Napier discusses Tajh Boyd and the offense after Saturday scrimmage


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Boyd wants to get better at

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CLEMSON – Offensive coordinator Billy Napier met with the media following Saturday’s scrimmage, and he said that he got about what he expected out of his unit on the day considering that starting quarterback Kyle Parker is in Virginia with the baseball team.

Redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd and senior Michael Wade got most of the snaps at quarterback, but all eyes were on Boyd, and Napier said while Boyd has done well, he needs to start paying more attention to detail.

"He has a great approach to it, but I do think he's got to get to the point where he understands that there is a whole other level out there in terms of attention to detail," Napier said. "We can do a lot of the main things right on offense and be very average. We have got to do those things right, and we've got to continue to do the little things right at each and every opportunity.

“Right now, that’s where Tajh is at. He's figuring out: 'Hey, there's a lot more to this crap than I thought.' He is in that phase now where he's learning what to do. You need repetition. It's the foundation of learning. So the good thing is, he's getting a lot of reps."

Boyd said that he was nervous when the scrimmage first started, and even tried to force a couple of throws, but then said he felt better once he got back to “playing football.”

“You try to do so well and execute,” Boyd said of the start. “But then you realize it’s just football, and it’s something you’ve been doing since you were little. So I focused a little more and everything came into place. “

Boyd also said that once he gets a grasp of the little things, he expects his play to even out.

“Mainly, it has been the little things,” he said. “It’s the little things that really count, and as long as I get those down, everything will be cool. Today, for the first scrimmage, it was ok, but I am looking forward to trying to improve. There is still a lot of time until the first game, and hopefully I can be well-rounded by the time the season comes around.”

Wide receiver Xavier Dye, who almost quit the football team last season, will be asked to provide experience in his senior season, and he came up with two big catches on Saturday, including one for a touchdown, which Napier said it was a product of Dye learning about consistency.


"He's been on that roller-coaster for a long time in terms of consistency," Napier said of Dye. "The bottom line is, he keeps his mouth shut and comes to work every day and does his job."

Dye said he wants to be the receiver that the coaches rely on this season.

“That is one thing the coaches have talked about, is that you have to show them you can do it, whether it is in practice or a scrimmage,” Dye said. “You have to showcase your talent to them every chance you get so they will get confidence in you. I just want to be more of a complete player this season – whether that is catching touchdowns or throwing blocks on people. I want the coaches to be able to recognize me as being competitive and doing my job, and I want the coaches to rely on me.”

Napier said he thought the offense played with good tempo, but said he would like to see more out of the second-team offensive line.

"I think we have some drop-off with our second offensive line," Napier said. "I don't know that the defensive line has that much drop-off like we do, so there's a disadvantage there. We have a handful of guys in that second group we have to develop."

Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper are expected to split the carries at running back this season, but Harper had the better day running the ball, gaining 44 yards and scoring a touchdown, while Ellington fumbled twice in gaining 17 yards, and Napier was asked if he felt like either one could be named a starter at this point.

"We're going to do what we do, and that is we're going to play a lot of backs," he said. "If we're going to be any good, we're going to have to rush the football. Andre did some good things, but he turned the ball over."

Another bright spot for the offense was tight end Dwayne Allen, who caught a touchdown pass from Tajh Boyd during the scrimmage, and Napier said that Allen is showing increased maturity, and that it helped Allen to redshirt one season and then learn from Michael Palmer last season.

"The best thing Dwayne has done is he's showed a great deal of maturity in terms of being an action guy and not a talker," Napier said. "He's finally figured out that, 'Hey, you know what? The bottom line is I have to do my job.'"

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