Morris expects offense to be better in 2012

by - Senior Writer -

SENECA - Chad Morris wants his offense to be even better.

The Clemson offense set multiple records a season ago, ending the season by being ranked 16th in the country with 6,171 yards of total offense and 26th with 440.8 yards per game. The Tigers were 17th nationally in scoring with 470 points and 24th in points per game [33.6].

However, the Tigers’ offensive coordinator says he wants more, and said all it takes is a look at the film from last season to realize just how much his offense left out on the field.

“That is our goal. Obviously we had a decent year last year, but we left so many hidden yards and hidden points out there,” Morris told the media during Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s media golf outing at Cross Creek Plantation Tuesday. “We weren’t mature enough to get it. While we did make significant improvements, there was so much more left behind. Our goal is to be the number one offense in the country. That is something we think we can do and we can achieve.”

Morris then said he isn’t worried about how much of the offense he manages to install – he just wants to make sure the team does at least a few things well.

“When we finished spring ball, we had 65 or 70 percent [installed] at the most,” he said. “It’s not about how much or how fast we can get the offense in. We might not have it all in against Auburn, but that’s ok. We have to get good at what we do. We have to worry about the Clemson Tigers. We might have 70 percent in by the end of fall camp.”

Morris said having quarterback Tajh Boyd return for his second season as a starter will help tremendously, and he thinks that having key personnel injured at critical times last season hurt Boyd’s development.

This season, he thinks Boyd has an unlimited ceiling.

“It seemed like it kind of disrupted his comfort zone,” Morris said. “He was a rookie then. Now, he’s a veteran quarterback. We expect him to be, no matter who’s on the field, for him to make 10 other guys around him better. That’s what’s going to separate him from being a really good quarterback and being a great quarterback. In my opinion, he has the potential to be one of the best in the country, if not the best quarterback in the country,”

Morris admitted that he understands the concern surrounding this year’s offensive line – the line will feature three new starters – but thinks the group has potential and could surprise some people.

“I’m really excited about this group,” Morris said. “Watching them in spring ball and seeing what they’re capable of doing. I’m excited about where our offensive line has the capability of being. I think the sky is the limit for what our offensive line can achieve. Again, it’s going to be our job to push them out of their comfort zone early on, and really tap into some of the unknowns that they may not know they can achieve, but they’re working extremely hard.”

Other notes from the Morris interview

*On freshman running back Zac Brooks: “I think Zac’s a guy that’s going to be able to come out and go through fall camp with the intent to play. He’s a guy that’s going to play. He’s going to play early, help out.”

*On incoming freshman Germone Hopper: “He might be one of the quickest guys that we have out there. It’s a matter of whether he has the maturity level. Does he have the mental drive to be able to play at this level?”

*On traveling to Nevada to learn more about the Pistol, and traveling to Oklahoma St. to learn how the Cowboys used standout receiver Justin Blackmon last season: “You have to stay on the cutting edge. You have to find out what’s the best mouse trap. There is a better mouse trap out there. You’ve just got to go find it. You don’t go out to learn an entire offense or a whole complete scheme. You try to pick up a nugget here and there that’s going to help you in your system. I think that’s going to help us as we start evolving into this year’s offense.”

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