Friday Email Bag

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Friday Email Bag

Each Friday I publish your comments and answer your questions.  To submit a comment or questions please email me at


I enjoy your thoughtful comments. I am proud of the progress the defense has made. My belief is the offense has taken a step back from last year for the following reasons: 1)the passing game has suffered due to inexperience, injuries and the loss of Nuk (Tajh clearly depended on Nuk when in trouble)as well as Tajh's tendency to lock in on a receiver, 2) the offensive line is having trouble - look at our third and short and fourth and short success rate (especially when Tajh does not carry the ball), and 3) our running backs, while capable, are not close to NFL caliber. It seem like they have limited yards after contact when compared to some of the other backs around the country.

Can't wait to beat the Gamecocks in Columbia and on to a BCS Bowl.

Your thoughts,

California Tiger

California Tiger,

I agree with your assessment. They really miss Nuk and great tight end play like Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
Tight End
#83 6-3, 255
Fayetteville, NC

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and Brandon FordBrandon Ford
Tight End
#80 6-4, 240
Wando, SC

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. When healthy, Tajh's is the best answer in short yardage. I think we now see just how valuable Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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Loved the blog today and have been hearing many of the same comments amongst my Clemson friends and I tell them we are right where we should be.  Are we an elite team at this point, no.  From a recruiting standpoint we are still playing catch up from the pre-Dabo years, as evidenced by the number of true freshman and sophomores we are playing and the low number of seniors graduating.  If you look at the elite programs, it has to take a very special player, e.g., Sammy, to get significant playing time as a freshman.  I understand some are pressed into service due to injury and the like, but the elite teams have the cupboard filled with those ready to step up.  I believe we are getting to the point where we will have the depth needed not to rely so heavily on the incoming freshmen.  As I said many times, the future has a much more consistent tone. Clemson will be in the conversation for many years to come.





Thanks for the email. Redshirting is big decision. If you redshirt a guy and he leaves after three years then you only get two years on the field from him. But you can't rush a guy that isn't ready to play. There is a fine line in many cases.

Hey Mickey,


Any thoughts on the improved play of Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Jr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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?  He may not be the fastest or tallest receiver on the field but, like Tyler GrishamTyler Grisham
Wide Receiver
# 5-11, 185
Birmingham, AL

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before him, he pretty much catches everything that comes his way, including punts.  Also, it looks like he’s starting to pick up more yards on the ground and can even be a deep threat in the right situation.  Seems like Grisham was always sort of an unsung hero and that Humphries is following in his footsteps.  What do you think?


Along that same line of thinking, do you think Daniel RodriguezDaniel Rodriguez
RS So. Wide Receiver
#83 5-8, 175
Stafford, VA

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will get a TD before the season is over?





I love how Humphries gets extra yards on the swing passes. He puts his head down and gets an extra yard or two. Humphries is dependable.

I sure hope Rodriquez gets one before he leaves. I know the staff and fans would love it.


Couldn’t agree with You More about Ed Cunningham......however.......most people don’t realize Mike Patrick came back from a a media guy....somebody’s bound to jump You about it. Peace.



I didn't know that. I am glad he is doing better.



Thank you so much for all you do and providing a terrific perspective week-in and week-out in your blog. I have three questions for your Friday Mail Bag.


First, can you provide some insight into some of Clemson’s injured players (mainly Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
Fr. Running Back
#23 6-1, 205
Elberton, GA

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, Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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, Mackenzie Alexander, Kellen JonesKellen Jones
RS So. Linebacker
#52 6-1, 215
Houston, TX

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and Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
So. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 300
Mooresboro, NC

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), their current status in their rehabilitation and, if they are redshirting, if their redshirt status has been “approved”? Second, we hear a good bit of praise from Coach Morris and Coach Swinney for some of our interior OL players. However, during the past few games, we have not gotten any push inside, any holes or creases for our RB. I realize we just rushed for over 225 yards, but that was against a severely depleted Maryland defense and the first time we do attempt to run it outside, McDowell rushes 45 yards for a TD. Why are we not running a toss sweep or power to the outside? Finally, I am a huge Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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fan. He is a fantastic person, leader, person and football player. He is definitely working with a lot of younger skill players, which we know is affecting his play. However, there are times where Tajh is just having a “bad day” or “off” significantly in games. We saw it a couple times in 2011, twice last season and we saw it this year against BC, FSU and for the majority of the game against an awful Maryland team. Why, when these rare situations do happen, does Coach Morris or Coach Swinney not, at the very least, try Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Jr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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at QB to see if he can create a “spark” with the offense? We know that Coach Morris’s offense lives and dies with the play of the QB and I realize that Stoudt has only played in “mop-up duty”, but if Boyd is having an off day, can playing Cole to try something different be any worse? I have watched other successful coaches do this with other programs and it tends to wake up the starting QB from any funk they are in or create new momentum in a game that seemed out of reach.


I continue to pray for you and Ryan and hope you guys are doing well!


Thanks so much in advance,




Thanks for the kind words on Ryan. He is doing great. He enjoyed some jambalaya at Sardis last night.

On to your questions:

1. Dye had back surgery. He is not close to being healthy now but should be back by spring practice. Peake and Jones tore ACLs and have not done much yet but should be back at full speed next year. Watkins is still recovering from the accident but should be back at practice soon. Dodd has a toe injury and could be back soon but I think Watkins and Dodd redshirt now.

2. This offense is based upon the power running game. I would also like to see more sweeps but actually they think the perimeter running game consists of the quick swing passes to the receivers.

3. I trust the staff on this one. They know their personnel and know what is best for the team. I think Tajh has earned that respect.


Just last week when I heard who was broadcasting Clemson's game, I put the television on mute and listened to the Clemson announcers through the internet.  Sadly, I watch the play on TV, and then the Clemson network is 30 seconds behind through the internet.  However, I'd rather do that than listen to those announcers from ESPN.



You can use the DVR and try to sync the sound and video. Sounds like a better idea than listening to Cunningham.

Hello Mickey,


Curious ... if you had to choose just one thing to explain the recent "decline" in the Tigers offense what would it be? ... besides the fumbles and the drop balls.  Those can be worked on and are hopefully fixable. 


Is the glaring deficit in the OL finally catching up with us?  Is the OC getting too predictable with the play calling?  Is Boyd being hurt causing his reaction to be off that split second that he needs?  .... just talking out loud.


Hope the weather wasn't too bad up in Maryland.  I'm sure the fans pulled out all the stops for you especially since all the nice things you had to say about them. 





I do think turnovers are the biggest issue. The offensive line has not been consistent. Boyd has not played at his highest level. The receivers have dropped balls. Boyd has been banged up. They miss Nuk, Brandon Ford and Andre Ellington. But the biggest issue is confidence. This offense lacks swagger and confidence.

Maryland fans were not too bad. I think they realize they live in a dump of a campus.


I am writing this with a quarter and a half to play but I just don't think enough will change the rest of the game for me to  believe anything other than the O-line that Clemson has is horrible.  The line has been slow and soft the last few years and the hopes were that it was because there was youth on the line.  Guess what, the line has matured and they are still slow and soft.  


Florida State just dominated with their O-line and if Clemson has any thought of ever being a serious contender for any kind of conference or National Championship conversation, some big, strong, mean and not fat offensive lineman have got to be recruited.  Forget the glitz and glamor on offense and find some lineman than can block. Watch Alabama, watch Florida State, watch Oregon, and you will see an offensive line that can and will block.  There are apparently major problems at Clemson and a weak O-line is high on the list.




Thank goodness things did change. The offense scored 40 points and put the game away. This line is not great but not as bad as you saw in the first half. The biggest issue is the redzone though. But FSU will dominate most lines.


I love your insight on Clemson and you always give an unbiased opinion.  I want to say I love Dabo and where he has taken the program.  I am "all in" and root for my Tigers, win or lose.  The only thing I have an issue with it the Coot series.  Four in a row is hard to take, but if he loses this season I am not sure the fan base will tolerate.  I will still be "all in" for the Clemson Tigers, but I am not sure Dabo can survive with another loss to the Coots.  Tommy Bowden helped us "pull a Clemson" every season, but he beat the Coots!



Bowden beat a bunch of bad South Carolina teams. The last two South Carolina teams finished in the top ten in the country. Bowden would have lost to great Gamecock teams. Danny FordDanny Ford
Former Head Coach
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faced four good South Carolina teams (1979, 1980, 1984, 1987) and he went 1-3 against their good teams.


What is the status of Ammon LakipAmmon Lakip
RS So. Kicker
#36 5-10, 185
Alpharetta, GA

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?  I thought he was highly thought of when being recruited, but he has kicked very little for the Tigers since arriving in 2011.



Lakip left school last year but is back this year and has kicked some in mop up duty. The issue is that he is currently behind perhaps the best kicker in Clemson history in Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
Gr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 195
Greenville, SC

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I really appreciated your article on Coach Swinney's optimism.  I  believe we are behind FSU in personnel.  Frankly I just don't get how Jimbo Fisher keeps recruiting the way he does.  Trying to be objective about it and having watched both coaches over the last 5 years or so, Dabo wins in my book.  I would much rather play for him than Jimbo but Jimbo has out recruited us.   I am not an 18 year old 4 or 5 star recruit though. 

In any event Dabo will get there I have no doubt.  There is a book I just finished reading called The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.   I recommend it to you.  It might should have been subtitled, How Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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lives his life.  Check it out.



Jimbo Fisher has advantages. He is at a program that won won two national titles and two Heisman trophies. Bobby Bowden built one of the best programs over the last 30 years in Tallahassee. He also has the advantage of being in the state of Florida and that is a huge recruiting advantage.

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Prayer List

We have started a prayer list on the blog. Here are the guidelines:

If you are offended by prayer or prayer lists then I apologize in advance. The blog is free and the prayer list will be on the bottom of the page so you don’t have to read it.

If you would like to add someone to the list please email me at

*Please let me know when it is appropriate to take the person off of the prayer list.

Those who need our prayers include:Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S, Daniel Rosborough, The Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L, Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs,Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys", Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas. V Family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers,Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr, Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Shervin Messer, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Christopher Tuten, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Meredith Legg, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G, William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Travis Patterson, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, The Sturkey Family, Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Robert Summerville, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Teettt Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day plus their families.

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