Photo-realistic Death Valley replica!
Improved secondary has Beasley thinking defense could be special


  by - Senior Writer - Sunday, April 6, 2014 1:14 PM
    |

Safety Jayron Kearse was one of the players Beasley mentioned as much improved from last season.

CLEMSON – A high school coach that was a visitor at one of Clemson’s football practices last week walked out of the indoor practice facility, brushed aside all questions and announced that he thought the Tiger defense had a chance to be extra special in 2014.

Twenty minutes later, All-American defensive end Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

View Full Profile
walked off the field and made the same kind of pronouncement.

"We can be the number one defense in the country," Beasley told the media after Friday’s practice. "I think our front seven is the best in the country."

The Tigers have been led the last few seasons by a bevy of offensive stars who acted as the de-facto team leaders, names like Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

View Full Profile
, Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

View Full Profile
, Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
Running Back (2008 - 2012)
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

View Full Profile
, Dalton FreemanDalton Freeman
Center (2008 - 2012)
#55 6-5, 265
Pelion, SC

View Full Profile
and Nuk Hopkins. All of those offensive stars have now moved on, and the seniors and leaders now reside on the other side of the ball.

“With the loss of Tajh and Sammy on the offense and even guys like (Spencer) Shuey and Quandon (Christian) on the defense, we definitely need a leader,” Beasley said. “With me leading the d-line along with guys like Grady (Jarrett), Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 285
Wilmington, DE

View Full Profile
, DeShawn (Williams) and Corey (Crawford), we are all going to play a big role this year.”

If the Tigers are indeed going to be a force on the defensive side of the ball, the secondary will have to improve on last year’s efforts. That is something that Beasley says he has already seen in practice.

"The main difference is our secondary is improved a lot from last year," he said. "We have improved a lot in the secondary. Those guys are stepping up and making big plays for us. I feel they're going to have a larger effect in this year's outcome. MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
RS Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

View Full Profile
didn’t play much last year because he was hurt, but he has shown this spring that he picks things up quick. He has shown he can be a starter and help us out this year. And there are other guys that have shown they have really improved.”

Beasley said the defense won’t back down from expectations.

“The bar was set high last year, and we are going to take the same approach that we are going to be the best that we can be,” he said. “Best is the standard as Coach Swinney says, and that is our approach every game and every practice.”

The Tigers will start out the season at Georgia and will be without the services of the other defensive end – Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
Columbus, GA

View Full Profile
– who was suspended by Swinney for the opener along with three other players. However, that hasn’t affected Crawford’s preparation or work ethic according to Beasley.

“He has been fine. He is out there working every day,” Beasley said. “He knows he is still a part of this team.”

The defense had its chance to make an early statement in last Monday’s scrimmage. The quarterbacks were “live” but the defense failed to tally a sack.

"I was quite disappointed," Beasley said. "It was a good experience for us. We had chances; we've got to capitalize on them. I didn't get back there, but my teammates did. But they missed their opportunity, too."
Beasley said that the defenders – who are used to just touching the quarterback in those scrimmage situations – were thrown off of their game by the change.

“That's the excuse we use," he said with a smile. "But we'll take the loss right there. They got the best of us in that area. But we've got a Top 10 offense and a Top 10 defense. Players make plays."

Rate this Story:
31 votes
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
    |
  •  
    MacKensie Alexander: A different kind of cat - 2 days ago
    Following Clemson’s win over Syracuse last Saturday, coaches and players were leaving the WestZone and turning out the lights on another successful football day when someone noticed a noise and a flickering light in one of the film rooms. It was Mackensie Alexander, already hard at work. Full Story »
  •  
    Swinney defends Stoudt, says Watson could see action in practice this week - 3 days ago
    Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney told the media Monday morning that he was proud of senior quarterback Cole Stoudt and that freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson may be a little more involved in practice this week. What other injury news did he have? Who is he pulling for when FSU plays at Louisville this week? Full Story »
  •  
    Quick thoughts on Clemson's 16-6 win over Syracuse - 5 days ago
    It wasn't pretty Saturday night, and at times it was downright ugly, but Clemson got just enough offense and the usual great defense in earning the win. TigerNet takes a look at some quick thoughts. Photo by Joshua S. Kelly / US PRESSWIRE Full Story »
  •  
    Defense, Gallman carry Tigers to 16-6 win over Syracuse - 5 days ago
    Clemson's defense turned in yet another dominant performance and Wayne Gallman had a career-high 101 yards on the ground as Clemson held on the beat Syracuse 16-6 in Death Valley Saturday evening. Photo by Joshua S. Kelly / US PRESSWIRE Full Story »
  •  
    Next In Line at Wide Receiver U - 6 days ago
    Clemson’s receivers have drawn praise – and high draft grades – over the last few seasons. Sammy Watkins and Nuk Hopkins both drew first round grades, and Martavis Bryant was a fourth round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers despite leaving Clemson a year early. Can Mike Williams be the next in line? Full Story »

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Sign Up for News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest