News and notes from Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Some quick news and notes from Saturday’s intra-squad scrimmage in Death Valley.

*From all accounts, quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
#10 6-1, 230
Hampton, VA

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had a good scrimmage. He was 10-for-12 for 168 yards and a touchdown. He completed his last eight passes, and he said he feels like he is in complete control of the offense.

“There were a few plays here and there that I left out on the field, but I felt like I made some good decisions,” Boyd said. “We still definitely have a lot of work to do. I felt really comfortable out there, and I am starting to get into a groove. I feel like an older player out there. I was composed and not rushing things as much. I am definitely feeling that leadership role. Teams that don’t do well lack leadership at quarterback, and I feel like I am stepping into that role.”

Boyd said that one of his long completions was on a wheel route to tight end Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
Tight End
#83 6-3, 245
Fayetteville, NC

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, who had lined up in the backfield at the H-back spot.

*Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said he was pleased with Boyd’s effort. “Tajh is not the same person he was in the spring," he said. "He's more familiar with this offense. And you expect that. Everybody is acting all surprised that Tajh is having a great camp. But this is what we expect out of him. He should be doing this. It's a big deal to be the quarterback at Clemson. But we're not going to cut back on him, either. He's got to continue to do better."

* Morris said that freshman wide receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver
#7 6-2, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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is beginning to push for a starting job while also calling out some of the veteran players.

"Yeah, I think Sammy is pushing,” Morris said after the scrimmage. “I can tell you this - he's pushing and he's fixing to start pushing some more. We've got some veteran guys that better climb the ladder in a hurry. I am not lying. Some of our veteran guys aren't cutting it right now. It's not what we're expecting. They better step it up. This is not what I want to see. ”

Morris was asked about how the veteran players were lacking, and he said they weren’t as sharp mentally as they should be.

"We're making some mental mistakes,” Morris said. “You don't expect these types of mistakes from our older guys. We're turning the ball over in the red zone. We cannot have that. It cannot happen."

Morris said he thinks the heat became a factor for some of the players, and said he didn’t like how “soft” some of the players were.

"It's not nearly what I wanted, it's not what coach [Swinney] wanted, it’s not what our staff wanted. We didn’t play as physical as I was expecting and that is disappointing.”

*Morris also pointed out that even though the offense played well in spurts, he is not pleased with what he saw. "We can't give off the impression that we have arrived because we haven't,” Morris said. “We haven't done anything yet. This is our last full week of camp and it's got to be the toughest. If we can order hotter weather then that's what we need to do. We're going to go back to work, we're going to coach them harder this week and we're going to demand more out of them."

*Running back Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
Running Back
#23 5-10, 190
Moncks Corner, SC

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was all smiles as he talked about getting back into a game-type situation.

“It felt great. The biggest thing was getting out there and playing with my teammates,” Ellington said. “I'm just having a lot of fun out there. It felt like a game even though we are just out there scrimmaging against our own defense. It felt like a game stepping out there, with a few of the fans out there watching us and congratulating us. We want to get better next week.”

Ellington said the offense got better as the scrimmage progressed.

“We are just kind of tuned in,” he said. “The leaders stepped up and tried to get everyone on the same page. We weren't focused at the beginning like we should have been, but it got better as the scrimmage went along. Tajh did great. He did a lot of great things out there. He stepped up as a leader and I'm proud of them for that.”

*Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele - who was without four starters – said the defense still has a lot of work to do as well.

"Make no mistake about it, this was not a pretty sight out here," Steele said. “But what I will say is they've got a good focus. We've really got some talented guys that we've got to get ready, through repetition like today, and put all the moving parts together."

Steele said that the first team linebackers got most of the work, but he also made sure the highly-touted freshmen saw plenty of snaps.

“We had a rotation of linebackers. We roll those guys,” Steele said. “Quandon [Christian], Corico [Hawkins] and Tig [Willard] got most of the one work, but occasionally we would throw a B.J. [Goodson], a Stephone [Anthony], a Tony [Steward] in there with the twos. We loaded those young ones up. They made some mistakes.”

Steele said that Steward – who had offseason knee surgery – made one mistake that eventually turned into an eye-opener for the coaches.

“One mistake that Tony made was costly- a 30 yard gain,” Steele said. “He knew what he had. He just let his eyes drift on it. When he realized that he made a mistake, you saw a jet kick on. It was like 'whoa'. Marion Hobby, the defensive line coach grabbed me and said, 'Coach did you see that?' Yeah, I saw it.”

*Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 205
Greenville, SC

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had a 5-for-5 day on field goals, and Swinney said he was pleased with all of the kickers.

"The kicking was outstanding,” Swinney said. “I don't really know how many kicks we attempted, but I don't think we missed one. I don't remember them missing one, to be honest with you. Catanzaro has put a nice few days together. Ammon [Lakip] is competing his tail off as well. That was good to see. We worked all phases of the kicking game. We did live kickoff, return, punt , and punt return. We punted backed up, just tried to get a lot of things done in this first scrimmage."

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Subject (Replies: 22) Author
News and notes from Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley
Wow. No sugar coating from Morris. Every time this
It's called coaching***
Re: Wow. No sugar coating from Morris. Every time this
See, Morris was a HS coach back then, if Napier doesnt
Lord, please let us get through camp without any injuries
Re: Lord, please let us get through camp without any injuries
Re: News and notes from Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley
Great...Accountability from a coach & leadership from a QB!!
Re: News and notes from Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley
i was a little confused on that one too***
Re: i was a little confused on that one too***
Steward, is that you?***
Yep. Sounds like Tony chased down an RB or WR after 30 yds.***
Re: News and notes from Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley
sgt tiger®
2:12 in the video from Saturday Scrimmage
Re: News and notes from Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley
Re: News and notes from Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley
wouldn't that mean he'd be back where he started?
Is it just me or do you view Morris' vids 1st & Dabo's last?***
Re: Is it just me or do you view Morris' vids 1st & Dabo's last?***
That's exactly what I do. That is IF I watch DS's at all***
Exactly! Previous days I didn't even watch Dabo's at all.***

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