Props to PACIFIC BEACH TIGER® for his post on watching Clemson 2022 Spring game so many times which prompted this post.
Pac Beach Tiger made me recall this article I read last year about Joe Burrow - Ja'Marr Chase bond forged by "throwing and catching an estimated 10,000 balls to prepare for what would be a historic 2019 campaign in which the offense broke a number of national, conference and College Football Playoff records. Former LSU co-offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger often found Burrow working with Chase and other receivers on Saturdays in the summer or after practices if things didn't look right."
So my question is .. did DJ throw 10,000 balls to receivers last summer and during season to build chemistry with receivers? Doubtful, but pandemic was probably a factor. So will DJ and/or Cade be throwing 10,000 practice passes to EJ, Ngata, Beau, Dacari, Brannon, Troy, Will, Antonio and Adam (if healthy) this summer? Let's hope so. Because that chemistry and confidence picked up along the way with their already existing talent makes all the difference in playing the game and excelling.
DJ is a great kid that everything that had went right with him before went wrong last season. The big one was his parents separated, his WR’s were injured all season along with his Offensive line and TE’s.
He’s grounded and mature years beyond his age in many ways. He’s going to be realistic about where his game is, he’s going to work hard and take the advise of the coaches. If it was most college kids I’d give up on him being our starter, but Dabo has faith in him for good reason, so I believe he can make a huge turnaround.
He would be the most popular Clemson quarterback ever if he can turn it around and be as great as we thought he’d be now. Let’s go DJ we are all pulling for you.
His backup is going to be pushing for his position if he doesn’t perform well. Cade Klubnik is going to be another great QB with confidence a mile long.
It’s going to get interesting quick in 2022! Let’s go Tigers!!
many of the things that were problematic for DJ last year did not appear to have improved very much, if any. He's still has accuracy issues, he's still too slow progressing through his reads, and he's still late delivering the ball.
area every day, who said he used to see Trevor throwing to receivers all the time,but never DJ. Now, maybe Trevor just happened to have a schedule that matched up. But, one thing that is not debateable is that one was accurate and one was not. If things are going on in your life that play with your emotions I can understand making the wrong read, not knowing which receiver is MOST likely to be open before the snap, etc.etc. However, I don't see how that plays into NOT seeing a 265 lb. player BETWEEN you and the ball carrier on a pitch play or between you and a 6'5" player between you and a receiver in the flat.
For timing to be right, each practice rep requires the WR to be running his route full-out.
No jogging around, no lazy cuts, etc.
Maybe (just maybe), if 10,000 reps were not done between DJ and the WRs last year (and this a big if ... I certainly have not been watching off-season / unsupervised practices), there was some indifference or lack of urgency in the WRs to agree to this extra level of off-season work.
Both the QBs and the WRs need to feel this urgency and desire to be great.
I think this is the most important part of this conversation.
DJ can only throw 10,000 passes to WRs if they run 10,000 routes.
Taking a look at the WR corp from last season and knowing what we now know about some of them:
J. Ross - coming off of major surgery and recovery and maybe not a surprise that he was risking injury with excessive summer workouts
F. Ladson - hasn't exactly been outlined as the guy who was doing everything to be great since leaving
J. Ngata - his most consistent attribute to this point has been injury so we aren't sure if he was even healthy enough last summer to take that type of workload
A. Ajou - it has been stated outright that he didn't take football seriously
Spector - out with illness complications
E. Williams - I seem to remember him having offseason surgery after his FR season but I'm not positive
Collins and Collins - each just a freshman and maybe not a surprise if they didn't understand what it took to be great yet if no veteran WRs showed them
Looking back, DJ may have already taken too much heat for the lack of offseason work when it seems that the people who would have been catching the passes were not nearly as invested in improvement/available as we needed them to be.
Deshawn Watson and Trevor Lawrence were leaders with a lot of talent to go with it. I think DJ has a much more timid personality that comes off as a little stand-offish. I watched the games last year and when Clemson scored a touchdown, even though DJ went to the end zone to celebrate, he still hung back and I noticed not many players went up to him. That wasn't the case with Trevor or Deshawn. Maybe he will be fine this fall, but I think he has a confidence issue that is going to hinder him again this season unless he either learns to fake it or just develops better mechanics/decisions on the field. Just my two cents for this morning.