Dialed In: Jeff Scott says the offense has been focused on 2016 this spring

by - Senior Writer -
Artavis Scott is just one of the playmakers Clemson returns in 2016
Artavis Scott is just one of the playmakers Clemson returns in 2016

CLEMSON – No one knows the numbers the Clemson offense will put up in 2016, but a lot is expected of an offense that returns one of the nation’s top players at running back, quarterback, wide receiver and tight end. Add in three returning starters on the offensive line, and the expectations are high.

There’s a lot to be said for experience and consistency, and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott likes what he’s seen out of his group so far this spring.

“I feel good. I feel like our guys really picked up right where we left off there in January. A lot of retention and I really like the chemistry among the group,” Scott said. “Very few missed assignments and a really good job by the guys up front - the offensive line. We got two groups and they are doing an excellent job and I can't remember a time around here where we've had two groups. Really pleased with the young guys, both Tremayne (Anchrum) and Sean Pollard have done a good job jumping in. They are very conscientious and are going to be good players for us. Overall, a lot of good things and a lot of things to correct like you're always going to have in the spring. Really spending a lot of time working on fundamentals, technique, footwork and all those types of things, rather than scheme. Really pleased where the guys are after six days.”

Scott said the coaches won’t let the players get complacent.

“The big thing for us is that we started the spring with the offense in a team meeting just like we did the last three years, ‘Hey, it's time to start over.’ Do we have the potential to be really special? Yes we do. Why did we have the success that we had last year? Because we had a lot of guys buy in that were willing to work and we've got to start over,” Scott said. “Yes, there is some retention, but really we need to start over. We have to focus on the little things more than the big things. These guys know what they have the potential to do, but they also know it's a very fine line. We go back and watch all of the cut-ups and there are a lot of things through last season that were very close on us having success and winning the game or losing the game. It's a very fine line, but I really like the way the guys have worked. I don't see any complacency or anything like that. These guys have fire and a good work ethic.”

The Tigers didn’t have to make a change in the offensive staff after losing Chad Morris and gaining Brandon Streeter at the end of 2014, and Scott said having the familiar voices helps.

“I think having the entire offensive staff back really helps. It's been documented that we work really well together,” he said. “Everybody knows their role and everything we are trying to do. It's been really smooth. We've even challenged ourselves as coaches to get better, just like we challenge our players. Coach Swinney is always challenging our staff to get better at what we're doing and we did that in the time off before spring practice. We have good chemistry on our staff and I think that's contagious and I think our players have good chemistry because of what we have as a staff.”

Several Clemson players were honored with national awards last season, and quarterback Deshaun Watson finished third in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy. Scott said none of the matters in 2016.

“The biggest thing is you have to go back to work and you can't worry about any of that stuff. Coach Swinney did a great job the other day and asked the guys in a team meeting to name the last five Heisman Trophy winners,” Scott said. “They couldn't get past the last two. Nobody remembered any of the others. Nobody cares about all of the awards Deshaun won last year, that's over. It's a new year and a new focus. That's where our attention is - putting everything from last year to bed and focusing on this year and how can we get better? How can we get better? How can we finish when we get those opportunities to finish, where maybe we didn't there in that last game? That’s what we have to do.”

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