CLEMSON, SC - Tuesday was the first day for the Clemson football team to wear full pads in practice. The Tigers only wore pads in the morning session of their fourth day of two-a-day workouts.
"I think the defense was more excited to have the pads on," said Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. "The offense probably wasn't. The defense had a nice day of hitting while, the offense seemed to struggle a bit, dropping too many passes."
Wide receiver Joe Don Reames had his helmet knocked off after being hit by strong safety Charles Hafley late in the practice. There were no injuries in practice, including to Reames.
"It is important we didn't have anyone get hurt today," Bowden said. "We need to keep these guys healthy for the situational scrimmage on Wednesday. You want to see everyone healthy for a scrimmage.
Wednesday's scrimmage, which is closed to the public, will be geared toward specific down and yardage situations to allow the coaching staff to see some of the newcomers and reserve veteran players. The Tigers will participate in a more extensive scrimmage on Saturday at Death Valley, which will also be closed to the general public.
In the Wednesday scrimmage Bowden said the team will work on down and yardage situations, primarily on third down. The offense and defense will also get worked along the goal line. Specifically, the coaching staff will be looking for receivers to step up and make big plays and for the quarterbacks to make good decisions. He also said he would like the first team to be challenged for starting roles.
Several players stood out in practice Tuesday, including sophomore linebacker Rodney Thomas, sophomore wide receiver J.J. McKelvey, and senior linebacker Keith Adams, who Bowden said, "always stands out and will only mention his name once."
There are players that Bowden still needs to see, including freshmen Keith Kelly and Derrick Hamilton, who have missed practice time because of injury. Kelly returned to the field in limited action Tuesday afternoon after a hip flexor had sidelined the running back from Walterboro, SC. Hamilton is still out with a hamstring injury. Bernard Rambert, who had also been out with a hip flexor injury, returned to practice on Tuesday.
Kyle Young (foot), Theo Mougros (ankle) and Jason LeMay (hamstring) continue to miss practice because of injury, but all should return by the end of the week.