The Monday media session following No. 3 Clemson’s victory over Troy brought some unique perspectives to the status of the undefeated 2-0 Tigers.
Here is what we heard:
Quarterback Deshaun Watson set the tone for the remainder of the season by addressing an attitude issue he had come across. After reflecting over the weekend, Watson decided he needed to bring back the enjoyment of all aspects of Clemson football, including media opportunities.
“I just really apologize to all of you guys and all of the fans. Really, I just need to enjoy it. This opportunity is really very rare. Next year, who knows what is going to happen. I really just want to apologize to ya’ll and bring that enjoyment back because it is a once and a lifetime opportunity,” Watson said. “It is a blessing and it is a privilege to be in this position and to have people that want to talk to me. To have people that want to hear my story and what is going on because it can easily be on the flip side and no one will want to talk to me, and no one will respect me one-on-one and no one will be in the stands wearing my jersey.
“It is a blessing and it just kind of got away from me for a little bit with all the attention I have gotten. So I just have to find myself and be the Deshaun Watson I always will be.”
Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said the energy was great in his meetings on Monday morning.
“I felt like we had really good meetings this morning,” Scott said. “I felt like the guys had good attitudes. They have a lot of pride and want to play better than we showed on Saturday. I have no doubt we’ll get back to that.”
Scott also addressed the issues Clemson has been having on offense, and he is confident in the team’s ability to turn that around.
“It’s more about how we’re doing some things than what we’re doing,” Scott said. “I kind of think back to last year when we got off to a slow start offensively, as well, and then all of a sudden we went out and played well against Georgia Tech, and went on a run with 11 games over 500 yards and never looked back.
“I feel like that time is coming. Our goal will be for this week to be that time, so we can get out there and play the way we know we’re capable of playing.”
Running back Wayne Gallman only had nine carries for 34 yards on Saturday, but he trusts in the coaches and the plan they have.
“When things are not going as planned and we are not running up the score, of course I want to take the lead and try to push the team forward and do whatever I can,” Gallman said. “But, it is not up to me. It’s up to what the coaches want. We have to really do what they want and do it great.”
Wide receiver Deon Cain spoke to the media for the first time since coming back from his suspension, and he candidly mentioned how hard it was to not be with the team, especially for the National Championship Game.
“I wanted to be in that game and I could not watch it being in that predicament,” Cain said “I knew how hard our team worked (last) year and I felt like I let my team down by not being in that game.”
Cain received praise for doing all he needed to do to earn his way back, but he said he would not be where he was without the selfless help of Watson.
“I’m very fortunate and thankful that Deshaun stayed after practice, after a hard practice, and would throw a few routes. That’s all I needed to keep our timing down. That was it. I was doing a lot of stuff on my own to get myself bigger, faster and stronger. Throughout that whole time I gained fifteen pounds and really got myself stronger and mentally focused because I knew the upcoming season we were going to have was going to be great, so I needed to get ready for it,” Cain said.