Morris: Tigers need to put Sharpies away and focus on football

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Morris: Tigers need to put Sharpies away and focus on football

CLEMSON – Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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says it is time for the members of the Tiger offense to put their Sharpies away, quit signing autographs and focus on football again.

And, with a short week because Clemson plays at Wake Forest Thursday night, this week is the perfect time.

The Tigers gained 295 yards of total offense against Virginia Tech this past weekend, and Morris said during his Monday session with the media that there was plenty of blame to go around.

“I think you have to look at it couple of different ways. You have to give them [Virginia Tech] credit,” Morris said. “We saw the week before they were playing inspired against Duke. He [Bud Foster] made some changes and you saw that carry forward to Saturday. They had a good plan and they played hard. That being said, I thought our performance was very lethargic. I will be as nice and G-rated as I can with this. Look at two of the first three plays – we take two sacks to start the game out.

“The rest of the game forward, we had trouble getting Tajh to step up in the pocket. I give them credit. But that is totally unacceptable from our guys. The open week – all of that is an excuse. We just weren’t on. I know there are going to be days like that and I won’t accept that. There is plenty of room for improvement. It was a great learning experience and this is a great opportunity for us to bounce back. That room was in complete focus coming out of that game.”

However, the Tigers still scored 31 points on offense and managed to beat the pre-season favorite to win the Coastal Division by three touchdowns.

“If you don’t play well, and you’re still able to win a ballgame that is a good day,” Morris said. “We are excited about the win. Let’s not lose focus on that. For us to achieve our goals we have set here, though, we have to play better than that. To see our defense step up and make stops - that was huge for us. I think our guys might have been signing too many autographs. We had to put the Sharpies up this week.”

On the play of the offensive line

“There wasn’t any movement. Didn’t knock anybody off the ball. Our pass protection - yeah we had five sacks but they weren’t all on the offensive line. Tajh held the ball too long on play one. We had one on the wide receiver. Those are things we haven’t done this year. We had eliminated those. That game was an opportunity for us to get back in and let these guys know we have to move forward.”

On the three-and-outs

“We snapped the ball 67 times and had six three-and-outs…that is 18 more plays without the three-and-outs. It was a complete effort. It was my fault as much as their fault, too. We had guys open and we have to hit those. Tajh couldn’t get into a rhythm and when he can’t get into a rhythm then nobody can get into a rhythm. But we have been really good this year in short-yardage and we didn’t hit our goal.”

Tajh’s shoulder injury and his play

“It’s good. He worked out yesterday. He will be ready to go. I was proud of the way he ran the football. We were just out of synch and I think you saw that a little bit. At no point Saturday did he set his rush points and set up in the pocket. But I have to do a better job of putting him in a position to make plays.”

Is he concerned about play of offensive line?

“We are going to fix it. I am not concerned about it. What concerns me is we don’t have a lot of depth behind those guys and there is no one pushing these guys. You need that competition to where someone is on your heels pushing you every day in practice. They [the younger players] are not in a position right now to step in and challenge. Just inconsistency. Part of that is lack of depth and lack of competition pushing those guys. There just isn’t a whole lot of competition. These guys are working hard, but they have to work harder and we have to demand more from a coaching standpoint. I have to do better job as play-caller, have to do better job at receiver and at running back. We just have to play more consistent in all areas.

On the Wake Forest defense

“They haven’t changed what they are doing from last year. Odd front. I thought last year their secondary was as good as anybody we had in our conference, and I thought that after we played them. They are very disruptive up front and bring pressure. And then they will rush three and drop eight. They have played well defensively. Should be a great challenge for us. Against FSU they had some injuries and had some key guys out. Their nose guard was out against FSU and he has been bothered by injury. He kind of makes them go. They are playing hard right now. But I keep saying it over and over – we have to worry about the Tigers. “

On the short week

“I am excited. I think if you talk to our offensive guys they are excited to get back out there. Those guys are ready to get back going. Yesterday was as good of a day as we have had. I am glad it is a short week and Tajh is glad it is a short week.”

On Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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“I was glad to see him get back into somewhat of a flow in the game. It was good to see him get going again. Still waiting on him to get one out of there and take one the length of the field.”

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