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Thread: Spring Practice

  1. #1
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    South Carolina

    Spring Practice

    Spring practice started at Clemson yesterday. Many of the new freshmen enrolled in Jan to be a part of it.

    So far the reports are positive.
    The "savior" QB Watson can't do much as he is recovering from ACL tear surgery. He is receiving praise from all the media services, but is he that good? Will his injury correct? I hope he becomes a great one, but one guy does not make a team. All I know is that the times he took the field last year were game changing moments. Three more years with this improving will be fun to watch. He is not loud, not humble, just accepts his role. He is a natural leader, an excellent student, and his Clemson future looks blindingly bright.

    His back ups are on campus as 17 year olds who left high school early. One is a physical wonder who was injured in high school and so Clemson is taking a leap on him. Coach Dabo knows talent, and I am all in. Apparently the guy is raw talent that needs a lot of coaching. He can run and needs coaching to develop his passing game. Dabo compares him to Cam Newton in college. Clemson is a run and gun offense, this guy is that.

    The other is a smaller gunslinger. Dabo says he never learned to hand off or run in high school as his team passed every down. He broke all the Florida records which means a lot in Florida. Apparently he can read the defense and get the ball out accurately in a second. "If there is just a 6 inch window, Tucker sees the guy as wide open." How they will use him is a mystery to me. He is very quick, very intelligent, and with the talent Clemson has at play maker could quickly chew a team up.

    There is a 3rd QB who is a walk on from years back who now knows the system inside out. He has less talent, but has experience and understands the Clemson offense completely. In last year's Spring game he was the best. My hope is that he can back up a healthy Watson and let the guys above red shirt. Of course they did not arrive early to sit on the bench, but it is best for them and Clemson if that is the case.

  2. #2
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    South Carolina
    One comparison going around is the Clemson "D" of this year and the USuCk "D" of last year.
    In 2013 SC had a strong defense and except for a funny ball bounce or two, were in the title hunt. Those guys went on the the NFL and still SC was pre season ranked at #8. That fell apart quickly as the guys moving up could not defend. they finished 7-6 just beating the easy teams.

    Last year Clemson had the #1 ranked "D" in the country, no "O" but incredible "D" that carried us to 10 wins.
    Those guys left and of 11 starters, only 3 return and none on the "D" line.

    Will this be a mirror of what happened to SC?

    Being a homer, I am going to say "NO!"

    SC lacked the talent to fill the holes. Clemson can't match last years group of players, but I don't see these kids being embarrassed like the kids at USuCk were. The secondary will be improved. The linebackers are strong and like you want linebackers -> "hungry".
    The "D" line will not have "Big Grady", but across the board, talent will be stepping in not just on the first team but on the depth chart.
    This unit will need time to jell, but will again be a game winning "D". Teams are not going to move the ball without winning a fight.

    Maybe not the #1 "D" in the nation again, but not sisters of the poor like USuCk was last season.

  3. #3
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    South Carolina
    Last year "O" was hard to find.
    The great stable of running backs took forever to "kinda" get going.
    The passing game was deceptive as most of the yards were added on as yards after the catch.

    Things were kinda clicking by season's end by tossing a pass (pitch out) to a receiver who then hauled ass.

    The "O" lines were OK but nothing to write home about.

    The up tempo scheme of Chad Morris (now head coach at SMU) was OK, but the reason Clemson won 10 games was with "D".
    Some say the injuries to QB Watson were critical, but he was not the starter. Anytime your program relies on a true freshman, you are in deep shit.

    This season Coach Morris is gone. We all knew it was "when" and not "if". He will go down as one of the best ever at Clemson, and I will be pulling for him and his new team. this guy is excellent!
    His offense will remain. Taking over for him are 2 guys who will share his job.
    Both of these guys are intelligent. Both played football at Clemson. Both learned the Coach Morris system to perfection. As far as coaching and play calling goes, I am excited.
    Don't expect a drop off as to coaching. Don't expect to see big changes in the "O" playbook.

    As to talent on hand -?
    There was talent last year but it was young. This year it is a year older and stronger. That would indicate it will be better.

    Several of the main play makers got injured early (that's football) and forced the backups on the field for most of the season. Now the main guys are healthy and ready to make a difference, but will have to battle with the now experienced backups for time on the field.

    The bottom line is that the glass is again full.
    Experts saw us as a "O" force this time last year, and now we are better.

    About the hardest position to play well is "O" line. You have to be big, strong, quick, and you have to be very intelligent. The playbook for the "O" line is thick. Great players at this position are hard to find. They have to play as a unit, not individuals (think the famous "Steel Curtain" that protected Bradshaw). Everyman needs help and must count on the others. This is the toughest SOBs on a team, and to get the job done they must work as a unit.

    For a few years Clemson has had an "O" line to be proud of, but it has not been top 25.
    This year's line is intriguing to the point of being a puzzle. I mean that in a good way.
    Good guys graduated, but good guys return. They average 300# and none will be seniors, so all could return next season. I don't see a flaw in these guys. All have experience.

    The intrigue is:
    Coming on campus in Jan were some of the potentially best "O" linemen ever to touch the rock.
    Can these 18 year old kids gain playing time this season?
    One would think not and hope not.
    You want to red shirt all players, especially the lines so you can bulk and strengthen them for a year or two. Plus, it is a very hard position to learn. It takes time.
    Still, if you look at the kids just coming on campus, it is hard to see them on the bench all season. I don't think it will happen.

    The bottom line for the "O" is that if (like the experts) you liked it last year, you must be giddy now that Spring Practice is underway.

  4. #4
    im ready to kick it off

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