Morris looking for toughness


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, speaking following Clemson’s 35-27 win over Wofford on Saturday, said he wants his players to be the meanest and toughest on the field.

And in his opinion, they are nowhere close to being what he wants.

“I don’t want nice guys. I want a bunch of mean guys,” Morris said in the hallway outside of a quiet Clemson locker room. “I want guys that will knock you in the mouth. And we aren’t there yet.”

Morris said that the offensive line isn’t lacking in technique, but needs the killer mentality of a dominant group.

“It’s [toughness] a mentality. It’s an attitude,” Morris said. “It’s when you step on the field with that attitude- you are going to have to kill me to beat me. We don’t have that mentality just yet. We are going to get there, I promise you. Those guys are learning my personality. They are going to continue to get better.”

Morris said that this past week’s practice was extremely physical, and he feels like the coaches need to turn up the heat even more.

“You are seeing some progress. It’s not happening as fast as I want it to happen,” he said. “We have to continue to practice physical. This week was a lot more physical at practice because we are demanding it. We are demanding it of our guys up front. We have to continue to practice more physical. We have to be more physical from the start to the end. You are never disappointed in a win. You may not play well, but a win is a win and in this profession, wins are hard to come by.”

He said there were several errors that left him disappointed.

“We didn’t capitalize and made some critical errors up front,” Morris said. “Some of the sacks were the running back not picking up the linebacker. Some were us just flat missing the guys. We have to get better in that regard. The second half, I have to commend those guys. We came in talked, and made some adjustments. We took the ball down and scored on the first two drives. I thought that was huge.

“But we didn’t get a fourth-and-one, we gave up some sacks, I’m disappointed in that. We make some adjustments, we come on the field, run it again and pick up two yards; we run it again and pick up two more yards. I’m disappointed in that regard. I’m proud that they are working hard for us. We aren’t all in a mindset that we have to be a mentally and physically tough team. We just aren’t there yet. You hate to come to practice every day and be a rear end, but oh well. That’s what we have to do.”

Morris said that “all jobs are open” in regards to his offense, but he was asked if that wasn’t just coach-speak to motivate the starters, and he said that players must earn a starting job in practice.

“We are trying to rep as many people as we can in practice,” Morris said. “You want people to come to practice with the intent that ‘if I work my tail off, I can earn a starting job.’ You don’t earn playing time on Saturdays. That has been our philosophy. Saturday ain’t a time to earn playing time. You earn that throughout the week. Sometimes we, as coaches, want it more than some of those guys up front or on the edge or in the backfield. We have to continue challenging these guys and let them challenge each other. Nobody is sitting here panicking by any means. When you step on the field, you have to have the mindset that you are the baddest group on the field and right now we don’t have that.”


Center Dalton FreemanDalton Freeman
RS Jr. Offensive Line
#55 6-5, 285
Pelion, SC

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said the offensive line was guessing too much.
"We're out there tippy-toeing around, trying to guess what they're going to do and that's not acceptable," he said. "We have to go out there and just mash them. We're slow-playing too much.”

The defensive line also had issues on Saturday and senior defensive tackle Rennie MooreRennie Moore
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-4, 270
Saint Marys, GA

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said he was frustrated.

“We know we are better than that and we know that we don’t let that happen,” Moore said. “I’m looking at teams that we played last year that had better players than Wofford, and I know how we locked it down. When we eliminate the mistakes and the missed tackles we’ll be alright.

“I’m a little frustrated. I’m not going to lie. I’m a little ticked off because that’s a lot of points on my defense. I’m a defensive man. I wanted a goose egg and that’s what I was going for today. They put that on the back burner so we just had to take the game and win it.”


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