|Morris uses first of two-a-days to push his offense even more|
|by Nikki Steele - Staff Writer - Friday, August 9, 2013 2:53 PM||
CLEMSON – After Clemson’s first of two practice sessions Friday afternoon, offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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That might not good news for his offense, because he intends to push them even harder.
The Tigers held their first of four two-a-days Friday afternoon and Morris said that the offense has performed well over the first week of fall camp, but he wants to push them even harder to make sure they don’t give in on game day.
“The biggest thing is making sure guys are playing hard,” Morris said Friday afternoon. “We’re at that part of camp right now where guys think they can’t go any harder, but they’ve got to keep working. They think it’s tough right now, but it ain’t tough. We’ve got to be a lot tougher on these guys and keep straining them. I hope to see some guys that are really pushing and working. We have been, but we’ve got to go harder. We’ve got to strain them a little harder as a coaching staff.
Many of the positions on offense are still up in the air, and Morris said he doesn’t intend to let up until he finds his starting group.
“We’ll know when to let up, but this ain’t the time,” Morris said. “This ain’t happiness camp. We’ll keep grinding and keep pushing them. They know that and they’ve got to let us coach them hard. That’s what excites you about them is that we’ve got to keep their feet to the fire.”
One of the biggest challenges for Morris is finding the right group of starters on the offensive line, and he said that many of the linemen have had their moments of brilliance so far in camp.
“We don’t know yet. We’ve got a lot of guys being moved around,” Morris said. “We’re trying to settle in on five up front, but we haven’t gotten there yet. Hopefully, we will over the next couple of days. [Eric] Mac Lain is moving from tackle to guard and we’re doing some things with him. Kalon Davis has been kind of a surprise during camp. He’s flashed in the pan. He looks good one day and then another day he doesn’t. He needs to find some consistency. We know what we’re getting out of Tyler Shatley. Giff Timothy has had a good camp. Brandon Thomas is a guy that’s really got to come on. We’ve got to push his buttons. He needs to come on a little bit more. We expect a lot more out of him being a leader up front.”
There is also no clear-cut starter at tight end, so Morris is really challenging Jordan Leggett and Jay Jay McCullough so that they don’t melt under pressure.
“We’ve got a decent battle going on there,” Morris said. “We’ve got young guys in Jay Jay McCullough and Jordan Leggett that are really pushing each other. They’ve got a long way to go. They both have to understand that this isn’t high school. They’ve got to keep working hard and paying attention to detail. Fatigue makes cowards out everyone and when those young ones get tired, they just melt and they can’t be melting.”
Morris has installed 95% of the offense and he hopes to see what the players have retained when they take the field in Death Valley Saturday for their first scrimmage.
“I think what it does is it puts the guys in a game-like situation – out on the field in Death Valley,” Morris said. “The coaches are off the field. There’s no scripting. It’s just off the hip and let’s go. That’s a close to a game atmosphere that we can get them.”
On Tyshon Dye and Wayne Gallman
“At some point, they’re going to be really good. I’m really proud of them. They’ve picked up everything that we’ve thrown at them. We’ve gone through a different install to where we pretty much have 95% of our offense in and we’ve really thrown a lot at them. At some point in this camp, they’re going to hit a wall and we’ve got to make sure that we push them through that as a coaching staff. I’ll tell you this, they are as violent as a runner as we’ve got. There’s some great competition going. I don’t know if they’ll end up playing. You’d like to redshirt them, but wow. Those guys are grabbing a lot of people’s attention. They make a lot of mistakes, but we’ll get them right and we’ll see how it goes.”
On the injuries at wide receiver
Everybody is getting a lot of reps- those that are out there. You’ve got to make do. It’s just part of camp and you have to push through some of that stuff. We’ve got guys getting in the training room. We’ve got hamstring injuries and groin injuries that are just bothering us a little bit. We’ve got to get those guys back, but it’s providing an opportunity for some of those younger guys.
On who has stood out so far in camp
“C.J. Davidson at running back and Zac Brooks at running back have done a good job. Obviously, the two freshmen have had their moments. Those are some guys. Mike Williams has stood out at wide receiver. Charone Peake has had a really good camp right now. Martavis has been bothered by a nagging injury, but he’ll be alright. There are a few more guys. There are some guys up front that are working hard.”
On Isaiah Battle
“It just depends which way the wind is blowing. There are times that we know what he is capable of and he is looking really good. And then, there are times that we need to push him. That’s just his maturity level. We know what we can do when he is set and focused with it. He’s having his opportunities, I’ll tell you that.”
On the competition between Jay Guillermo and Ryan Norton at center
“For whatever reason, we’ve had some good competition at center, but we’ve had some high snaps. I think we’ve got some guys thinking a little too much there, but we’ll get it straightened out. We’ve got a decent battle going on there. We’ve still like for them to push each other a little harder. I don’t’ want them to think that there’s any sort of pecking order and there’s really not.”
On Jordan Leggett
“He’s 6-6 and weighs 245 right now. He’s got a body like a grown man and a mind like a young kid, like you would expect. He’s got to develop that mind and create that toughness about him.”
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