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 [email protected]

Mickey,
I know there is still Clemson football to enjoy in 2017 but I couldn’t resist peeking at the current roster and thinking about next year. Looks like six seniors will definitely be leaving - 3 on each side of the ball. I know Christian Wilkins is most likely gone as well. Is it still too early to say on A Bryant, D Cain or RR McCloud? Interested to hear your opinion and always enjoy your insight.

Joe

Joe,
The key to the 2018 season will be the decisions the underclassmen make between now and January 15. Deon Cain, Ray Ray McCloud, Mitch Hyatt, Taylor Hearn, Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant, Kendall Joseph, Van Smith and Mark Fields are the underclassmen that have decisions to make. I know these guys have to be thinking about it, but they have not sat down with the staff to discuss the decision. I have my opinions, but I am conservative in those evaluations. I have talked to pro scouts who say most underclassmen at most schools need another year. Wilkins is a no-brainer, but the other nine have a tougher decision.

Hey Mickey,

First off, thank you for all you do. I look forward to your blog posts every week, and enjoy your perspective and unique insight to the program.

There is never a bad time to be a Clemson Tiger, but this is an especially great one. Any kind of criticism of the program at this point, is just nit-picking.

In the spirit of doing just that, however, I wanted to get your thoughts on something. We all know that if Kelly Bryant struggles in any area, it's the downfield passing game. That, coupled with the talent at RB, this offense has become much more balanced. However, at times this year, the opposition has loaded the box and forced us to check out of run plays and into passing plays to "take what the defense is giving us," just like several teams did last year. When I watch Alabama, teams load the box, and they run it anyway, with success. Do you see this offense getting to that point, where in some cases we do take what the defense gives us, but other times we impose our will and run the ball for 3-4 yards anyway? If I see any weakness with this offense the last several years, it is just that. There have been times where we have abandoned the running game for a string of drives, and it has resulted in outcomes that are less than desirable. We hit a dry spell Saturday night, where if we had stuck with the running game I felt we could have scored at least 2 more times.

Again, this is purely nit-picking from a couch-coordinator, but I was just curious about your opinion. Thanks again!

2012Tiger

2012 Tiger,
To me, it’s about personnel and what the defense gives you. Clemson isn’t good enough on the offensive line and at running back to run the ball at will against good defenses with eight in the box. Few teams are. Alabama has Scarborough, Harris, Harris, and Jacobs at running back. All four of those are better than Etienne and Feaster. Clemson isn’t good enough to pound their head against a wall and run into an 8-Man box.


Hi Mickey,

Long time reader, first time writer. I was hoping to hear your opinion on the very small number of holding penalties other teams have received against us. I feel like I can legitimately count on one hand how many times other teams have been flagged for holding our D line all season. I've noticed it for a while, and I've kept it to myself, yet it's something I was hoping to get a few more opinions on. But maybe it's just me.

Also, out of curiosity, what is your dream scenario for this upcoming qb battle for next year (or two)? Signs are pointing towards the theory that some great young guys could leave if the job is taken and locked down in the next year or so, but if you could paint the picture, how would you like it all to play out?

B

B,
I watch holding on every play and can’t understand why the officials let it slide as often as they do.

As far as the QB situation is concerned, I just want everyone to be healthy so injuries are not the factor. The perfect scenario is to let the competition take care of itself. The best players will play. I do think a player or two will transfer and probably should transfer. I hope two or three will stay and compete. Last year Alabama has two five star QBs transfer but still had two great ones left. I think that will be the case soon at Clemson, so that is why you have to continue to recruit every year. Also I am thankful Brandon Streeter is the guy developing these QBs.

Mickey,

What a great last couple of weeks and what a great time to be a Tiger. The Miami win was just a complete team win and shows what a great program Dabo has built especially now that several assistants are in the running for head coaching jobs. Rest assured, there are not many assistants on any level that do not aspire to be the head coach and reasons that we wish they will stay at Clemson will have little bearing when a check is written. With the money that football brings into schools and the amounts of money paid to coaches, the buzz words "silly season" used by talking heads around the nation is worse than silly, it is just plain absurd because coaches are big deals.

I may in the minority in half of this but two of the best things Tommy Bowden did at Clemson were hiring Dabo and hiring Brad Scott. The story is crystal clear on Dabo but not only did Brad Scott bring good relations with high school coaches in Florida and South Carolina but he is Jeff Scott's father. How many players over the years are or were at Clemson because of the recruiting genius that Jeff Scott brought to the Tigers and would he be at Clemson if Bowden had not hired his dad?

In the same vein, two of Dabo's most important decisions were hiring Brent Venables and Tony Elliott. How many schools can say they have back to back National Assistants of the Year when they go on the recruiting road and where would Clemson be without them? Winning brings recognition in many ways and having desirable coaches is certainly one of those. The stability of the staff at Clemson was challenged this year and has worked out great but here's hoping we get at least another year from Coaches Scott, Elliott and Venables because the best is yet to come. No doubt there are other great recruiters and coaches out there but I sure do appreciate the ones we have.

Andy

Andy,
I agree that Dabo and Brad Scott have been huge successes at Clemson. Both are great men and have impacted so many lives. I am a huge fan of Elliott, Scott, and Venables. I think Clemson has the best coordinators and the best staff in the country. There will be a time when those guys leave, but I have faith in Dabo that he will hire the next wave of great coaches. I loved Marion Hobby and Dan Brooks, but Todd Bates has also been a huge success as their replacement.

Mickey,

I reference to building championship programs, how much credit does Tommy Bowden get for starting a great foundation

Harold

Harold,
I have a lot of respect for Tommy Bowden. I think he should be in the Clemson Hall of Fame. He deserves a lot of credit. However, Dabo deserves the majority of the credit for taking the program to the next level.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

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