A few tidbits from Gene Chizik during an interview with 103.7 The Buzz out of Arkansas prior to the Broyles Award ceremony.
Chizik says the first time Larry Fedora called to offer him the defensive coordinator job at UNC, he turned it down.
I originally told him no. I can't do it. I've got a great gig in radio and TV and I'm just not really ready to come back right now you know and maybe never. I cruised off on a seven day cruise at Christmas time. I came back and he called me again and said " Man, I've got to give it one more shot. What's the deal?" So we started talking and it was just apparent to me after I really evaluated everything what was the potential of North Carolina. They were always scoring points so as a defensive coordinator that's a good thing. I just felt like if we could improve even a third, a 30% improvement in scoring defense. Because bottom line is scoring defense, I don't care how you slice it all other stuff doesn't matter, it's how many points are you giving up.
So evaluating that, evaluating the talent. Evaluating the scenario of what is the possibility of us really getting that much better on defense and allowing us to win nine games. I thought it was a great fit. Here we are nine months later and we've won 11 games already.
Chizik said the only film he watched from last season was the final four games of 2014. In those games he was looking for which players quit after the season went south. As he notes, there was some "good, bad and ugly" in that footage. Not surprising since the final four games included the losses to NC State and Rutgers.
On Deshaun Watson, Chizik put him in the same company with Cam Newton and Vince Young, two players he saw up close and personal as the defensive coordinator at Texas in 2005 and head coach at Auburn in 2010.