Jeff Scott: Comparing Lawrence to Watson at this point is unfair
|Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 7:01 AM- -|
SUSNET – Jeff Scott is, like most Clemson fans, ready for fall camp to begin this Friday.
The Tigers start fall camp late Friday afternoon, the start of a long month of practice leading up to the season against Furman.
At head coach Dabo Swinney’s media golf outing a few weeks ago, Scott answered a few questions heading into camp. The following is a transcript of the early portion of his interview.
How excited do you get as a teacher to see these guys?
“Sure, it’s something gradually over time with recruiting that we have been able to really increase our skill, not only with the top line guys but with our depth in those positions too, which is very important. In the last three years we’ve played 44 games, that’s a lot of games to play in a three-year span. It’s not just about your front-line guys, its do you have talented players that are experienced and can go out and execute at a high level behind them. I feel like this is the deepest groups in a while.”
Hunter Johnson not being in quarterback room anymore, what does that do with the quarterback position going into fall camp?
“I think when Hunter was here we had an embarrassment of riches at the quarterback position, with four guys that we could go out and play with. Now we have three that we feel very comfortable with. Obviously, quarterback is a position that has a huge spotlight. But it's really no different than the competition I have at wide receiver. I have three or four guys in the boundary that I think will start for us. Same thing with running backs and tight ends. I’m excited about the quarterback room. It’s going to be fun to watch those guys over the next 27 practices, and seeing who’s ready to go.”
Looking at the offense last spring, what were one or two areas you looked at and said we have to get better if you are going to win the championship?
“I think what we did at the end of the season, getting ready for spring practice, we take 3-4 weeks to really study ourselves. The biggest thing from last year was consistency overall, especially in the downfield passing game. One thing we really cut our teeth here at Clemson is a lot of explosive plays down the field. That was lacking at times and was inconsistent. That wasn’t just the quarterback or the wide receiver there were a lot of pieces to that.
“So that was a big area of focus going into the spring and summer. I really like how we improved in that during the spring and everything I’m hearing from the summer has been good as far as drills. Another thing would be the tempo, being able to continue to play fast. Things are changing, defenses are getting more and more complicated now that they are getting accustomed to the spread and tempo. Sometimes that can slow you down, so trying to find ways to be able to execute at a high level but also being able to play fast and put pressure on the defense.”
Does it seem like with Trevor Lawrence coming to Clemson, is there a similar buzz (that followed Deshaun Watson) that is going around just the interest level and what he does on a daily basis?
“Yeah, I do, I think for Deshaun it started when he was a freshman and sophomore, and for Trevor, it started as a freshman in high school as well, as a highly recruited guy all the way through his high school career. We love being in that position to be able to recruit and attract those kinds of players year in and year out. When Deshaun left Clemson, there was a feeling like this might be a once in every 20 years players, and just a couple years later to have a guy that potentially has that type of skill set is incredible and really speaks to the Clemson brand and how we are as a university and as a program. “
How would you compare those two guys?
“That’s an unfair comparison right now, at this point going through spring practice, it’s very similar to when Deshaun was there, as far as a lot of things look easy. For the majority of players coming in, especially at quarterback, everything looks really fast, it takes a little while for everything to slow down. But for Deshaun, when he showed up on campus the game was slow around him. I saw that at times with Trevor this spring, there’s still a lot to go. That’s the exciting part of starting the season. To see these freshmen that we are excited about be there and play on the field.”