Morris opens up about first two weeks of camp

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Offensive coordinator Chad Morris doesn’t pull any punches when talking to the media, and Wednesday morning was no exception.

The Tigers had just completed a situation scrimmage in Death Valley, and Morris’ offense had its best outing of the fall camp.

Morris was asked if he still planned on taking 10-to-12 shots down the field per game, and he said yes.

"We're making some things happen. We're hitting some deep balls and we're hitting some of our underneath routes,” he said. “Just because we call a deep-ball shot doesn't mean we run a deep ball. We've got check-downs to underneath routes, too. Today, we had Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
Tight End
#83 6-3, 245
Fayetteville, NC

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open on a deep ball and Tajh just missed him, but we are definitely taking shots down the field.”

After the main group of media moved away, I got to spend some time asking Morris questions about the offense and the freshmen, and started with a question about how the offense makes substitutions considering he wants to run plays at a fast pace. He said it is a joint venture between himself and the position coaches.

“Over the course of what we want to do, they know what guys need to be in what spot,” he said. “It really is just a ‘feel’ thing. But if I need to help them, I will do that. I know this offense, and I can help them make that call, and it happens just like that.”

Morris then added that the wide receivers will run fewer plays than the rest of the players on the offense.

“The number of plays they run in a row – especially early in the season – is five or six in a row before they need to come out and get a blow,” he said. “They kind of hit that wall. But as the season goes, that changes. Say we run 80 snaps in a game – which is our goal – a good receiver or our number one guys need to be out there for 48-to-50 of those snaps. That is what you like to see. You try to manage that, and that helps you manage them throughout the long haul of the season. But I want my playmakers out on the field.”

At running back, Morris has admitted that starter Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
Running Back
#23 5-10, 190
Moncks Corner, SC

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is still trying to work himself into game shape, and said that as of Wednesday’s scrimmage none of the other backs have launched themselves firmly into the number two slot.

“Each has their own day,” he said. “One day it is Rod [McDowell], and then the next day it is [Mike] Bellamy. They all have their certain days. But I have also told them that they all have to be a part of this football team and they will all have a great role. They understand that we have to get something positive out of them.”

Morris always seems to mention true freshman Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver
#7 6-2, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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when talking about the wide receivers, and I asked if Watkins was having the best camp of all the wideouts.

“Sammy is just so explosive. But listen, Nuk [Hopkins] is doing some really good things. And Jaron BrownJaron Brown
Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 200
Cheraw, SC

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is having a really good camp right now. Sammy is catching everybody’s attention, and he is definitely the most explosive of all of them. Just because of his burst.”

Morris said that he has been challenging some of the other freshman wideouts to step up their game as well.

“Martavis [Bryant] is having a really good week,” he said. “We challenged him on Monday, and he had a good day, and then he had another good day on Tuesday and another good day today. We challenged him on Monday to start playing fast because he was playing tentative. Charone [Peake] is like a typical freshman – he has one good day and then the next day he drops.

“We have to get more consistent play out of him, but he had a good day today. Adam [Humphries] has had a good camp. He is also the typical freshman – he makes some unbelievable, acrobatic catches and then he might drop one that is right in his hands. They have all hit the freshman wall because we have pressed them so much. But we are going to keep pressing them because they have to understand that they need to work through it.”

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