Jeff Scott is not going to lie. He likes it when the media and rival fans talk about how Clemson is going to struggle on offense now that guys like Deshaun Watson, Wayne Gallman, Mike Williams, Jordan Leggett and Artavis Scott have all moved on.
“It makes our job a lot easier getting our guys attention,” said Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. “I just go back to, and as coaches we go back to, previous experiences in the past. I can remember sitting right here on this porch wondering how in the world are we going to replace Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Deandre Hopkins, Andre Ellington and Dwayne Allen.
“Now, we found ourselves four or five years later and we are having the exact same conversation. I think that is where good programs … the one thing they do is replace talented guys. Coach (Dabo) Swinney’s message to our guys is, ‘Hey, I’m not looking for somebody to come be Deshaun Watson. I’m not looking for a wideout to come and be Mike Williams. I just want you guys to be your best because you guys are talented enough that if you hold yourself to that standard and you work to be your best as an individual then we are going to have more than enough talent to do what we need to do to be successful.’”
It’s obvious losing Watson and company as the co-offensive coordinator is in the back of Scott’s mind, but that is a part of being a college coach.
“That’s what you are going to have and you know that,” he said. “That’s one reason why recruiting is so important. It is not just some game in the off-season where you have a chance to compete. It is important for years like this when you are replacing a lot of guys.
“Seventy-eight percent of the offensive production has left the building so I think of the 22 percent that is here, they have a lot of pride.”
Scott pointed out it is not like the guys who are returning aren’t any good. They just had limited opportunities because guys like Watson, Gallman, Williams, Leggett and Scott got most of the opportunities.
“Now, it is guys like Deon Cain, who has never been a starter, but has had a lot of success and is now taking that next step,” Scott said. “A guy like Ray-Ray McCloud, who has done some good things and has had some ups and downs, but now he has the chance to go out and be that starter.
“The message to our guys is that we want to improve every year. Let’s don’t worry about the record of the national championship, but offensively can we get better. It’s those guys jobs and ours as coaches to make sure we get better every year.”
Clemson opens fall camp next Thursday.
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