Monday Practice Insider: Jimmy Greenbeans throwing darts at linebackers

Monday Practice Insider: Jimmy Greenbeans throwing darts at linebackers

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Jimmy Greenbeans was on fire Monday.

Greenbeans, the alternate and quarterback-playing persona of defensive coordinator Brent Venables, made a brief appearance as the Tigers went through practice number four of the spring.

Venables was working with his linebackers in drills and had each player come out of the cones and then turn to face him. At a distance of seven yards, Venables/Greenbeans was letting the ball fly with extreme prejudice. And then, just when the players thought they might have the measure of ol’ Greenbeans, he would lob one up in the air.

Most of the linebackers fared well during the drill, including Kane Patterson, who has a heavy cast on his entire left hand. Freshman Kevin Swint, however, might have done a few more pushups than he would have liked.

We will stay with the linebackers for a few graphs – if you went in order of how they performed drills, the top four were James Skalski, Baylon Spector, Mike Jones, and Jake Venables. Spector impresses me more and more every time I see him, and Venables was moving better (at least to me) than he was during bowl practice. That’s all good news. This is a very athletic group and it’s going to be interesting to see where the depth chart shakes out in the fall.

I asked one NFL guy that was there which of the linebackers had impressed him the most, and he said Skalski. He said Skalski is a thumper who will “surprise people with his speed and quickness at the NFL Combine next year.”

*Today is the 30th birthday of Clemson manager David Saville. His picture and a happy birthday card were pinned to the video screens, so everybody that walked by the Georgia native got a big hug, including me. Some things are a lot bigger than football.

*The staff from Western Carolina was in attendance, including former Clemson center Jay Guillermo. Guillermo recently took the job as tight ends coach after spending a season as an offensive line GA for Shawn Elliott at Georgia State. I asked Guillermo about life on the mountain, and he smiled and said, “Cold!”

*I am not sure if it’s been mentioned anywhere, but offensive analyst Terry Bowden is back for a second year.

*Freshman defensive tackle Bryan Bresee was in a regular practice jersey today and went through all drills.

*Offensive lineman Blake Vinson, defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney, corner Derion Kendrick, corner Andrew Booth, and corner Mario Goodrich were all in yellow jerseys and worked outside with a strength coach. Patterson was in a green (no contact) jersey.

*Amari Rodgers, Lyn-J Dixon, Justyn Ross, Michel Dukes, and Travis Etienne were all working at punt return today. I wouldn’t read too much into that because we’ve seen a lot of different guys working there in the three practices we’ve seen.

*I had to wander over to watch Todd Bates and Lemanski Hall work with the defensive line, especially since Bresee is out of the yellow jersey. In just a few minutes I saw freshman defensive Myles Murphy put a ringing hit on a sled, only to be followed by sophomore Tyler Davis with an even bigger thump.

Bresee and Murphy were getting a little extra coaching today – both are physically impressive but have a lot of technique to learn before they are ready to compete at this level.

We have a quick turnaround with Coach Swinney and a player available a little before six, so we will have more later.

Upgrade Your Account

Unlock premium boards and exclusive features (e.g. ad-free) by upgrading your account today.

Upgrade Now
Daily Digest
Comment on this story
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
Advanced Outlook: Clemson-Wake Forest projections
Advanced Outlook: Clemson-Wake Forest projections
Tigers rally to roll over Eagles
Tigers rally to roll over Eagles
Dabo Swinney ranks second in salary for USA TODAY coaches database
Dabo Swinney ranks second in salary for USA TODAY coaches database
Clemson Pro signed to NFL active roster
Clemson Pro signed to NFL active roster
Post your comments!