CLEMSON, SC – Clemson Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris equates this week of practice to Saturday at The Masters.
“That is exactly the term I used to them all,” he said following Tuesday’s two-and-half hour practice behind the Jervey Athletic Center. “This is a big week for a lot of these guys. There is a lot of pressure. We are trying to put them in adverse situations and put that pressure on them and see how they respond.
“We will see what happens. Some of them are really stepping up and others are kind of letting (the pressure) get to them. It is a big week and it’s a week you are going to see a lot of moving going on. There is a lot of shaking around going on right now.”
Morris says everyone on offense should feel a little uneasy because no one’s job is safe.
“It needs to be,” he said. “This isn’t happiness camp. Some of these guys get this in their mind that this could be happiness camp and it’s not that. We are coming out here and we are pushing these guys. We are driving these guys and straining them.
“There are lots of guys being jockeyed around. They are being fired and re-hired. It’s just the way you do it right now. The effort is good, though. They are giving effort; we just have to keep pushing.”
Short yardage. Morris hopes to shake things up a little more tomorrow as the Tigers will a have situational scrimmage during the last half of practice.
“I hope it is really hot and that the wind is not blowing,” he said. “We need that. We really need that type of environment right now to go along with the pressure that is being placed on those guys.”
Clemson will work on a lot of aspects in the morning before having a second practice in the afternoon. It will be the third two-a-day practice of camp. The Tigers are scheduled to have four. Both practices are closed to the public.
One of the things Morris will be looking at in the morning practice is goal line and short yardage situations. Last Saturday he and Swinney classified those battles as pretty even, citing the first-team defense beat out the first-team offense, while the second-team offense won the battle of the line of scrimmage against the second-team defense.
“Any short yardage and goal line situation is big,” Morris said. “It does not matter what practice it is in. It is huge. We try to take great pride in that. That’s an area we focused on from last year. We have to improve on that to be the championship caliber football team that we want to be.
“Anytime we get a chance to practice that, it’s big for us. We practiced that today. There were some good things and there were some bad things. We have to keep improving on those things. We need to keep working. Coach Swinney talks about that all the time. You are trying to get them ready for 18 days from now. There are still things we have to work on and still get put in, but in the same sense you can’t keep adding in an offense if you can’t pick up the base stuff and being able to master the base stuff.”
Kelly pushing for second-team quarterback. Freshman quarterback Chad Kelly is pushing Cole Stoudt and Morgan Roberts for the second-team quarterback position, which is thrilling Morris.
Clemson’s offensive coordinator says the position behind starting quarterback Tajh Boyd is still a three-man race.
“There is no separation,” he said. “It is pretty tight knit right now. It is a true three-man race. If anything, I would say Chad Kelly is pushing some guys.”
Jay Jay in camp. Morris did report that tight end Jay Jay McCollough is in camp and is going through the acclimation process which will take five days by NCAA rules before he is allowed to participate in contact drills.
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