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Topic: Some observations…
Replies: 13   Last Post: Sep 20, 2021, 12:29 AM by: PeppaTiger
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Some observations…

emoji_events [25]
Sep 19, 2021, 3:52 PM

First time poasting here, finally felt like coming out of the shadows to share some thoughts:)

WARNING: LONG

TL;DR — I’m feeling a lot of similarities between this season and the 2014 season. Nothing new to this bored, but just my take on the whole, “TE either needs to shape up or ship out.”


2014 was a frustrating season, for me. We had finished 2013 with an exciting win over Ohio State. We lost Tajh Boyd and a good chunk of our offensive production (ie Sammy Watkins), but we had TB10’s backup Cole Stoudt, Chad Kelly, and some kid named Deshaun Watson waiting in the wings to fill in the QB spot. The coach speak was “we can win with any of these guys”.
Then the QB drama started. Chad Kelly got kicked off the team for disciplinary reasons in the spring (the general consensus among the fans was that DW4 was better than him, and he got ticked).
The season started with a crushing loss at Georgia, in which Chad Morris’ offense — primarily led by Cole Stoudt — could not move the ball the entire second half. A couple of games later, Clemson played at #1 FSU, losing a heartbreaker in OT. That sucked, but we had found our QB — Stoudt sucked, and Watson was our guy. DW4 just made things work.

Then he injured his hand a couple of games later against Louisville. In goes Cole Stoudt. Watson made it back for the GTech game…only to tear his LCL (and later to tear his ACL in practice). Stoudt went back in, and threw 2 beautiful TDs…to the opposing defense. Needless to say, we lost that game.

The entire 2014 season, the defense was phenomenal—statistically the best in the nation that year—and the Cole Stoudt led offense was abysmal. He just got worse and worse through the year. The few games that Deshaun was in, we looked unstoppable, but any time Stoudt was in…well, I think the nickname floating around was “3 & out Stoudt”. Chad Morris just couldn’t seem to make the offense work with Stoudt’s skill set (or lack thereof). People were calling for Morris’ head, saying that he was washed out, that people were on to him (sound familiar?).

And sure, there were some bright spots through the season (DW4 playing on a torn ACL to break the five peat agains the coots, the defense was always incredible, etc), but mostly, although we had a 9-3 regular season, the season sucked. (And yes, even back then, a 9-3 season wasn’t a sky is falling type season! It just kinda sucked.)

Then after the regular season, Morris left to go be the head coach at SMU. Jeff Scott and Tony Elliot took the OC reins, and had to prepare for an Oklahoma team (Russel Athletic bowl) that many picked to beat us. ESPN had Oklahoma beating us as their “lock of the week”. And by all logic, they should have been right.
But a really weird thing happened. Scott and Elliot put together a beautiful offensive scheme that allowed Cole Stoudt — 3 and out Stoudt — to lead the offense to a 40 point game. The defense smothered the Oklahoma offense to a tune of 6 points. We dominated in every aspect of that game. And the big reason why? Scott and Elliot created an offensive scheme that worked with what they had. Chad Morris, the golden child OC, couldn’t do what they did with those offensive players.

All that to say…I’ve seen people say “this is a Kelly Bryant type year”. I disagree. I think our 2017 team was better than this year’s — at least from what we’ve seen so far. But it’s way better than the 90s — some people are saying we’ve regressed to there.
This is a Cole Stoudt type of year. This years team and the 2014 team have the same big problem — the offensive scheme sucks. Sure, the players ain’t doing awesome either, but like with Stoudt and the Russell Athletic bowl, I think if DJ and the entire offense had a better scheme, they could do very well.

I’m no coach, by any means, but I like football a lot. And I know trash offensive play calling when I see it (take the snap under center and take a friggen knee or do a qb sneak!) Whether Elliot’s too proud to change, or he’s stuck in a mental rut for the past 3 years, or he got bailed out by better players in the past, I don’t know. Morris’ 2014 offense sucked too (albeit, maybe not this badly). Gus Malzahn, the creator of the HUNH offense, lost his touch at Auburn. OC’s lose their touch. It happens.

But if this team — and future teams — wants a shot at the elite level of success we’ve quickly grown accustomed to, something has to give. Elliot was a part of the staff that helped 3 &out Stoudt to a 40 point game against a team that nobody thought we had any business being on the field with. Maybe if he did it then, he can do it again.
But it looks like to me, just like Morris had to leave to give the offense a fresh start, TE either needs to trash his playbook and sit down with Joe Brady for a few days to rewrite a new one, or he needs to go. This team has more 4 and 5 stars on it than any team in Clemson history— the players are there. The defense is playing lights out. The offensive players are angry, but they aren’t producing anything with that anger. The coaches keep saying “practices are great”, but the on-field product isn’t it.
The offensive staff has to figure this out. It can be done. At LSU, Joe Brady took Burrow, a mediocre qb at best under his previous scheme, threw him into a genius offense, and turned him into a heisman winner. Good offensive scheme and good coaching does wonders. The players are there. Some of them, at least, want to play ball. Will the coaches do their jobs? Or will we have another 2014 season, but this time, without a DW4 waiting in the wings to give life to a lethargic scheme?

Who knows. Rant over

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Could it possibly be that...

emoji_events [9]
Sep 19, 2021, 4:11 PM

With The Chad gone, Elliott and Scott changed things up.... Something ol Chad was too stubborn to do? Sound familiar? We are who we are AND we do what we do. Elliott should look in a mirror.... He'll see the Chad starring back at him.

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Re: Could it possibly be that...

[1]
Sep 19, 2021, 5:16 PM

THAT is the best post I have seen on here today. Well said!!

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Re: Some observations…

[2]
Sep 19, 2021, 4:43 PM

Spot on!

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Re: Some observations…

emoji_events [7]
Sep 19, 2021, 4:45 PM

Good observations but a lot is different from 2014. Stoudt was not a 5* QB. True, the offense didn't click. But you're right on TE being stuck in the mud. No crossing routes to help his QB. Did we even attempt a wheel route with ship?

No, we have 2 3* rbs and a great 5* true freshman. We ran off our only true good veteran rb for reasons idk. Why chez wasn't the number 2 last year with tons of touches to get him prepared for this year is beyond me.

We're having to start a true freshman in Tate. Why's that? In 2014 we didn't have the portal. Today we do. We haven't been overstocking with full classes in the trenches and it shows.

We spend all spring trying to force a rusty lanky Ross into the slot and the experiment failed. We knew for a while spec was out. Why no planning for a slot. If stellato is the future, why not play him? If not, would a true slot from portal really destroyed our culture knowing anything could happen?

Why we spent all year cross training our oline instead of letting them perfect their natural position. Last year we had great potential at oline so we were told but we were too young. What happened?

Love Galloway and he is a Clemson man but he's not the right end we keep hearing he is. Give the young bucks a chance... And at least give them the opportunity to drop a pass. We utilize them as a checkdown instead of cutting them loose over the middle...

Oh, and we don't run tempo, and I'm not talking about hunh, just a flowing tempo so DJ hasn't got to think, just get the snap, execute and go to the next play. Dabo treats him like Trevor, and he's not.

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Re: Some observations…

[2]
Sep 19, 2021, 5:06 PM

Clemgalalways® -- why did we get away from doing some tempo, at least for part of the game?

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"... I developed a hate for coots at an early age .."


Re: Some observations…

[1]
Sep 19, 2021, 11:24 PM

I honestly wish I knew. But you can see some of the players even trying to encourage tempo. One reason I say coaches think dj5 is TL16 because it seems to me we haven't changed the offense to fit dj5. Are we perhaps asking him to do too much pre snap... I'm as baffled as most. No reason whatsoever we shouldn't have been able to impose our will in ga tech.

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Before we played the fighting baker mayfields - another

[3]
Sep 19, 2021, 4:47 PM

thing happened - B Streeter was named the QB coach . . . . I think THAT was the key swizzle stick in mixing the perfect drink that crushed chokelahoma - again !


Great post.

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Brad Brownell: all-time losingest coach in Clemson men's basketball history, and only coach to beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill.


Re: Some observations…

[3]
Sep 19, 2021, 5:04 PM

Thanks for taking time to share that long post with me as to your thinking.
I agree with most you posted. I don't see that as a "rant". I hope you post often.

-- I too wonder as to the lack of TE use as an O weapon. TEs since Leggett have not had much role in the O.

-- You posted often as to 2014 or back when.
This is a very different team even from last year. If just in experience and mind set, all the coaches (even Dabo) are different.

I remain confident this will be another great year.

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"... I developed a hate for coots at an early age .."


Re: Some observations…

[2]
Sep 19, 2021, 5:12 PM

Good post. You hit the nail on the head, except you didn't reveal the reason the Morris/Stoudt offense failed to work. Morris went ULTRA Conservative to try and protect Stoudt. This is exactly what TE is doing to DJ now. TE/JS turned Cole loose in the bowl game and he looked like a pro. LET EM PLAY COACH!!!

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Re: Some observations…

[1]
Sep 19, 2021, 5:13 PM

Would Saban allow this offense at Bama?

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Re: Some observations…

[3]
Sep 19, 2021, 6:09 PM

Spot on with Joe Brady obs and LSU. We need to evolve.

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Re: Some observations…

[1]
Sep 19, 2021, 11:31 PM

Sounds like we need to offer Joe Brady 2 million

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You said 3 years?


Sep 20, 2021, 12:29 AM

3 seasons ago we trashed Alabama by 4 TDs in the National Championship.

2 seasons ago we waltzed through everyone except an off day against UNC, and we adjusted at half to beat OSU before running into the unstoppable juggernaut, LSU.

One season ago we scored on everyone including posting the most passing yards in Notre Dame history. The same OC scored 73 on GT last year, and we ran over everyone else until we ran into an OSU team that we absolutely could not stop. We jumped up 17-7, but couldn't keep up with OSU in a game where a lack of run blocking hurt as well.

I assume when you said "3 years" you really meant this season in your count as well.

This season we couldn't do anything against UGA, and there were no playcalls to be had. We had no running game to speak of, and we had no time for longer passes. Our QB was either inaccurate, or holding the ball, or not taking off and running on all other pass plays. So what could we have called? It wasn't playcalling; it was dysfunctional offensive execution.

DJ was still flat-footed and highly inaccurate against SC State too, but we were able to overpower them otherwise.

Against GT, they dropped 8 and dared us to win by completing short and medium passes, or by running the ball. Once again, DJ was flat-footed and missing on throws. So we resorted to running the ball while limiting 3 and outs and limiting GTs chances to chip away and win. Our adjustment on offense is why we win the game. Again, we couldn't run our complete offense because we had an execution issue, and our playcalling was adjusted to give us the best chance to win, including running the QB. Guess what, it, the playcalling, worked and we won.

So, this season is not a third year, and 3 full years ago we won a national championship.

Two seasons ago we scored on everyone and adjusted in the semis of the CFP. Playcalling took us to the national championship when we ran into an unstoppable buzzsaw. So we, with our playcalling we finished #2 in the country.

One season ago, we adjusted in a game when Trevor got hurt, and we came back to beat BC. With playcalling. We passed for the most yards in Notre Dame history on a night when we couldn't run. Our defense couldn't stop Notre Dame that night our playcalling scored over 40 points and nearly won the game behind the record-setting QB who is struggling this year unlike anyone anticipate. We couldn't stop OSU, we couldn't run, and Trevor didn't play his A-game. We still played in the CFP semi-final and finished 4th in the country. With playcalling being a major reason.

This "year" is far from over, but the same playcalling that won a title and finished 2nd and 4th is still calling plays.

Those #1, #2, and and #4 seasons that flourished under playcalling aren't the issue.

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