Ferrell takes a cue from Venables, says defense "just wasn't good enough"


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Ferrell says he still has work to do
Ferrell says he still has work to do

CLEMSON – Clelin Ferrell has been around defensive coordinator Brent Venables for three years now, and you can tell the influence Venables has had on his pass-rushing defensive end.

Venables is seemingly never satisfied – not even after a shutout – and is always striving for more. Ferrell returned to the field for Saturday’s scrimmage after missing three days due to concussion protocol and was the top tackler on the day with six, including three tackles for loss, one of which was a sack.

However, Ferrell wasn’t satisfied or particularly happy with his performance.

“I was just okay. I didn't practice the whole week,” Ferrell told TigerNet after the scrimmage. “But with me being one of the leaders of the defense, I feel like when I step out on the field I have to perform and lead. I had a couple of mistakes and made a couple of plays. It was an okay day for me. I like how we came out and got after the offense. But we didn't finish well at the goal line. We came out and kind of stoned them from the jump.”

Ferrell even threw a compliment to the offense, which by all accounts had a rough day.

“I like seeing those guys compete. They come out there and they fight,” he said. “I want to see those guys come out there and compete and they did. They got us on a couple of plays, so it was good seeing that.”

Co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said that Ferrell gave Tremayne Anchrum – filling in for Mitch Hyatt at left tackle – all he could handle.

“I do remember that Anchrum did give up a pressure off the left side and he'll learn from it,” Elliott said. “He’s a tremendous young man that has a lot of pride and he was going against Clelin, too. Clelin has been out the past couple of days and he came out with something to prove today. He was fired up and rushing off that edge. That is going to make us better. They are battling each other for the spot, but they are also battling Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell, two of the best in the ACC.”

Ferrell wasn’t impressed with the compliment and said the defense as a whole has to do more.

“I can't really speak about that. Me, being a guy who was on this defense last year, I would say it just wasn't good enough,” he said. “We have a lot of things we have to work on. There was a lot of good things. A lot of young guys got some good experience. But there were a lot of things where I feel like we weren't really locked in mentally. There were some good things, don't get me wrong, but I just feel like it was an okay day. It could have been a whole lot better.”

The Tigers will practice again Monday and hold a situational scrimmage Wednesday, and Ferrell said he wants to work on the little things each day.

“You take the little things. The big things, those might take a little longer,” he said. “But you take a couple of small things at a time, and you work at them day by day. You can't really try to get better at everything when you come back on Monday. You take a few things at a time and I feel like that will help us a lot, and get us ready for the season.”


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