Clemson hit the practice fields Monday looking for improvement on defense following Saturday’s scrimmage. The Tigers went full pads in the morning and shells in the afternoon. After reviewing Saturday’s film, head coach Bowden knew what areas needed to be addressed on defense.
“Once you look at the tape, Defensively we had some missed tackles, but a lot of it had to do with angles of pursuit. We worked hard on the angle to the ball carrier,”said Coach Bowden.
The defense keyed the enthusiasm in the afternoon session. A big collision between Sadat Chambers and La’Donte Harris sparked the team.
“It was a pretty enthusiastic practice this afternoon. It is just tough in the morning, but there was some spirit in the afternoon. We had a real good collision right there at the end between Sadat Chambers and La’Donte Harris. Third and six, face up collision, but La’Donte held onto the ball for the first down,” said Coach Bowden.
Dustin Fry was unable to return to practice today, and Coach Bowden stated his injury is starting to reach a point of concern.
“Dustin Fry did not go again today. It is starting to be a little bit of a concern, because we are having trouble with center-quarterback exchange under center and in the gun. It is hard for the quarterback to execute his assignments, when he is chasing the ball on the ground and all over.”
Roman Fry, Barry Humphries, and Bobby Hutchinson are filling in for Fry in the meantime. The snap is the key area of focus for the time being.
“I’d have to see which one can consistently at least get the center-quarterback exchange from under center and in the gun. We would have to play that guy. Even if he didn’t block anybody, at least he gives you a chance to get going after that,” said Coach Bowden.
The Tigers will hit the practice fields again on Tuesday from 4:30-7:15.
- The two biggest news items coming out of Monday’s practice was Cole Downer moving ahead of Bobby Williamson and Kelvin Grant is listed as doubtful for the Texas A&M game. Coach Bowden said Downer is blocking and catching the ball better than Williamson right now. Rendrick Taylor is working with the second team behind Aaron Kelly for the injured Grant.
- Dustin Fry’s injury is reaching the point of being label an extended injury. Coach Bowden said a player would not lose his position to injury, unless it becomes extended, and he said Fry’s hamstring is reaching that point.
- Tye Hill, Sergio Gilliam, and Chris Clemons have separated themselves at cornerback. The staff is looking to find a fourth corner between Ray Ray McElrathbey, Haydrian Lewis, and Brandon Croley.
- Will Proctor continues to make good progression at quarterback, and Coach Bowden had no hesitation in singing his praises following practice.
- It appears Phillip Merling is very close to nailing down the number two spot behind Charles Bennett. He is ahead of Antwon Murchison, who has continued to be a pleasant surprise.
- The move of Chris McDuffie to the offensive line may have accelerated the timetable for Jacquez McKissic. Coach Bowden said they need to be a little closer to gametime to decide on redshirts, but for the time being, it looks like McKissic is going to play.
- Coach Koenning put the defense through extra conditioning following the morning practice, as a reminder of how important assignments are following Saturday’s scrimmage.