Venables not pleased with the corners after Wednesday scrimmage


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Venables says the defensive line has played well
Venables says the defensive line has played well

CLEMSON – There comes a point every spring and fall, usually after the first major scrimmage of camp, when defensive coordinator Brent Venables acts like he’s been handed the starting defense of the South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs, minus Bobby Boucher.

Wednesday night was that point.

Clemson scrimmaged for two hours Wednesday at the indoor practice facility, and Venables’ interview was short, to the point, and showed his lack of pleasure at how the defense performed.

All except the defensive line, which he praised while also raising concerns about the cornerbacks.

“We still like our d-line. We've got a lot of work to do in the secondary,” Venables said. “I thought it was kind of sloppy today. Those are the things that stand out the most. We're hurting at corner, probably as bad since 2012.”

What didn’t he like about the secondary, specifically the corners? Pretty much everything.

“All of it. Just say it and it applies,” Venables said. “We got what we got, so hopefully we can get there with our front four. It’s everything. It’s long term, short term. It makes you want to puke looking at it.”

Asked about two players that head coach Dabo Swinney raved about earlier in the week – Nolan Turner and Denzel Johnson – Venables showed a different opinion.

“They're practicing hard. There has been some improvement, but we aren't close to where we need to be. Not even close,” he said.

He was asked about what can be done to help the secondary, and he mentioned transfers.

“Looking at the graduate transfer market. A couple of those young corners are going to have to come in and play. But we've known that,” he said.

He then admitted he was being funny about transfers, and said it was “another school” that takes secondary transfers.

“I was trying to be funny. We don't get transfers here,” he said. “That is another school. Not us. We've got what we've got, and we knew that.”

He did like the play of the defensive line, especially Albert Huggins.

“Thought those guys did well. Albert has been good. He's practiced good and practicing harder and taking a lot of accountability in his day-to-day practice habits and he's shown up,” Venables said. “He's been disruptive and had a good first few days. He still has things to work on, but has really stepped up and demanded more of himself.”

He also likes what the young defensive linemen have shown.

“They have flashed. They've done pretty well, really,” Venables said. “Swimming is probably accurate at times but I've been pleased with how they've come to compete and work and buy in and learn.”

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