Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?


by - Senior Writer -
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Clemson fans hope to see another win Saturday

CLEMSON – Saturday is supposed to be one of those perfect, sun splashed afternoons that are perfect for tailgating. The evening hours are forecast to be crisp and clear, the perfect conditions for a Clemson football game in Death Valley.

Not only that, it’s Homecoming and Clemson’s defense will try and give the Homecoming treatment to the Syracuse Orange in the first-ever visit to Death Valley for a Syracuse football team.

The only thing that would make what should be a perfect afternoon and evening is a Clemson win, improving the Tigers to 6-2 and making them bowl eligible.

I did a radio show earlier this week with a Syracuse sports talk show, and the host mentioned that he was making the trip down for the game and asked what he should try and see and what he should expect.

My honest answer was that it was hard to explain over a phone call….How do you explain 82,500 (give or take a couple of hundred) fans screaming at the top of their lungs as the buses round the stadium? How do you explain acres and acres of tailgates and tents and televisions and satellite dishes, a sea of orange and purple covering every parking space on the entire campus? How can you make 20,000 staying outside of the stadium during the game – just watching from their tailgate – seem real to someone whose idea of a tailgate is a couple of brats on a side street next to an old dome?

How do you explain RV’s and campers showing up on Wednesday and continuing to filter in throughout the rest of the week? How can you explain what it’s like to stand on Bowman watching the floats being prepared? Can you explain Tiger Rag and why that rock is so important?

It’s impossible. I told him he would just have to come down and experience it first-hand. Louisville fans learned earlier this season and went back to Kentucky with rave reviews. Welcome Syracuse. Sit back and enjoy it.

*Clemson’s defense has been getting a lot of rave reviews lately, but I wanted to ask a couple of players about what it’s like to stand on the field with the game on the line. The Tigers had to do it against Louisville and Boston College, and I wondered what player was “the guy” when the game was tight. Who is the leader?

My thought would have been Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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, who has been a vocal leader on and off the field and has been very demonstrative this season. But most of the players I asked all said the same person – linebacker Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 244
Polkton, NC

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. Anthony is quietly putting together a solid season and has rebounded from the rough start at Georgia.

*Safety Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
So. Safety
#20 6-4, 215
Fort Myers, FL

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was funny this week…..If you remember, we reported that he was actually out of position on the play in which he chased down the Louisville receiver at the end of the game. He was supposed to be in Cover 2 but instead stayed inside the hash and was able to make the play. Secondary coach Mike ReedMike Reed
Assist. Coach / Defensive Backs
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gave him a “minus” on the play. This week, he told us that one of his great plays at Syracuse last year was again because he was out of position. He laughed when it was suggested that the key for him is to simply miss assignments. But then he got serious and started talking about his film study and how much he puts into preparing for a game.

Clemson looses a lot on defense after this season, but having guys like Kearse and Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
So. Outside Linebacker
#10 5-11, 235
Anderson, SC

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and Kellen JonesKellen Jones
RS Jr. Linebacker
#52 6-1, 233
Houston, TX

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and B.J. GoodsonB.J. Goodson
RS Jr. Linebacker
#44 6-1, 240
Lamar, SC

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and D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#48 6-2, 322
Greensboro, NC

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and Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
So. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 269
Central, SC

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all getting significant snaps and learning from the great seniors ahead of them is a big positive. Kearse said he learns something new from Robert SmithRobert Smith
Sr. Safety
#27 5-11, 211
St. George, SC

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each day. If – and it’s a big if – he keeps on this track he has the potential to be an All-American at some point over the next two years.

*Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Jr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-7, 285
Brooklyn, NY

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….I saw a lot of message board chatter about left tackle Isaiah Battle and how some people were hearing he was going to leave after this season and had already told the coaches. I grabbed Coach Swinney after Wednesday’s practice, and he was genuinely surprised to hear that.

Swinney said that Battle doesn’t always toe the line, but that it was pretty typical of trying to deal with young football players. Swinney said that Battle hasn’t informed anyone of his plans, but that if he does decide to leave it would be comparable to Bashaud BreelandBashaud Breeland
(2010 - 2013)
#17 6-0, 195
Allendale, SC

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or Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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– he would be a third or fourth round pick. If he comes back he could be a first round pick.

I watch Battle a lot during the games, and he’s missed on some pretty key blocks this season. He could use another year.

*NFL scouts….There are always a good number of NFL scouts hanging around the WestZone early in the week, but it seemed like there were more than usual this week. We were there on Tuesday, and there were NFL logos all over the place, watching film and talking to the Clemson coaching staff. My guess is that it all comes back to that Clemson defense – Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 276
Columbus, GA

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, Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-2, 236
Adairsville, GA

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, Grady Jarrett, DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-1, 292
Central, SC

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, Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 292
Wilmington, DE

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, Stephone Anthony, Tony StewardTony Steward
Sr. Linebacker
#7 6-1, 236
Hastings, FL

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, Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Sr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 194
Conyers, GA

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, Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Sr. Defensive End
#9 6-4, 273
Jacksonville, FL

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, Robert Smith….the list goes on and on of players that will draw interest from the NFL. This year’s Clemson Pro Day should be fun to watch.

*Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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…..Saw a USA Today article earlier this week that listed the ten hottest college football head coaching candidates and Venables was on that list. IF he were to take another job (and no, I haven’t heard anything) who would Swinney go after? Would you go after Will Muschamp, who now seems like a lame duck at Florida? Would Swinney have to try and outbid Steve Spurrier for Muschamp’s services?

Because of everything that is going on at places like Florida – which could make a run at Dan Mullen or even Steve Addazio at Boston College – once the first domino falls it should be fun to watch. Michigan will likely have an opening, and there are a few other big-time schools that will have to make some hard decisions. And that doesn’t even include Florida St. and that mess down in Tallahassee, which could see all kinds of fallout from the Jameis Winston investigation and all of the other allegations surrounding that program.

The off-season is usually boring, but this one might be fun to watch.

But back to my original point…if something was to happen with Venables, who would be YOUR top target?

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Subject (Replies: 66) Author
New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
TigerNet News
If we could get Muschamp, would we want him?
Tiger2017®
Re: If we could get Muschamp, would we want him?
Dantzlerfan01
Gimme Narduzzi of Michigan State..
BFRT_King Ranch®
I would say yes.***
Clemson_Orange
Reggie Herring
clemson_tgr
BV is gonna be gone sooner rather than later
Lilnaitch
+1 for the Oklahoma Sooner reference.***
argonaut1992®
Re: BV is gonna be gone sooner rather than later
TahoeTiger
Any DC would be a major step down. Hopefully Snyder will
Tiger5
....insert baboon noise here.***
argonaut1992®
RH was almost as bad as Kevin Steele...
Aikitiger
Re: Reggie Herring
dtnickles
Re: Reggie Herring
greene
Rex Ryan***
TonyTigerblood
Geoff Collins
sbrooks®
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
TigerDrewz
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
Dantzlerfan01
Agree
AFtigers87®
I was impressed with Don Brown from BC
talltater
Other than Muschamp?
OldTiger05
Re:John Chavis: SC Native
sae52
Ellis Johnson***
tigeron®
At first I chuckled
metiger
Re: Ellis Johnson***
Litefoot®
Best defensive mind ever to walk the sidelines at Clemson. Danny Ford.***
argonaut1992®
Would save us some money too, since he'll work for free! :)***
grover173
Wrong side of the ball.***
leo®
Re: Best defensive mind ever to walk the sidelines at Clemson. Danny Ford.******
SuperSam
Danny Ford--No
SuperSam
Re: Danny Ford--No
Country Gentleman®
Danny Ford***
Willmo®
Re: Danny Ford***
hoaxster®
He may have been the Oline Coach but he was D
Aikitiger
Lee Nanny and John Phillips ... both defensive players who
apextiger®
Pat Narduzzi at Mich St
T1G3R 4 L1F3
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?***
29575tiger
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
29575tiger
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
29575tiger
BV is the best coach we have, period.
ATL PAW MAN®
Well he had a chance when he interviewed for the HC
jch81
Jeremy Pruitt***
ColaTownTiger
Re: Jeremy Pruitt***
Litefoot®
Re: Jeremy Pruitt***
Exiled2
Exactly. Why not go for the best.***
greene
Love Clemson and Clemson Football
kodibuddy
Re: Love Clemson and Clemson Football
CUsouix®
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
tbennett117®
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
Litefoot®
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
Exiled2
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
ALLweatherfan
Caldwell was a HC at Vanderbilt for one year***
Hi Cotton Tiger®
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
I bleed orange
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
Foothills Tiger
Rob Spence
tigerphils
Spence is a head coach now... at a high school. Really.
Razzmatazz
Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
05CUTiger
If we loose venerable see are domed .***
tigerpetti3
I wonder how many people loose sight of the fact that
attheesso®
This article
randomChance
To answer the inane question
randomChance
Coach Spaz was a pretty good DC at BC
Tiger Rag Fishing Team
Vic Koenning. Does anyone remember how awesome
stephen2907
Yes but no
AFtigers87®
Isaih Battle a 3rd or 4th round draft pick? NO f'king way!
AllTimeClemson
And your qualifications are.....
TigerTown
Maybe. NFL places too much emphasis on measurables.
greene

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