Clemson completed their first scrimmage of the preseason today (ignore most of the stats if youre smart) and by all accounts, the offense started out fairly slowly but improved through the day. The defense should completely dominate the first scrimmage, so this is nothing to cause alarm. I like to wait until after the scrimmage before I say much about Fall practice, but for the most part this Fall has been represented by the media about as equally as I've heard from other people at practice. That is generally not the case, but it is cause for guarded optimism.
- Landon Walker missed the day due to graduation, with Rashard Hall (in 3 yrs) and Kourtnei Brown. Price was at RT and Thomas at LT. The defense was in the backfield all day long.
- Tajh Boyd went 10/12 for 168yds. I could care less about the yardage, but the completion percentage is great. Footwork still needs quite a bit of polishing. Cole Stoudt is the clear #2, but he likely will not challenge Boyd this Fall. There is a clear separation.
- Boyd called out his WR squad for being soft after last season's performance. He was said to have told them to block or they won't catch any passes. He also chewed out some other guys for being soft. The Chad still chews his ass when Tajh misses a pass.
- Sammy Watkins is almost there with the #1s, he's going to have Marquan Jones' spot as we predicted. He's been getting reps with the 1s in certain groupings.
- Havent heard squat about Bryce McNeal. I think most of what youre hearing about veterans not cutting it is with McNeal/Jones/Brown.
- If Mike Bellamy picks up more of the offense, he'd be the #2 RB. Right now, its probably still Howard. Howard runs too upright. Bellamy just has to learn the protections and playbook. He also needs to raise his upper body mass to help with that protection, because hes about 175 soaking wet. Guys don't start if they can't block when you only keep 5 linemen in protection. Tony Elliott has been all over him in practice.
- We have heard that the OL has done well and their personal opinion of Caldwell vs Scott is night/day. They really like Caldwell's coaching style. He gets onto them but is a better true teacher. Scott was more of a negative coach.
- Looks like we will be stuck with Price at LT initially. If you think of the depth charts, you'll see the problem. If Smith moves to LT, then Cloy would have to start at LG. However, we have nothing at backup Center. Matt Sanders cannot do it, and Ryan Norton is a true freshman. Cloy will have to play backup C and he can't rep all day nonstop to get enough work at the G positions. Kalon Davis is getting more reps at backup LG. Reid Webster at backup RT isn't quite there yet, but the thought is that he will be good some day. Until we build depth across the board, this kind of thing is going to continually bite us.
- Morris jumped all over David Smith and Freeman after spring ball. Thats why Smith cut that weight off so well.
- Caldwell loves Spencer Region, for the same reasons we did, he just has to have that baby before he can play. He'll be better than Antoine McClain because of his motor and aggression. The only OL talked about in the media who we've heard the negative comments about is McClain.
- Brandon Thomas lacks that aggressiveness too, which seems to be his real problem.
- Eric MacLain is likely to redshirt. There are just too many guys ahead of him to make not RS'ing worthwhile.
- Vic Beasley is at Bandit because there was little shot for him to get PT at WLB. The offense doesnt want him back at TE with their numbers either. Hes a great athlete but the constant switching is hurting him. He'll likely get more PT as the year goes along.
- Stephone Anthony has been impressive, but Steward might be in for the RS because of that knee.
- Several little nagging injuries on defense kept guys out today as precautions. Meeks went out but he'll be fine. Branch got a whack on the head earlier this week.
- Comparatively little comes out about the defense, but I take that as people paying the offense more attention than anything so far. Corner/S are positions of interest to me because it seems like most guys are getting in at CB and we'll just convert the worst ones at M2M back to safety and bulk them up.
More when we hear it...