Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust


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CLEMSON – Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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walked into his weekly session with the media looking as relaxed and confident as he has in weeks, and with good reason.

Clemson’s defensive coordinator has watched his defense go from a team that was ranked 96th nationally in total defense morph into a unit that, while still not dominant, has shown definite signs of improvement over the past few weeks.

The Tigers allowed a season-low 17 points to Virginia Tech two weeks ago, and then allowed just 13 points and 290 total yards to Wake Forest last Thursday. This week, the Tigers travel to take on Coastal Division leader Duke in a 7:05 p.m. kickoff in Wallace Wade Stadium, and will have a more confident and improving defense to go along with their explosive offense.

Venables said the defense has shown growth since the beginning of the season, and the results are just now beginning to be seen.

“I think it shows the growth, at a lot of different levels,” Venables said. “From us as coaches, understanding what our guys can and can’t do, what we want them to do, and again, whether that’s a scheme thing, a fundamental thing, guys growing up in the system as players, just doing their job.

“It’s playing with better technique, fundamentals and aggressiveness because they’re sure of what they’re doing. And then our confidence in them as coaches. Again, it’s muscle memory. You continue to build on a foundation and build from there.”

Venables said the hardest part of the process – from his standpoint – has been learning the ins-and-outs of players he didn’t recruit and hasn’t seen over the past two or three years.

“You’d be negligent if you don’t consider those things, guys’ strengths and their weaknesses, their experience, their skill set, there are a lot of things that go hand in hand,” he said. “It hasn’t been an easy process because you don’t know your personnel yet. You’re still learning your personnel, didn’t recruit certain guys, don’t know what they were the first day they got here, don’t know what their progression has been, don’t know how everyone thinks, don’t know a lot of things. When you don’t have a consistent 11 it’s hard to know those things at intimate levels. But we’re making progress.”

A lot of the progress made has been the ability to slow down opponents’ rushing attacks and get pressure on the quarterback – Clemson has seven sacks over the past two weeks after getting just seven through the season’s first six games.

Venables said that success starts up front.

“If you feel you’re sound in what you’re doing schematically and guys understand what they’re doing, they can stop the run, it gives you more flexibility to be more aggressive, philosophically, when the time’s right,” he said. “If you can’t do step A right, you don’t’ want to get to step B and grab for stuff.”

One observer noted Tuesday that the Tigers have looked more confident in their run defense - meaning there are less blown assignments – and Venables said that has been a result of the defense using the base call to stop the running game.


“Fundamentally, technically, schematically, personnel-wise, to be able to make the kind of progress we want, we’ve got to be able to stop the run with a base call,” Venables said. “If that’s 6-2 Mau-Mau, so be it. Whatever that call is, whatever you want to hang your hat on, every defense gives you that call. If you can do that it gives you a foundation and until you can do that, you have to shelve everything else.”

As a result of the newfound success, Venables said there has been more trust across the board, from the coaches to players.

“I think there’s more trust,” he said. “They trust what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and the guy next to them, getting more and more guys that can articulate coverages, fronts, why they change. They’re just understanding football and not just memorizing their jobs. When you can get to that level you can go to another place as a football player. We’re not polished in that regard at this time but there are a number of guys who are getting closer and closer in growth that way. Guys are really simplifying the game and seeing success as a result.”

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Subject (Replies: 35) Author
spacer Front Page Story: Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust
Crump®
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust
TigerHawk76®
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust
leftneck
spacer You know, our DC, Coach Brownlee.
David78®
spacer 96th in total D to 82nd, just in case anybody was wondering.***
Razzmatazz
spacer Do you or do you not see us improving?***
deleted
spacer I think that is what he said.
Gwood Tiger
spacer You don't know Razz, do you?***
deleted
spacer Re: 96th in total D to 82nd, just in case anybody was wondering.***
Terrierfan
spacer Re: 96th in total D to 82nd, just in case anybody was wondering.***
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: 96th in total D to 82nd, just in case anybody was wondering.***
Anonymous08®
spacer Re: 96th in total D to 82nd, just in case anybody was wondering.***
Dugatiger®
spacer to go from 96th to 82nd in game 7 & 8
dashibbit
spacer Re: to go from 96th to 82nd in game 7 & 8 - If I calculated
CUalum79ALLn65®
spacer We were 40th in total defense over the last two games.
David78®
spacer Absolutely right. With our offense we dont need a top
AllTimeClemson
spacer Re: 96th in total D to 82nd, just in case anybody was wondering.***
Dugatiger®
spacer Its easy to "improve" on defense when you play
AllTimeClemson
spacer We have absolutely improved...
deleted
spacer He is so motivated big time...love it
fightigers
spacer I grade the improvement from an F to D+ so far
mpercy®
spacer Re: I grade the improvement from an F to D+ so far
deroberts
spacer Racist comment aside, if there are 120 teams in FBS
mpercy®
spacer Re: Racist comment aside, if there are 120 teams in FBS
Dugatiger®
spacer Overall statistics may show body of work but
TigersO
spacer Re: I grade the improvement from an F to D+ so far
dgcannon39
spacer Re: I grade the improvement from an F to D+ so far
Anonymous08®
spacer That's how I would too. WF game should be graded a C
AllTimeClemson
spacer Who leads the ACC in forced turnovers?***
SteelD
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust
jrconnolly
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust
dgcannon39
spacer be gone, coot.***
cutiger51908
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust
Anonymous08®
spacer You really think you will lose to Wofford too ?
clemson80tiger
spacer That's overly harsh, and I thought I was king of the
AllTimeClemson
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust
icebucket
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