Aug. 8, 2006
Clemson, SC – Clemson had its first day of practice in full pads, but it wasn’t quite as physical as the normal first day in full gear. Tommy Bowden worked his team hard for over three hours in the late afternoon on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center.
“From a calendar standpoint it was the fifth day of practice, but from an installation standpoint it was the fourth day,” said Bowden, whose Tigers are preparing for the season opener on September 2 against Florida Atlanta. “Last Friday’s short practice due to the weather counted as a practice, but we didn’t get a lot done. So, today we dressed in full pads, but it was a shells practice in terms of what we did. There wasn’t much hard hitting and we didn’t take players to the ground.”
Still, the Tigers have practiced well and will have a day off on Wednesday. “Wednesday is finals day for the end of summer school, so it makes sense to have a day off so they can concentrate on their exams. We will come back with our first two-a-day practice on Thursday. But, they have worked hard and deserve a day off.”
Bowden singled out some players in his meeting with the media after practice. The first player he mentioned was Dorell Scott, a sophomore defensive tackle from Columbia. “We couldn’t block Dorell Scott during the inside drill today. That is a 100 percent run, but it seemed like he made the tackle in every play. He really stepped up. Now we need him to step up again on Thursday and do it back to back days.”
Bowden also praised the play of Jimmy Manners, Josh Miller and Rendrick Taylor. “Jimmy punted well and if we had to punt today he would be our punter. Cole Chason and Richard Jackson are both injured, but should come back soon. Cole had his stitches removed from his injured foot and did work some, but nothing live. Jackson has a sore back. But, Jimmy has really improved his get-off time over last year.
“Rendrick Taylor made a great catch on a 50-yard throw from Will Proctor. It was similar to the diving catch Tyler Grisham made yesterday to end practice, but Rendrick’s was one-handed. It was good to see him back at practice. Josh Miller made some plays on defense today, including an interception in one of the drills.”
Bowden also praised the play of senior running back Reggie Merriweather. “The fans may overlook Reggie in the preseason with all the talk about James Davis because he was ACC Rookie of the Year and C.J. Spiller because he was highly recruited. But I can tell you the coaches and the team have not and will not overlook Reggie Merriweather. This is an offense where all five running backs will be important. We want fresh legs in the fourth quarter. Reggie has been and will continue to be a very important productive back.”
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