Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?


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Clemson fans hope to see another win Saturday
Clemson fans hope to see another win Saturday

CLEMSON – Saturday is supposed to be one of those perfect, sun splashed afternoons that are perfect for tailgating. The evening hours are forecast to be crisp and clear, the perfect conditions for a Clemson football game in Death Valley.

Not only that, it’s Homecoming and Clemson’s defense will try and give the Homecoming treatment to the Syracuse Orange in the first-ever visit to Death Valley for a Syracuse football team.

The only thing that would make what should be a perfect afternoon and evening is a Clemson win, improving the Tigers to 6-2 and making them bowl eligible.

I did a radio show earlier this week with a Syracuse sports talk show, and the host mentioned that he was making the trip down for the game and asked what he should try and see and what he should expect.

My honest answer was that it was hard to explain over a phone call….How do you explain 82,500 (give or take a couple of hundred) fans screaming at the top of their lungs as the buses round the stadium? How do you explain acres and acres of tailgates and tents and televisions and satellite dishes, a sea of orange and purple covering every parking space on the entire campus? How can you make 20,000 staying outside of the stadium during the game – just watching from their tailgate – seem real to someone whose idea of a tailgate is a couple of brats on a side street next to an old dome?

How do you explain RV’s and campers showing up on Wednesday and continuing to filter in throughout the rest of the week? How can you explain what it’s like to stand on Bowman watching the floats being prepared? Can you explain Tiger Rag and why that rock is so important?

It’s impossible. I told him he would just have to come down and experience it first-hand. Louisville fans learned earlier this season and went back to Kentucky with rave reviews. Welcome Syracuse. Sit back and enjoy it.

*Clemson’s defense has been getting a lot of rave reviews lately, but I wanted to ask a couple of players about what it’s like to stand on the field with the game on the line. The Tigers had to do it against Louisville and Boston College, and I wondered what player was “the guy” when the game was tight. Who is the leader?

My thought would have been Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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, who has been a vocal leader on and off the field and has been very demonstrative this season. But most of the players I asked all said the same person – linebacker Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 244
Polkton, NC

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. Anthony is quietly putting together a solid season and has rebounded from the rough start at Georgia.

*Safety Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
So. Safety
#20 6-4, 215
Fort Myers, FL

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was funny this week…..If you remember, we reported that he was actually out of position on the play in which he chased down the Louisville receiver at the end of the game. He was supposed to be in Cover 2 but instead stayed inside the hash and was able to make the play. Secondary coach Mike ReedMike Reed
Assist. Coach / Defensive Backs
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gave him a “minus” on the play. This week, he told us that one of his great plays at Syracuse last year was again because he was out of position. He laughed when it was suggested that the key for him is to simply miss assignments. But then he got serious and started talking about his film study and how much he puts into preparing for a game.

Clemson looses a lot on defense after this season, but having guys like Kearse and Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
So. Outside Linebacker
#10 5-11, 235
Anderson, SC

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and Kellen JonesKellen Jones
RS Jr. Linebacker
#52 6-1, 233
Houston, TX

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and B.J. GoodsonB.J. Goodson
RS Jr. Linebacker
#44 6-1, 240
Lamar, SC

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and D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#48 6-2, 322
Greensboro, NC

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and Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
So. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 269
Central, SC

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all getting significant snaps and learning from the great seniors ahead of them is a big positive. Kearse said he learns something new from Robert SmithRobert Smith
Sr. Safety
#27 5-11, 211
St. George, SC

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each day. If – and it’s a big if – he keeps on this track he has the potential to be an All-American at some point over the next two years.

*Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Jr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-7, 285
Brooklyn, NY

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….I saw a lot of message board chatter about left tackle Isaiah Battle and how some people were hearing he was going to leave after this season and had already told the coaches. I grabbed Coach Swinney after Wednesday’s practice, and he was genuinely surprised to hear that.

Swinney said that Battle doesn’t always toe the line, but that it was pretty typical of trying to deal with young football players. Swinney said that Battle hasn’t informed anyone of his plans, but that if he does decide to leave it would be comparable to Bashaud BreelandBashaud Breeland
(2010 - 2013)
#17 6-0, 195
Allendale, SC

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or Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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– he would be a third or fourth round pick. If he comes back he could be a first round pick.

I watch Battle a lot during the games, and he’s missed on some pretty key blocks this season. He could use another year.

*NFL scouts….There are always a good number of NFL scouts hanging around the WestZone early in the week, but it seemed like there were more than usual this week. We were there on Tuesday, and there were NFL logos all over the place, watching film and talking to the Clemson coaching staff. My guess is that it all comes back to that Clemson defense – Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 276
Columbus, GA

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, Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-2, 236
Adairsville, GA

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, Grady Jarrett, DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-1, 292
Central, SC

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, Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 292
Wilmington, DE

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, Stephone Anthony, Tony StewardTony Steward
Sr. Linebacker
#7 6-1, 236
Hastings, FL

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, Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Sr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 194
Conyers, GA

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, Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Sr. Defensive End
#9 6-4, 273
Jacksonville, FL

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, Robert Smith….the list goes on and on of players that will draw interest from the NFL. This year’s Clemson Pro Day should be fun to watch.

*Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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…..Saw a USA Today article earlier this week that listed the ten hottest college football head coaching candidates and Venables was on that list. IF he were to take another job (and no, I haven’t heard anything) who would Swinney go after? Would you go after Will Muschamp, who now seems like a lame duck at Florida? Would Swinney have to try and outbid Steve Spurrier for Muschamp’s services?

Because of everything that is going on at places like Florida – which could make a run at Dan Mullen or even Steve Addazio at Boston College – once the first domino falls it should be fun to watch. Michigan will likely have an opening, and there are a few other big-time schools that will have to make some hard decisions. And that doesn’t even include Florida St. and that mess down in Tallahassee, which could see all kinds of fallout from the Jameis Winston investigation and all of the other allegations surrounding that program.

The off-season is usually boring, but this one might be fun to watch.

But back to my original point…if something was to happen with Venables, who would be YOUR top target?

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Subject (Replies: 66) Author
spacer New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
TigerNet News
spacer If we could get Muschamp, would we want him?
Tiger2017®
spacer Re: If we could get Muschamp, would we want him?
Dantzlerfan01
spacer Gimme Narduzzi of Michigan State..
BFRT_King Ranch®
spacer I would say yes.***
Clemson_Orange
spacer Reggie Herring
clemson_tgr
spacer BV is gonna be gone sooner rather than later
Lilnaitch
spacer +1 for the Oklahoma Sooner reference.***
argonaut1992®
spacer Re: BV is gonna be gone sooner rather than later
TahoeTiger
spacer Any DC would be a major step down. Hopefully Snyder will
Tiger5
spacer ....insert baboon noise here.***
argonaut1992®
spacer RH was almost as bad as Kevin Steele...
Aikitiger
spacer Re: Reggie Herring
dtnickles
spacer Re: Reggie Herring
greene
spacer Rex Ryan***
TonyTigerblood
spacer Geoff Collins
sbrooks®
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
TigerDrewz
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
Dantzlerfan01
spacer Agree
AFtigers87®
spacer I was impressed with Don Brown from BC
talltater
spacer Other than Muschamp?
OldTiger05
spacer Re:John Chavis: SC Native
sae52
spacer Ellis Johnson***
tigeron®
spacer At first I chuckled
metiger
spacer Re: Ellis Johnson***
Litefoot®
spacer Best defensive mind ever to walk the sidelines at Clemson. Danny Ford.***
argonaut1992®
spacer Would save us some money too, since he'll work for free! :)***
grover173
spacer Wrong side of the ball.***
leo®
spacer Re: Best defensive mind ever to walk the sidelines at Clemson. Danny Ford.******
SuperSam
spacer Danny Ford--No
SuperSam
spacer Re: Danny Ford--No
Country Gentleman®
spacer Danny Ford***
Willmo®
spacer Re: Danny Ford***
hoaxster®
spacer He may have been the Oline Coach but he was D
Aikitiger
spacer Lee Nanny and John Phillips ... both defensive players who
apextiger®
spacer Pat Narduzzi at Mich St
T1G3R 4 L1F3
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?***
29575tiger
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
29575tiger
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
29575tiger
spacer BV is the best coach we have, period.
ATL PAW MAN®
spacer Well he had a chance when he interviewed for the HC
jch81
spacer Jeremy Pruitt***
ColaTownTiger
spacer Re: Jeremy Pruitt***
Litefoot®
spacer Re: Jeremy Pruitt***
Exiled2
spacer Exactly. Why not go for the best.***
greene
spacer Love Clemson and Clemson Football
kodibuddy
spacer Re: Love Clemson and Clemson Football
CUsouix®
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
tbennett117
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
Litefoot®
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
Exiled2
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
ALLweatherfan®
spacer Caldwell was a HC at Vanderbilt for one year***
Hi Cotton Tiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
I bleed orange
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
Foothills Tiger
spacer Rob Spence
tigerphils
spacer Spence is a head coach now... at a high school. Really.
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: New Story: Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire?
05CUTiger
spacer If we loose venerable see are domed .***
tigerpetti3
spacer I wonder how many people loose sight of the fact that
attheesso®
spacer This article
randomChance
spacer To answer the inane question
randomChance
spacer Coach Spaz was a pretty good DC at BC
Tiger Rag Fishing Team
spacer Vic Koenning. Does anyone remember how awesome
stephen2907
spacer Yes but no
AFtigers87®
spacer Isaih Battle a 3rd or 4th round draft pick? NO f'king way!
AllTimeClemson
spacer And your qualifications are.....
TigerTown
spacer Maybe. NFL places too much emphasis on measurables.
greene
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