Clemson had a scrimmage this morning as part of a two-a-day practice session and it appears the offense had their best day yet. This following the worst practice of camp yesterday. Dabo said it was the best offensive day since he's been here. I don't know how much that is actually saying, but I do know that half the starting defense was sitting on the sidelines, and the normal worry that should ensue when the offense dominates the 2nd scrimmage isnt materializing for me. I had already heard that a flu bug was spreading through the team, specifically the D, so its not a big surprise. To my knowledge the next full scrimmage is Saturday. Fan Day is Sunday from 430-630.
- The defense had lost Christian, Thompson and Bashaud Breeland, along with Rennie Moore for his practice outburst last night. Other starters played lightly due to lingering nagging issues and this flu bug. Swinney pointed out that Sensabaugh and Garry Peters were the only ones who might grade out well when Steele looks at the film today.....hopefully more will survive his wrath.
DS: "Some of the veteran guys who bring that energy were out. So what was probably disappointing was some of the young guys didn’t step up. We have names. We have depth. The challenge right now is developing that dependable depth."
"I think that’s just a sign of our youth. The sun came up today, and it will come up tomorrow. I’ll assure you, this defensive staff, they’ll get these boys attention. We’ll be back out here Saturday and I’m sure we’ll see some more energy from that side of the ball."
Otherwise there wasn't much good to say about our defense this morning. Shatley and Barnes will have to step it up inside, and if Goodman played today I'd be saddened to hear he didnt grade well after having had such praise put on him so far.
- On offense, the word we are getting from practice is that Dabo is almost entirely hands off now. He used to interject himself into the installation with Billy, but he is letting Chad Morris do his thing at his pace now. The thought has occured to some that Dabo may have taken our criticism to heart, and decided to stay out of things on offense this time around. Hopefully it continues when the O struggles this year.
- Morris discussed his opinion on subbing OLinemen in and out of games, as in he doesnt do it at all unless he has to:
I don't like it, I want to stay with the same guy. Stay with them. That's the only way you build a cohesive unit. ... We like to find our five big guys and know that we've got to have them. If there's an injury or two, we've got to have guys fill in. But I don't like to make subs through the course of the game unless we just have to."
So it looks like the only way we'll build depth for next year is when we get ahead 50 points, or if Swinney forces the substitutions himself in situations. I still don't see how Price can lock down the LT spot before David Smith, and put Cloy on the field, but it looks like thats what we're going to see. Cloy will just spell McClain when he gets tired and/or doesnt feel like blocking, both of which will happen. I would expect us to option off the DE on Price's side quite a bit to give him some help against faster DLines as a result.
- At WR, if Watkins doesn't start vs Troy, someone might get lynched. Morris acknowledged that he has been the most impressive of them all. His explosiveness is blowing them away. Peake is ahead of Bryant now, which I find surprising given the extra year of coaching and development in a college-style program at Hargrave. They are still playing like freshmen however. Marquan Jones is still invisible, and Bryce McNeal has really started to assert himself among the group. If Bryce wasn't so tiny, and in competition with Watkins in the slot, I bet he would start. This offense uses 4 wide, but recall one is the Tailback set outside most of the time, so its really 3 wide. Hopkins, Watkins and Brown would probably start if we played Saturday, with Brown in the most trouble of losing his spot.
- Oh and Kerry Caps shows himself and compares Dabo to Danny, once again. Now you know never to read his articles because anyone who attempts legitimate comparison between God and Dat Boy is a moron.