Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A few quick notes from the makeshift UNC football offices this morning and my visit with coach Butch Davis ...
First, the stadium and the football offices are in the midst of the first phase of renovations. The offensive staff meeting was going on just to the right of the elevator on the fourth floor. It's an addition and a renovation of the existing facility. They're adding a fifth floor and the coaches' offices and meeting rooms on the fourth floor are being renovated. More office space is also being created for a lot of the football support staff.
After spring practices are over, they'll start renovating the first and second floor. (The offensive linemen were a bit cramped.) The facilities are about 12 years old. Davis said some of it is cosmetic -- new carpets, drapes, wallpaper, etc. He said he hopes it's completed by the start of summer camp. Phase two is on hold for a year.
Davis said spring practices have been going well, and things are much easier now that he's entering his third season.
"The first spring was get to know the players, find out who can play where, what you inherit, how much talent is there," Davis said. "Spring two was, there was some position competition, still some holes that needed to be filled and you had to wait until the incoming freshmen got there to say, 'Gosh, I hope this guy can come in and play here.'
"Now, after going to spring three, the same is true -- there's really good position competition, but now a lot of the potential candidates to do the rebuilding are here. ... I don't have to totally rely on some freshmen coming in in August. ... We think we can solve a lot of the problems in-house with the players that are already here."
Davis said he moved Greg Elleby, who has spent the majority of his career as a backup defensive tackle, to offensive guard.
"He's made just an unbelievable transition in a short, four or five practices," Davis said. "He's done a very good job. He's hungry and eager to play and so that's kind of helped us create a little bit of in-house depth."
Davis said the four major objectives they're spending significant time on this spring are:
• Replace the whole receiving corps
• Replace the right side of the offensive line
• Replace Trimane Goddard and Mark Paschal on defense
• On special teams, replace Brandon Tate, who did all of the punt and kickoff returns, and Terrence Brown, the punter.