The Tigers hit the practice fields in just a few days to begin August camp. Over the next few weeks interviews from coach Swinney and his assistants will flow on TheClemsonInsider.com.
Today we take a look a things you are sure to hear over the next few weeks. It is important to remember that coaches will make comments to the media for a number of reasons including motivating players, building player confidence and preparing players for a red-shirt year.
1. Praise for Tajh
Expect to hear a lot of praise for Tajh over the next few weeks. We will hear how much he has improved over the summer, how he is going to be a great player with time and much more.
With Kyle’s decision to return to the Tigers it is clear that this is Kyle’s team. He gave up millions to come back and play another season in Death Valley. There is no question that the Tigers will be a much stronger team with Kyle under center. Kyle should be on the field unless the games are out of hand.
Tajh will have three years to be the starter at Clemson if he progresses this year, but he spent the summer expecting to get his shot this year. That will not happen and the staff will work to keep Tajh’s spirits up this year as he spends another season mostly on the sideline. That will begin with a lot of praise for the red-shirt freshman coming out of August camp.
2. Motivational Speak
If you follow the August camp this happens every year. Expect to see the coaches talking about how a player or two are not playing up to their potential. We may see backups moved ahead of a few starters to try to motivate the starter to pickup his game.
No player wants to read about how they are not getting the job done. When done correctly this can be a great motivational tool.
In past years we have seen this tool used with Ricky Sapp and others to try to get them to play up to their potential.
3. Praise for the Red-shirts
Most incoming freshmen come to Clemson with plans to see action their first year. For many that dream will fade quickly in August. These players are the big man on campus at high school and are not use to being 3rd or 4th on the depth chart.
Expect to see the staff mention to the media how well the freshmen are doing at different time during the August camp. As we grow closer to the end of August the staff will determine which players will avoid a red-shirt, but it will be clear to some in the first few months that they are likely heading to the scout team. Praising the players in the media sometimes helps the confidence of the player and makes the conversations easier when the staff has to inform a player that they will red-shirt.
The bottom line is the coach speak coming out of the August camp should not always be taken at face value. Just because you hear a player praised after a practice doesn’t mean that player will be seeing action this fall in the Valley.
Get ready because the coach speak is just a few days away.