By Gray Gardner.
Offensive coordinator Billy Napier spoke with TheClemsonInsider.com after the team’s third practice of fall camp Thursday night. The Tigers were in shoulder pads for the first time since spring practice, allowing for more scrimmaging than during the previous two days.
According to Napier, it was a practice characterized by the team’s effort.
“I think it was very competitive out there today. I think you had two groups who were really trying to improve and get better at doing their job,” Napier said. “I think overall the effort level was good.
“I think we need to push through a little bit better in the latter part of practice,” he continued. “That last third of the practice is important. But I like the attitude.”
Napier said the offensive script through the first three practices has been very balanced and focused on the installation of fundamental concepts.
“You know at this point we’re just trying to get that all on tape so we can coach it up and get things ready,” Napier said. “Installations went really well so far. I’m pleased with our guys and what they’ve retained from spring practice.”
The burning question everyone wants to know is how the receiving corps is doing. Many have tabbed the wide receiver position as the weak link of this Clemson team. But for the second day in a row, the coaching staff has praised the group for their play.
When asked how the receivers performed as a group Thursday night, Napier responded emphatically, “Really good.”
“We spread the ball around a good bit today. Seven-on-seven was really good. We won that part of the competitive stuff. Team pass is where we got to translate that into the eleven-on-eleven opportunities,” Napier said. “But overall that group is really competing. They had a great effort night last night and showed up again today, so there’s a lot of maturity out of those guys.”
For now competition and effort are the primary focal points of the coaching staff. As head coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday night, “There should be no question that Clemson is the toughest team on any given night.”
Based on the coaches’ remarks so far in camp, this offense will be – if nothing else – characterized by toughness and great effort in 2010.