Venables on Kelly Bryant: "I believe in fighting and just sticking to it"
|Saturday, September 29, 2018, 11:11 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Brent Venables isn’t afraid to show emotion, and as he sat in a chair outside of the Clemson locker room after the Tigers’ 27-23 victory over Syracuse, those emotions poured out.
Venables works on the defensive side of the ball but he’s been around former quarterback Kelly Bryant for four years. Bryant decided earlier this week that he would transfer out of the program rather than battle freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence for a starting spot.
When Venables was asked about Bryant’s decision, he said his loyalty would have forced him to stick around.
“It’s sad to see. I hate it, just the big picture,” Venables said. “I’m just a loyal guy. I believe in just fighting and sticking to it. That’s just me. That’s easy to say. I’m not sitting here trying to judge. He had such an incredible legacy here (with) his leadership and his toughness and his accomplishments.
“I (would) just keep fighting and control what I can control. And (I would think), ‘My teammates are here and this is my team,’ because that’s how we all looked at him.”
Venables then realized he might have been too open with the media.
“I probably have said too much. I’ve got my own problems,” Venables said. “But as a member of this team, as a coach, I’ve always and I still do hold Kelly in very high regard because I know the pressure that goes with that is different than there is at middle linebacker. I know that. I just don’t think that if there are opportunities down the road you have to go look somewhere else. I think you can have those same opportunities right here. That’s just me.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney set a Wednesday deadline for Bryant to make a decision to return, and the Tigers could have used Bryant’s veteran leadership when Lawrence went out with a concussion in the first half.
Instead of Bryant’s steadying hand, like at Texas A&M, the coaches turned to redshirt freshman Chase Brice. All Brice did was lead Clemson back from a 16-7 halftime deficit, showing the Tigers still have options at signal caller.
After the game, Swinney indicated he was ready, like Venables, to move on from the Bryant situation.
“I have no idea,” Swinney said, asked if Bryant was still enrolled at Clemson. “Not talking anything (more) about Kelly. Just going to talk about our team. I’ve addressed everything I’m going to address on Kelly. I wish him all the best and we’re moving on.”