Aug. 8, 2009
Clemson, SC — Clemson had its first day of full contact practice on Saturday evening on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. It was the fifth straight day of practice for the Tigers, who will take Sunday off, then come back with two practices on Monday. That will be the first of four two-a-day practices between August 10-17.
“I don’t think the offense pushed through as well as the defense did,” said Swinney. “We made some mistakes on offense that we have not had earlier. We had some quarterback/center exchanges and some missed assignments. We didn’t have Thomas Austin today (had day off due to his graduation) and perhaps that had an impact. We missed his leadership and we saw how important he is to this football team.
“I thought the defense had a good day. The front four had good pressure and the defense played well at the point of attack overall. The secondary also did a good job in coverage.”
While it was the first full day in pads, most of the drills involved “thud tackling” which means offensive players were not taken to the ground. “We will build up to full tackling. We have two practices on Monday, then a scrimmage on Tuesday.
Four players were given the day off from football activities because they went through graduation ceremonies at Littlejohn Coliseum. The current Tigers who graduated on Monday were Thomas Austin, Durrell Barry, Sadat Chambers and Chris Chancellor.
“I am very proud of those guys,” said Swinney. “Graduation was in the morning and practice in late afternoon, but this is a special day for those families. I told them to spend the day with their families and celebrate what they had accomplished and that we would see them on the practice field again on Monday morning.”
Swinney also commented after practice on C.J. Spiller’s selection to the Walter Camp Award preseason watch list. It was the second preseason award list for Spiller this week. On Monday he was named to the Doak Walker Award preseason list. “C.J. is very deserving to be considered among the top players in the nation. We plan to give him every opportunity this year.”
Four players missed the practice due to injury. J.K. Jay is also out with a back injury. Brandon Clear missed the practice with a rib injury and Andre Branch was out as he recovers from a concussion. There were no new injuries suffered on Saturday.
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