Morris not happy with Monday's practice

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Chad Morris wasn’t happy with the way Monday’s practice transpired, at least for his offense, and he didn’t mince words when talking to the media.

The Clemson Tigers returned to the practiced field after a hiatus from spring practice for spring break, and he said many players acted like they would rather still be on spring break.

“Today was very lethargic to say the least,” Morris said after practice. “It was like pulling teeth at times. I don’t know if they told them it was an eight-day spring break or not. If it was, I didn’t get the memo. I guess I had better check my email and see if spring break should have fallen over into today. We didn’t have the productivity we wanted and needed to have, and I am disappointed in that.

“We did do a few things well – we stretched pretty good today. We caught the ball well. But we didn’t have that edge we needed. It was kind of nonchalant. I don’t know if it was the spring break blues or not, but that’ okay, we will get it out of them on Wednesday. We had a big install day today, and that slowed them down somewhat.”

Morris was asked about quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
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and Boyd’s trip to California over the break to work with quarterback guru George Whitfield, and it wasn’t too hard to see that the offensive coordinator wasn’t exactly happy with the trip.

"He's going to get some good footwork out of it,” Morris said. “He's out there, he's doing some productive things, which is a positive. Still, the bottom line is, it's about his performance. This is who we are this is what we're going to do. Tajh, it's not like he came back and said, 'This is all the new stuff I'm learning. This is what I'm going to do.' He went out there to better himself and keep pushing himself, hear new ideas and new things.”

Morris said he respects Boyd for wanting to be better, but his junior quarterback still has to prove himself on the field.

"I respect him for challenging himself, in that regard, but we're not going to change who we are just because he took three or four days to go out to California,” Morris said. “I could care less about that. I want to make him better. What we're doing here is very productive for his benefit. I respect Tajh and trying to make himself better. He came back with a great attitude - there's nothing wrong with that. Still, the bottom line is about performance. You can be picture perfect in all your drops, but if you're not making the right reads, all that other stuff doesn't matter."

*Reporters got to talk with wide receiver Nuk Hopkins, who looks stronger than he has in the past, and Morris said he is excited to see what Hopkins can do after his first true spring practice.

“He is a lot stronger and playing with a lot more confidence,” Morris said. “He is able to get off press coverage better. When you consider that this is his first off-season, he only had one place to go and that was straight up. He has come a long ways, and you can see he is playing with more confidence. With Nuk, it has always been ‘what will you do without the football.’ That is still a challenge for him”

*Morris said the offensive line is picking up the new blocking scheme.

“It’s just different steps and different paths we are taking,” Morris said. “They have done alright through six practices.”

*Morris on the tight ends, other than Brandon Ford.

"Sam (Cooper) has had a really good spring," Morris said. "He's making some plays. He's learning his role. Darrell Smith is another guy who has a role on this team. He's athletic. I'm excited about Darrell. Those are the top three right now that separate themselves. It's those three, then everybody else. You've got (Eric) MacLain - he's a hit and miss guy right now. He's still learning formations and how to get lined up right. He's got to understand that his big attribute is that he's got to be physical. He's got to play physical. He's not going to outrun anybody, so he's got to make his money being physical. That's our challenge to him. And he's learning that. He's got some spots right now where we're checking him out and seeing where he fits. But right now it's those three guys."

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