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Sunday Football News and Thoughts

There really isn't anything earth shattering coming out of Clemson's post-Saturday scrimmage.  Per Coach Swinney, this scrimmage pitted the 1's vs 2's on both sides of the ball to get quality reps for the 2's. Again, the scrimmage was situational.

Today is Fan Appreciation Day.  With two full weeks of practice until season's start, the coaches will begin to diverge from simply teaching the basics, including core scheme installations, and focus more on game preparation.  They essentially have another week to work on general items (including the game day walkthrough this Friday), then it's preparation for Troy.

The Catman, barring some strange turn of events, will be the starting placekicker entering the Troy game.  The Sweatshirt appears to be happy with Chandler Catanzaro, repeatedly praising his near 85% accuracy mark over the fall.  As we found out last season, being a practice superstar kicker really doesn't mean much if it doesn't carry over to the game.  We also heard some praise regarding the snappers and holders.  There is no excuse for less and we'll hold Danny Pearman responsible for correcting mishaps from one season ago.

There have been a lot of questions about our linebackers and we now have a good idea where we stand.  The freshmen are extremely, extremely talented and are physically ready to go.  They are behind the starters because they are not far enough along mastering the linebacker complexity of Steele's defense.  Anthony is finally starting to put more of the pieces together.  My opinion is that both he and Steward will avoid the redshirt this season (Anthony was never really in doubt and Steward only because of his questionable ACL).

We expect big things out of Malliciah Goodman.  Steele has repeatedly praised him and we hope he is ready to live up to his potential in '11.  Clemson needs someone to step up on the end following last season's attrition.

Both Morris and Swinney appear to be pleased with the offensive adaptation throughout camp.  Morris plans to slow things down a little early this week and rehash many of the concepts already installed.  I am guessing they are not entirely done but have completed the vast majority of the install process. Either way, the season is too close not to begin more of a "regular" practice routine.

I'll be eager to see how Morris approaches the after-practice "Finish" sessions moving forward.  The Chad used these periods to better condition his offensive players and motivate them through extra drills, running, and up-downs.  There is a fine line during the season of maintaining proper conditioning and burning out your players.  Coaches know this so you generally don't see quite as much running and up downs in season outside of basic conditioning.  Extra is typically punishment.

The buzz is Bellamy will be the #2 back headed into Troy.  The staff seems to feel most comfortable with D.J. Howard at third team.  The Sweatshirt openly chatted about how Howard is probably the best "fiull time" option outside of Ellington at this point.  I am not counting out Roderick McDowell or Demont Buice just yet

I am a little concerned about Bellamy.  Yes, he is lightning quick and will make things happen for the Tigers this season.  It just seems as though he has missed a lot of practice time this fall with a bum shoulder.  Maybe the staff is just being cautious with this young man and doesn't want him taking too many hits, especially in a scrimmage.  I am a little concerned about his durability and look for him to add weight over the offseason-which won't help us immediately.

Andre Ellington was severely limited in the scrimmage, playing only the first series.  As we've said before, Ellington in in good overall physical shape (injury looks to be completely healed as well) but still has a ways to go to get to 100% football shape (taking hits and such certainly take an extra toll on the body).  These items combined with a faster pace offense pressure Andre to assure he's 100% by the Auburn game, which is a very reasonable expectation.

Sammy Watkins was identified as a starter on Friday.  The first team (as of today) will consist of Watkins, Brown, and Hopkins.  Like we've told you before, Brown is being pushed hard by Peake.  Don't be surprised to see Charone Peake take over that spot if Brown cannot consistently perform.  Rumors from camp also indicate that Adam Humphries may avoid a redshirt this season.  Yeah, we are surprised and pretty much had him all but identified as a redshirt in '11.  He has impressed folks and was identified by Tajh Boyd as a camp surprise.  I've been a little surprised by the lack of noise Martavis Bryant made over the past couple weeks.  I really expected him to come in and challenge, particularly after a good season at Hargrave last fall.

Sammy Watkins, Mike Bellamy, and Brandon Thompson were all held out of Saturday's scrimmage.  All are expected to participate in practice on Monday.