Morris wants to make his players uncomfortable

by - Staff Writer -

CLEMSON- Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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’ offense was record-setting a year ago, but his goal this spring is to make his offensive players-at every position-uncomfortable.

Morris addressed the media Friday evening after day two of Clemson’s spring practice, and he said that his job as offensive coordinator is to mentally and physically strain every player.

“Our theme offensively is that we want them uncomfortable right now and that’s what we told our offense,” Morris said. “Spring isn’t about being comfortable. Being comfortable is going and sitting on your couch. These guys aren’t going to be comfortable during the spring and it’s our job to push them out of their comfort zone and straining them extremely hard.”

Morris said he won’t know anything about the current group of players for a while.

“After two days it’s really hard to tell. Good energy,” Morris said Friday. “Some things we are trying to tweak and change and get better at from our studies of ourselves from this past season. Good energy and that’s all it is at this point. We’ve seen some guys out there that are going to battle, but we’ll know a whole lot more when the pads come on.”

Morris expects Rod McDowell to pick up where he left off last season and carry the load at running back.

“Hot Rod is picking up where he left off. I thought he had a good 2012 especially in role he was in behind Andre[Ellington],” Morris said, We got a lot of production out of Hot Rod and I’m expecting him to be the guy that’s going to carry the load along with D.J. [Howard] and Zac [Brooks]. We’ve got some good ones coming in too.”

However, he also wants D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS So. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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and Zac BrooksZac Brooks
Fr. Running Back
#24 6-1, 185
Jonesboro, AR

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to continue to improve and be ready to contribute.

“After two days, okay. D.J. is a guy that’s really got to come on. I thought his fall last year wasn’t nearly as productive as the year before so he’s a guy that must come on,” he said. “Zac Brooks is a guy that’s gained a little bit of weight. We are anticipating big things out of him because he’s no longer a freshman. They’ve got to hang onto the football. That’s going to be the big emphasis every day.”

On what he wants to see out of the backup QB battle

“I want to see a healthy competition and I think we’re going to have that. I think they should be challenging each other and pushing Tajh to make Tajh better. We all know what Tajh has done and it’s really my job as his coach and coordinator to push him out of his comfort zone. “

On Jay Jay McCulloughJay Jay McCullough
Fr. Tight End
#89 6-3, 230
Fort Mill, SC

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“He’s swimming right now. He’s paddling and holding his head up. Sometimes he’s got a straw in his mouth trying to breathe. He’s obviously got a lot of talent, but he’s a long ways from where he needs to be, but that’s okay because it’s only after day two. We’re excited about him, but he’s got a long ways to go and he’s got to get serious about everything.”

On wide receiver moves

Morris said that wide receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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has changed positions, moving from the slot position he has played the first two seasons to the outside position played by Nuk Hopkins the last three years. Watkins is backed up by Matt PorterMatt Porter
RS So. Wide Receiver
#87 5-11, 190
Charleston, SC

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, and Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
So. Wide Receiver
#16 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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and Germone HopperGermone Hopper
Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 175
Charlotte, NC

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are playing in the slot, Watkins’ old spot. Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
So. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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has also played in the slot, but he is vying with Charone PeakeCharone Peake
So. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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at the outside spot played by Jaron BrownJaron Brown
Gr. Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 205
Cheraw, SC

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last season.

“We’re trying to put our best on the field and make those moves. We’ve put Sammy out at what we call our nine-man. We’ve got Adam and G-Hop at our two-man where Adam was last year. And, Charone has had a really good two days and we’re going to continue to push him and keep him going.”

On Germone Hopper

“He’s got a lot of unbelievable talent and speed and quickness. He’s going to be a really good ball player for us.”

On what he hopes happens at left tackle

“I think we’d like for Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Fr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-6, 280
St. George, VA

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to take that job and that’s our goal this spring to really push him as well. Hopefully he assumes that role. It doesn’t matter how bad I want him to have it. He’s has to want to take it. With that comes a maturity and he has to be mature enough to handle it and not just on gameday.”

On Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
Mauldin, SC

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at center

“Been very pleased with Ryan. Obviously, he provides us with a toughness up front. You had Dalton in there that took all of the snaps over the last four years and that’s hard to replace that type of veteraness. Ryan got some snaps last year and we have to push him. He’s doing really good and I think he’s going to be a really good ball player with due time.”

On Jordan Leggett

“The guys that have been out here know that Jordan has had a really good two days. He had a really good day today. He’s big. He’s gained about 10 or 12 pounds since he’s been here. He’s got to learn the speed of the game. He’s got great speed for being 6-6. He’s going to be a really good player for us. He’s got to learn the system, but he’s only two days in. He’s got a lot of good potential.”

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