity of the former University of North Carolina coaching staff that buried Willie Parker on the depth chart is on display every time he runs the ball. If you didn't play Parker, Tar Heels braintrust, you obviously had Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson ahead of him.

Let me first say that it is complete unecessary to broach the topic of Willie Parker when there are so many other actions this coaching staff has taken which illustrates their stupidity. And while I may not be a fan of the present coaching staff(though I am withholding judgement on Frank Cignetti) I do think this is tatamount to a drive-by shooting from a member of the media. It also should be noted that King does not cover college football and probably has paid very little attention to UNC football or Willie Parker prior to last season when he exploded in the NFL. Not that it upsets me that much but I find it a little disingenious on King's part since there is no way he took the time to research the details surrounding Parker's lack of production at UNC. While Parker was at UNC there were issues with poor blocking from the offensive line as well as the general offensive scheme was simply not tailored for Parker. I also remember some rumblings that Parker did not perform well in practice and the fact he did not even see the field in his last game against Duke makes me think he was in the doghouse. Did Bunting do an inadequate job cultivating Parker's talent while he wore Carolina blue? That is entirely possible but may not be totally to blame for what happened.

There is a lot to be said for players finding the right fit when they get to the NFL and blossoming under a certain kind of coaching. And while I do not have the time to research it right now I am sure there are plenty of cases where college players underperform and then become stars in the NFL. Aside from that Parker went undrafted which means no one in the NFL thought he was worth anything either. Now I do not know whether or not he participated in draft combines but it should be noted that NFL scouts, who get paid to find the diamonds in the rough, did not recognize Parker as someone worth drafting so in that way the alleged stupidity of the UNC staff in this matter extends a bit into the NFL. In other words King's assessment is somewhat simplistic and illogical in that he is assuming just because a player excels in the NFL it automatically means he should have done so in college. My problem with that premise is it is based entirely on the NFL performance and does not take into account any of the aforementioned factors which were obvious issues during his UNC days.

All that being said, Parker's NFL success is a head scratcher and does give Tar Heel Fan pause to wonder why we did not see this level of performance at UNC. Then again just chalk it up as another in a long list of things that have not gone well for UNC football since 1997.