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Justyn Ross puts defenders on the ground during drills, depth chart gaining clarity


by - Correspondent -
Justyn Ross makes a leaping catch during practice
Justyn Ross makes a leaping catch during practice

CLEMSON - Monday’s practice in Jervey Meadows added a little more clarity to the offensive depth chart.

Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott spoke with the media Monday afternoon after a weekend off from fall camp. The Monday blues apparently didn’t hit the team as hard might be expected.

Scott said that Monday’s practice brought some clarity to the depth chart and also spent time discussing the play of his receivers during August camp. The following is an edited transcript of his interview:

Scott on the depth chart

“I think it’s sorting its way out. We are almost three weeks into camp and it’s starting to sort itself out. Last Thursday was our last full scrimmage so that was a good opportunity. We will meet Wednesday as a staff, we’ll meet and talk more about personnel. It’s starting to work itself out, but really all it's gonna be, that won’t be the depth chart for the season, that may only be the depth chart for the Furman game. There’s a lot of times that there’s a lot of movement in that depth chart from the first game to the second based off of productions and how the guys play, and our guys know that. But yes, a depth chart is starting to come together.”

On blocking abilities of wide receivers

“Yeah, I’ve been pleased with Justyn Ross. We did our W drill out here which is wide receivers against Db’s, tight ends against linebackers, O-line and D-line, everyone together with a running back; and, I think Justyn put two or three guys on the ground. Being physical is not an issue for him, like it is with a lot of our guys. It’s technique, getting our hands inside the framework, not being on the outside. But, both Justyn and DK (Derion Kendrick) have the right kind of mindset, they are tough kids and physical guys. I think they have added something to our group with the addition of them so it’s been good.”

On plans to get snaps in for all of the wide receivers

“Yeah, I think we’ve had that issue for a couple of years. It’s a good problem to have, but it can be a problem. I think overall the best thing that helps us is the culture that Coach Swinney has created in the program - it’s not about any one person. There Is absolutely zero entitlement in our program, from coaches down to players from quarterbacks, all the way through. Coach Swinney does a really great job stamping that out from the very beginning, actually even before they even get here. The presentation in the recruiting process, he lets them know very quickly that you have to earn everything you get, there’s that mentality.

“The other side of that is Coach has a mentality that we are going to play a lot of guys. If you deserve to play you are going to get an opportunity to play. Doesn’t mean you are going to play the same amount as that first guy, but you are going to get an opportunity to play. And then what you do with that opportunity really dictates how many plays you get. For us, I think we are a talented group, and my big challenge to this group of wideouts, since we really only have one starter coming back, oh and Renfrow, is going from potential to a group of production.

“That’s really what we have been talking about all fall camp. I like the way our guys have progressed. We have a strong challenge every day going against the corners and secondary that they face. You know, we’ve won some battles and then when we haven’t been ready we’ve lost some. Overall, I am pleased with where we are, that next step is they have to go out on the field and do it, but I am optimistic that they will be able to. “

On the alpha dog of the offense

“I think that whenever we talk to the wideouts, I’m not trying to compare them to the guys that were here before them. I want Tee Higgins to be the best version of Tee Higgins, I don’t want Tee Higgins to try and be DeAndre Hopkins or Mike Williams. I want him to worry about being the best version of himself. But within that, I am also always sharing the characteristics of the best of the best that have come through. And with us playing wide receivers, one of those is the guy that physically, mentally, can go and play. You look at the play that Mike William’s made in the preseason game this past weekend. I remember him making those plays his red-shirt junior season, he couldn’t always make those plays his sophomore year.

“There's a transition and transformation that has to take place in becoming more physical. That’s where I think Tee is and where Diondre Overton is, and they are ready to make that next step. To be the alpha dog you really have to have the confidence to go out there and be that guy, and that’s where I think they are, they are trying to go out there and be that starter. I think once they get out there and start playing and get that confidence going they will have that opportunity. I think we have a lot of guys that have that potential, Amari Rodgers is one of those guys, he’s a good kid, has the right mentality, and that’s definitely what we are progressing to, but I don’t think we are there right now.”

Overall thoughts on fall camp

“Yeah, I think it’s good the way the schedule worked out this year. We got to give them a couple days off, and then come back. When you’ve been through 17 days of fall camp, everyone’s got something that’s sore, hamstrings or something like that, so I think everyone felt better out here today. Kinda getting back in the rhythm. This is a very important week as we kind of finish up camp. I think for us overall, there’s just a lot of people playing, so I feel very confident.

“Our first group, in just about all three scrimmages, have gone very well. Better tempo and better execution are really our biggest challenges for that next group behind them to really step up so that there’s not a drop-off. Coach Swinney purposely made the first offense go against the first defense, so it was a pretty big challenge for those guys. They made some plays but also got exposed a few times. I think that’s the biggest thing is going in and coaching that second group so that the standard of our offense doesn’t change.”

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