By Gray Gardner.
Sophomore defensive back Xavier Brewer spoke with members of the media Monday morning. Brewer, who played both cornerback and nickel back in the Tigers’ opening game versus North Texas, was not satisfied with the way he performed Saturday.
“I evaluated myself after the game and I was kind of disappointed in the way I played, personally. I expect a lot more from myself,” Brewer said. “I feel like I hesitated a lot on a lot of plays and I didn’t play with my technique that I’ve been playing with all camp.”
Brewer’s tone was telltale enough in the way he answered reporters in the morning session.
When asked how he would evaluate the defense’s play overall, he responded quite sharply that it was not his job to evaluate the defense.
“I was proud that we bent a lot but did not break,” Brewer said. “I mean we only gave up one touchdown. Overall I think we just got to do our jobs and if we do that we’ll be fine.”
Still, that doesn’t excuse the fact that the Tiger D gave up over 460 yards of offense to North Texas Saturday, a team that won only one game a season ago. Brewer said that giving up that many yards is “concerning.”
Brewer said that this is due partly to the fact that the team went in with little knowledge of what the North Texas offense would run.
“We didn’t go in with a complex defense,” Brewer said. “We tried to make it as simple as possible because we didn’t know really what to expect out of them. Everything we did, it was fit to work against them, but when you don’t do your job, that’s what happens.”
“They threw a lot of different things at us that we weren’t ready for…they rarely ran the same play twice,” Brewer said. “We reviewed the film this morning again. We looked at it yesterday and we’re going to do what we can this week to not let it happen again.”
Brewer said that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele had nothing to say to the defense after the game.
“He didn’t talk to us after the game. We had a meeting this morning…he wasn’t happy,” Brewer said.
Obviously Steele had reason to be disappointed.
“My hats off to North Texas. They threw a lot of things at us. They have a good team – they’re a lot better than a lot of people think,” Brewer said.
Regardless of how improved the Mean Green may be, it’s safe to say that this response will not sit well with the Clemson faithful who feel that there is no excuse in such pitiful play.