Venables says improvement of the defense begins with familiarity and trust


by - Senior Writer -
    |

CLEMSON – Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile
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.”

Rate this Story:
13 votes

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

CFB rule changes for 2017 season

4-star athlete picks up Clemson offer

Former Tiger called up for Wednesday start

Deon Cain: Clemson's next great wide receiver?

Kelly Bryant on being named starting quarterback: "It's an honor"

ESPN releases statement on moving Robert Lee from UVA game

Former Clemson DT picked up by AFC team

WATCH: Cain ready to "show out on the field'

WATCH: Bryant calls starter role 'an honor'
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest