CLEMSON, SC – When the Clemson Tigers take to the field in full pads for the first time Wednesday afternoon, offensive coordinator Chad Morris will be looking for someone on the offensive line other than center Dalton Freeman and left tackle Brandon Thomas to show him some bite.
After two days in helmets and shoulder pads, Morris is challenging his offensive line to be more aggressive and show a lot more fight than it showed in Tuesday’s two-and-half hour practice at the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center.
“You start seeing those guys that like to bite and those that don’t,” he said. “Some of them were biting real hard in shorts and shirts, but they are not biting right now so we have to figure out what happened when the pads came on.
“If the guy isn’t going to bite with the pads on, it’s hard to coach that.”
One guy who is biting is redshirt freshman Shaq Anthony. The left tackle has impressed the coaching staff with the way he has picked up things and how aggressive he has been.
“Shaq Anthony‘s name keeps popping up,” Morris said. “He is having a really good camp. I have been real pleased with him, but we have to have other guys step up, too.
“It’s time for David Beasley to step up. It’s now time for him to show it’s his turn. Kalon Davis is another one. Those are the guys we have to have step up. Gifford Timothy is another guy.”
Morris says it all comes down to the basics. He says he isn’t trying to be hard on his younger guys, but he and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell want to challenge them to get better.
“Those other guys are trying, we just have to work on steps and techniques,” he said. “There is definitely potential there we just have to keep working hard.”
Clemson’s offensive coordinator thinks things should get better when they go to full pads on Wednesday.
“Full pads go on tomorrow so we will be able to go to the ground with them and have full speed tackling,” Morris said. “We saw a lot of good things and there are a lot of good things out there, but we are still a long way from being a football team that we feel like we can put on the football field right now. We are not there yet.
“Those guys have to grow up. We are expecting those guys to grow up… Those are the guys we are challenging and working hard. They have to work on getting better every day.”
Boyd is comfortable. There was a part of practice Tuesday when quarterback Tajh Boyd attempted to change a play at the line of scrimmage, but Morris waved it off. He wanted to see how Boyd could handle the play should something similar happen in a real-game situation.
In other words, he wanted to see Boyd improvise.
“He is a lot more comfortable than he has ever been and I mean that in a good way,” Morris said of his quarterback. “When I coach him he has to be very uncomfortable. I have to make him uncomfortable. He is comfortable in his environment, settings and his reads. He is what you expect right now, but he is still making mistakes and we have to improve on that.
“He is definitely the leader of this football team, and he is showing that. We are definitely seeing a lot of good things out of Tajh, but we just have to have the consistency we saw out of him for flashes last year.”
Stoudt looks good. Morris says backup quarterback Cole Stoudt has looked good thus far after four days of practice, and third string quarterback Morgan Roberts is pushing him.
Freshman Chad Kelly is also doing a good job. Morris says he is young, but he has looked good, though he says the game is still moving too fast for him.”
“He is young and everything is kind of a haze for him,” he said.
Clemson will practice Wednesday at 4:10 p.m. and will have the first two-a-day practice on Friday. All practices are closed to the public.
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