Q&A with Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier

by - Senior Writer -
Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier directing practice in the preseason. (photos: fotoman)

CLEMSON – Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier sat down with the media on Tuesday, and answered questions about the upcoming game against North Texas as well as questions about the offense.

The following is a transcript:

TN: What you think North Texas will do defensively?

BN: We are very fortunate, our defense is multiple. We see things that are very similar to what North Texas does on a daily basis. It’s a great teaching environment for our players and our staff- to know the weaknesses of each defense and attack each weakness. You’re going to do what you do, but you’re going to pull from inventory to what’s suited to this defense and this coordinator given the down, the distance, and the field position.

TN: What do they do defensively?

BN:They do a great job. Their coordinator is really good at what he does- he’s good at making in-game adjustments, he’s got a good inventory of formation adjustments that they are capable of doing and understanding where they’re weak and how to counter that. I think he does a good job. I think their players understand what they do in regards to coverage front, pressure- they do an outstanding job of putting it all together. I think it’s a great opportunity for our kids to compete against this program and these players, so our focus will be on our execution and acquiring knowledge of their defense and personnel.

TN: Do they have one player that jumps out at you?

BN: I think number 10, the Cook kid [DB DaWaylon Cook], is a good player. He’s a good communicator- gets them lined up. He’s been impressive. I think, in terms of measurables, they have guys that can give you issues. They are a veteran group. I think they are in their third year with a coordinator. All of these guys- it will be their second year, some junior college players on their roster, so their comfort level being at the university and their comfort level being at the university in their second year can prove to be a formidable opponent. We’ve got to have them ready and if they’re not ready then it’s our fault.

TN: Does the play calling dramatically change for you this year?

BN: Yeah, in terms of the receiver position, but everything else is about the same. Ultimately it’s our job to get some of those guys touches and see what they do with them and see who will rise up and show that they are capable. I think they are, but doing it out there on the practice fields is a little bit different that doing it out there [in the game]. I think we have a group of players who deserves their touches, so we’ll do our due diligence and give them the opportunity. It’s good to have 2 or 3 guys that you are confident in. We don’t have a proven play maker like we did in the past, in Jacoby in that he was a capable, proven 2 or 3 year player, but I do think we have guys that are talented and can be productive in the same way Jacoby was.

TN: How have you seen Dwayne Allen mature since last year?

BN: The guy has just really bought in, in every area- as a student, as a player, as a person. He’s a product of the system to some degree in terms of leaning on people. When he came to Clemson as a young boy, and now he’s a young man- he’s matured in every area.

TN: Do you change your play calling based on who is in the game?

BN: We tag personnel groups all the time, make sure guys are in the game. Make sure certain guys get opportunities. That’s one of the biggest differences- we make sure so-and-so is in the game when we call this play. You only have so much time in the game week- there’s only so many repetitions. You’ve got to take the cards that your dealt- the pool of players that you have and try to play the best hand as many times as you can. Sometimes, it’s a different guy based on the concept you’re trying to run.

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