The Tigers and Dabo Swinney worked through a situational scrimmage Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to focus on some weak areas exposed last season. A situational scrimmage is essentially a practice highlighted by a series of individual scenarios throughout the practice. One such scenarios was a 3rd and short situation in which the offense would utilize both downs to try to get the first down (similar to the plight the Tigers faced in the ACCCG last December). This practice was open to the media and officiated by none other than Ron Cherry and crew.
Swinney was upbeat (as most coaches generally are) about his team at this point in the Spring. Most everyone has commented on the improvement of the wide receiver position so far and how dominant the defensive line is at this point. Without actually seeing it, I remain skeptical of the pass catchers until proven otherwise but really hope that these reports are on point and there will be multiple legitimate receiving threats come September. Again, I will caution the readers to take Spring reports and assessments very critically for several reasons...(hit the jump for more)
These reasons include overwhelming optimism by the coaches to keep the players upbeat and the lack of true in-game situations seen in inter-squad scrimmages and at practice. Again, the Spring is a good time to work on fundamentals and the basics regarding scheme as the group heads into summer. I try not to read too much into football items in March/April but do get excited any time football (specifically Clemson football) is mentioned.
So, what else are we hearing. First off, Chad Diehl is still a beast. He has bulked up more over the Winter and doesn't have an ounce of fat on his body. This is an area that we really appreciated last season. Needless to say, let's get in a two back set and run the dang football!
Otherwise, the defensive line is reloaded and ready to go. Clemson is flush with experienced talent on the defensive front and should be in great shape here. We obviously are excited to see this group get after it and really believe with the talent and depth we have here that Clemson should have an advantage here throughout '10 (especially with some improved technique in several areas, including maintaining a low pad level and utilizing good leverage positioning at the snap of the ball) and hope these guys stay after it on each and every down.
Dr B's main man, Rashard Hall, is still keeping it real, showing off his hard hitting abilities and ability to hunt down the football. Interestingly, Spencer Adams is getting some work at the corner spot now. This (IMO temporary) move occured possibly because of the two starting CB's lost to graduation and the need to fill such roles in passing situations. Either way, this secondary is on pace to be a pretty dang good one. If we can shore up the LB position (and Corico Hawkins appears to be impressing folks to date), the Tigers should be able to dictate games through Kevin Steele's strategy. If defense is your thing, the P&C put together their take on the five guys to watch (filling voids defensively) this Spring here.
One last note involves the offensive line. The coaches have been high on David Smith to this point. David has been plugged in at various spots and has caught a few eyes moving forward. While we really aren't excited about the revolving door up front offensively, any quality snaps we can get here are appreciated. Here is Greg Wallace's take on the matter (click here).
This one I just had to share. The guys over at G&B chat about the Old Ball Coach installing closed circuit television on Steve Garcia's dome. I am interested in seeing how this experiment works out down in C-Town. This sounds like an XFL idea, but heck, it is worth a shot.
In baseball news, the Tigers gave one away last night to Elon last night, blowing an 8-4 lead in the 5th while committing five (5) errors on the night (including Miller's 13th on the season). Doc hit on this one after the VT series...Clemson has to do a better job fielding the baseball. Little things add up quickly; needless to say, five errors in one game is unacceptable and will single handedly lose you ball games. On the flip side, Kyle Parker kept up his strong start with another jack Tuesday night (giving him 10 HR's so far) in a two hit effort.
Wednesday night's result was no better for the Tigers, as Elon swept the series with a 4-3 victory over the Tigers, not exactly what you want against a previously struggling Elon squad at BTF.
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