Clemson Offense 2003 vs. 2004
Derrick Hamilton left for the NFL. Kevin Youngblood graduated. Tony Elliott's leadership is gone. Chad Jasmin's power can't be counted on in 2004 and both tackles have departed. Besides the personnel losses Clemson will have a new offensive coordinator in 2004. How will the offense change in 2004?
1. The offense will be on Whitehurst's shoulder more with each and every game. The junior signal caller continues to break records and his ability is the trademark of this offense. Look for Whitehurst's role to continue to grow. When you have a stud you ride him.
2. Hamilton's touches will now go to Chansi Stuckey. The open field ability is similar and Stuckey's acceptance of this move and his attitude have been a key. Dabo Swinney compares him to former Alabama great Freddie Milons.
3. Youngblood's touches will go to Kelvin Grant. It is time for Grant to be the player that we all thought he would be. Inconsistency has marked his young career but the staff says Grant is ready to take a major role in this offense.
4. Elliott's leadership role may be the most difficult to fill. We will not know how this transition goes until this team faces some adversity and with this schedule they will face adversity.
5. The loss of Greg Walker and William Henry is still a concern. Under Brad Scott, the Tiger's new offensive line coach, the tackles are asked to do more. The guards and center are not getting as deep in its pass protection and more pressure is put on the tackles. Experience and two talented freshmen may help here also. Again, this question has not been answered.
6. Jasmin role will be filled by more touches for Duane Coleman and renewed enthusiasm from Yusef Kelly. Both have been working hard and understand their roles more now. Perhaps Burton Burns best attribute is communicating with this young people. Coleman, Kelly, Merriweather, Browning and Nolen all have a role and their styles are needed in this offense. The Clemson staff learned a lot from their visit to Utah this spring. Urban Meyer and his staff did a great job last season of running the football out of the one-back set.
7. Who will emerge? Each team is different and each team has to have playmakers emerge. We think Duane Coleman and Ben Hall will have a bigger role in the passing game. If the offensive line can protect then the max protect scheme will not be used as much. This will allow Coleman and Hall to get more involved as receivers. Both are difficult match-ups for defenses.
8. Mike O'Cain is one of the South's best play callers. The Clemson fans will like the game plans and play calling in 2004.
In summary, a slightly different protection scheme, a slightly different one-back running scheme, a Hamilton open field clone, a revived tight end and a highly thought of receiver living up to expectations may be the trademark of this offense. Oh yeah and Whitehurst, Whitehurst and more of Whitehurst.