Venables says Tigers ready to prove doubters wrong

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Position: Def. Coordinator / Linebackers

Defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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told the media Tuesday morning that he has taken notice of the national media’s perception that Clemson will take a step back this season.

“Apparently, the people on the outside don’t think a lot about us as a team," Venables said at head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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’s media golf outing. "A lot of people don’t think that we’re a Top 25 team and that’s fine, but to me that’s an indictment on that they think we lost two guys (Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins) and that’s our whole team. They are questioning everybody else, and they don’t think much of them. Within our own conference, they are talking about our secondary. We know that we have a lot of talent back there, but they are way on down the totem pole. We are [being questioned] as a program, as well, apparently. We have a lot to prove and we have to earn a lot of respect. If you’re a good solid program, you are in the Top 15 or Top 20 no matter what, but a lot of people don’t have us there and that’s fine. We have to go out there and earn it. Whether you’re there and in that group or not, you still have to go earn it to either validate it or prove that we belong."

“The guys up front, a year ago there weren’t a lot of household names. More people know who they are, but to me we still have a lot to prove,” Venables said. “I know this, in this network of people holding cameras and microphones and us as coaches, we feel like we know what we we’re capable of and we know our guys and we have a chance to be pretty good, if not great depending on how hard our guys work and how are leadership comes along and how our chemistry comes along.

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