Friday Email Bag

by - Radio Host -
Friday Email Bag

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

Hi Mickey,

Over the past several years, our offense focused on tempo, time between plays, and number of plays per game (we're now 33rd, Syracuse is 1st). I've noticed over the past season or two that our offense no longer plays as quickly. This season, the slow down can be attributed to an inexperienced offense but the slower pace of play was evident last year as well. Is this an intentional change in offensive philosophy or an unintended consequence of other factors?

Thank you,

Yes, this was an intentional change. Tony Elliott excels in adjustments and a few extra second has resulted in better play calling. Therefore Clemson is winning by calling better plays instead of relying on the pace only. Many times when a team goes really fast, the play called is the wrong one, but you are relying on the pace being a factor, especially late in games. This offense wants to be more efficient in the first three quarters too. It has worked. Elliott and Scott have lost three games since taking over, and two of them came with the offense scoring 40 and 42 points. The other came with an injured quarterback. Hope this makes sense.


I am not an expert in X and Os and schemes. How complicated can it be? We hear about these young players, but they don’t play as much early, and I know there has to be a reason for that. Help!


I am no X and O genius either, but the game is very complicated regarding schemes.

There are so many pre-snap, and post-snap reads. There are so many adjustments players have to make. In very basic terms, for every scheme, there are positives and negatives. The best coaches are the ones who can recognize and adjust.

Let me give you a simple example. Clemson faces a lot of cover two schemes with the safeties playing very deep to avoid the big play. As a result, an offense can hit those schemes with post/corner routes, deep fade routes, throws down the middle of the field and a very good running game. However, defenses are trying to disguise the coverage and confuse an inexperienced quarterback. They can make a cover two look like a cover zero, cover one, cover three, quarters and any combination of those with a hybrid type of look.

The best defensive coordinators keep a quarterback guessing by showing one look but changing at the snap. Zone blitzes can be very confusing as well. Therefore, younger and more inexperienced players just are not used to seeing complicated schemes, and it takes them time to adjust, and the speed of the game is faster because the players are faster than high school.

Quarterbacks are in charge of calling out the protections and the checks and then he has to make the proper reads to get his offense in the best shape to execute. It can break a young players confidence if he is thrown to the wolves too soon.

The above examples were mostly just coverages and what the quarterback has to deal with. Every position has reads and checks and keys. Wideouts have to read the coverages and adjust with man beaters or zone beaters. He has to be on the same page getting the same read as the quarterback.

Up front, the offensive line gets different fronts. Odd fronts require a different scheme than even fronts. Defensive lines can shift and stem right before the snap to cause more confusion. They can slant and create even more.

Also, the line, tight end, and backs have to aware of their slide protections and blitz responsibilities depending on the fronts and where the extra defenders may be coming from.

In summary, it is a complicated game, especially for the younger players who are less experienced at making these adjustments.

This was simple, general and brief but hope this gives a little insight to why its harder on younger players.

For the life of me, please explain the thinking behind playing Bryant and then Cooper and not going with Johnson. What the heck are they thinking? I will hang up and listen.


Trust me on a few things. First, they are going to play the player they think gives them the best chance to win. They may be wrong, but they are not purposely trying to tick you off by playing the wrong guy.

Second, they are always evaluating and planning for every scenario. The medical team and the football staff meet constantly.

Go back and watch the game. Bryant was not 100%, but he was effective passing the football from the pocket. He hit his first eight passes and was 10-11 at one point. Then he tweaked his ankle. Hindsight tells us he should have been taken out then, but he should have played until that point.

As far as Cooper is concerned, we have so little exposure to both backups, and it is difficult for you and me to say who should play. We have no formal training in coaching quarterbacks and Brandon Streeter has over 5,000 days as a quarterback coach.

I had a former college coach call me this week and explain a few things. He said his experience tells him that as fans we have seen Johnson look good in a very small sample size. He has thrown 12 passes. The coach said that as the third team guy he goes into a game with a very small set of formations and plays because he doesn’t have experience and there is not a lot of time to prepare him. The second team guy who is a red-shirt in Cooper has more exposure to a bigger part of the playbook and is less limited in what they can run. He gets more practice each week and has shown he can run more of the offense.

The coach made a point that just because we saw Johnson look good in the small percentage of the playbook he can use against Wake Forest, it doesn’t mean he can handle an entire half at Syracuse.

He said as fans we need to yield to the professionals who are with these guys every day and know what each can handle.

He went on to say that at some point Johnson might pass Cooper because he has a higher ceiling, but that doesn’t mean he is ready now and we shouldn’t look back at it and say he should have played more than Cooper in September or October of 2017.

This analysis from a guy who coached a long time made a lot of sense to me and hope it clears up some of the misconceptions about this staff.

My friend David Hood said it beset when quoting someone close to the program, “Trust the guys with the big shiny rings.” I would say they have earned that trust over my banker, my insurance guy or my mechanic when it comes to football. I know little about finance, insurance or cars, so I yield to professional expertise in the fields they have been trained in. I will leave football to the proven professionals who have shown their expertise in their field.


On Mike and Mike this past Monday Booger McFarland said that the SEC and the Big 10 were clearly the best conferences in college football this year. Will you please explain to me how the SEC is one of the best conferences in the country? Thanks!-David

There is a very simple explanation. Booger works for the SEC Network and ESPN. They have invested a lot in the network and bias follows the money.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

Prayer List

The prayer list is a medium for our community to recognize those that are in need. If you would like to add someone to the list, please email me at Please let me know when it is appropriate to remove a person off the list.

Those who need our prayers include: 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, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon Thompson, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, 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, Amanda Peake, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the 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, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Jonathan and Jacki Sullins, Peter Laboy, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon Kirkland and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Richard Bagnal, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Wessinger family, the Parsons family, Todd Price and family, Rosemary A Flynn, Dr. Mickey Shealy family, Mr. Gillespie, Bobbi Nicholson, Dr. Matt Stower, Tyler Kemmerlin, Parks Hutto, Robert Summerville, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, Kevin Anderson, Lyn Price, John Robert Smith, Allison Williams, Nicholas Wickiser, Hammond Family, Elaine G. Duvall, Addison Grace, Bennie Cunningham, Kevin Orcutt, Alan Finley, Keith Wells, Steve Byrd, Jessica Hernandez, Wayne Mullins, Rita Alexander, Tony Osterman, family and friends of Gary Cooper, Derk Denton, Tim Vacek, Mike Vacek, Phil Compton, Alma Jean Sullivan, Lindsey Motley, Riley Cook, Dwayne Wood, Eileen Thomas, Larry Nimmons and Family, Annie Gregory, Amy Black, Will Black, Sam Smith, Dixon Family, Joe Lazorik, Mark Smith, Rene' Nelson, R. Bruce Harnage, Norris Brown and family, Tanner Cain, Avery Cain, Ted Wilson, Sandra Wilson, Leoffels family, Wren Jansen, Gail Culbreth, Jody Sinex, Donald Sikes, Carolyn and Richard Helderman, Jimmy Hutto, Christina M. Facen, Mike McGrady, John Harrison, Mike Vigdor, Oscar Pullen, Tim Mayberry, John McMahan, Karen Louthian, Samantha Molnar, Bib Dobson, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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Subject (Replies: 34) Author
spacer Plyler's Blog: Friday Email Bag
TigerNet News
spacer Re: Plyler's Blog: Friday Email Bag
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spacer I don't remember anybody fawning for the backup in
CM Shack
spacer Sec you would expect from hack Booger but big ten, how quick
spacer How much of ScElliot's success should be attributed to
CM Shack
spacer I'm not a mechanic, but if I were to hear metal on metal, I
CM Shack
spacer Re: I'm not a mechanic, but if I were to hear metal on metal, I
Mickey Plyler®
spacer I expected us to take a step back, not fall the #### off...
CM Shack
spacer Re: I'm not a mechanic, but if I were to hear metal on metal, I
spacer you don't need a ring to see that the offense is
CM Shack
spacer Re: you don't need a ring to see that the offense is
spacer I wasn't offering up possible solutions, I was merely
CM Shack
spacer Re: Plyler's Blog: Friday Email Bag
spacer Re: Plyler's Blog: Friday Email Bag
NH Tiger
spacer Why do we have to "take what the defense gives us?"
Judge Keller®
spacer You dictate by hurting them where they aren't, making
spacer Do you think the offense has underwhelmed up to this point?
CM Shack
spacer I think the QBs have almost no leash outside of the gameplan
spacer Thanks for the honest assessment***
CM Shack
spacer Re: Do you think the offense has underwhelmed up to this point?
Mickey Plyler®
spacer He's played well, but Clemson's offense is designed to be
spacer Is it an unreasonable expectation to throw for more than 5
CM Shack
spacer Re: Is it an unreasonable expectation to throw for more than 5
Mickey Plyler®
spacer Hey Tommy Bowden, can you stop deflecting and stick to
CM Shack
spacer Re: Hey Tommy Bowden, can you stop deflecting and stick to
Mickey Plyler®
spacer the Defense hasn't underperformed all season, we have a LB
CM Shack
spacer Do you think this offense is capable of winning a playoff
CM Shack
spacer Re: Do you think this offense is capable of winning a playoff
Mickey Plyler®
spacer Do you see any similarities between this years team and the
CM Shack
spacer Re: Do you see any similarities between this years team and the
Mickey Plyler®
spacer First of all, you didn't answer my question...Do you not see
CM Shack
spacer "Trust the guys with the rings"
spacer question Mickey
spacer Re: question Mickey
Mickey Plyler®
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