Defense behind as August camp hits the dog days


by - Staff Writer -
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Brent Venables coaches a linebacker during Monday's practice
Brent Venables coaches a linebacker during Monday's practice

CLEMSON – It’s time for the Tiger to tear up another field.

Clemson’s football team will practice again Tuesday, but instead of using the two practice fields outside of the indoor practice facility and the indoor facility itself, the team will practice on Jervey Meadows, which sits across the moat.

Welcome to the dog days of August camp, and Swinney has the players competing at cornhole before practice begins.

“It's the dog days of camp and we're doing a lot of good on good, and there's a lot of traveling. I'm just trying to make them compete a little bit and put a little something on the line for them,” head coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday. “Whoever wins it gets to stay on their field when all of the traveling is going on. When we go inside on the O vs. D periods, the losing team has to come all the way from their practice field to this practice field. There's a lot of jogging and extra running built into whoever loses. We're just trying to have a little fun. Today is our last day here for a while because we're going to move over to Jervey Meadows tomorrow and tear that field up a little bit. We'll be at Jervey Meadows for the rest of camp, and we'll move back over to the practice facility two days from today.”

Swinney has been disappointed with the play of the defense to this point in camp, even though there hasn’t been a typical scrimmage situation.

“We've got a good installation plan in place as far as how we script all of our situations. There are things we have to expose the team to so we can see where we need a little more water in some places in others,” Swinney said. “We didn't do a good job of coming out in defense today. I was really disappointed in what I saw today, defensively. Guys are working hard and doing a good job of creating the type of competition that we need. We've got a big week. It's going to be a tough couple of days until we get to Thursday when we'll back off a little bit physically and then ramp it back up Friday and Saturday.

“Today and tomorrow and Wednesday, we've got a lot of work to get done. We're going to have a situational scrimmage on Wednesday, so we've still got some installation that we've got to get in - some of our two-minute stuff, last plays, green zone, red zone, short yardage. We've got to get to our goal line package tomorrow, so it's a lot of work to get done, but I like the guys as far as they'll work, and they'll compete. We're a long way away from a top-five football team right now. We're a top-five program, but we're not a top-five team, not right now. We've got a lot of work to do, but that's why you have camp, and that's you coach and spend as much time as we do meeting and correcting and the guys that it's important enough to will get better.”

On the defense

“Just not doing our job. You're on the one-yard line, and Gallman goes 99 yards on the first play. That's great for the offense, but that's all it takes is one play. We've got to clean up some things. We can't be feast or famine, and it all goes back to doing your job and having your eyes on the right thing, tackling is a part of it. It was disappointing today. They came back the second round and did a good job, but we may not get another chance, so we have to be ready right out of the gate. We're playing a really tough opponent right out of the gate. We've got to get better and clean up and then we have to create the competition that will drive those guys to get better.”

Injury to center Jay Guillermo

“Until they tell me he's back, we just keep rolling. He'll be alright some time. He'll play against Auburn.”

Injury to linebacker Jalen Williams

“He just tweaked his hamstring the other day. He'll be alright. We're six days into camp, and we're getting some guys that are a little bit dinged up here and there. That's part of it. I hope to get Marcus Edmond back before too much longer. He's on the good side of the pulled hamstring now. He's working his back. That will be a big shot in the arm when we get him back in the mix.”

Cornhole at the start of practice

“It's been back and forth. We can't seem to get a consistent winner. I let the coaches pick today. I think Jabril Robinson won the competition for the defense today. It's been back and forth. I don't think we've had a back-to-back winner, so it's been about 50-50. Hopefully, in their spare time they'll compete and work on that.”



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