By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- After Monday’s practice, Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris spoke to the media about his thoughts on Saturday’s scrimmage after watching the tape and what he found when watching it. Although his overall perception of Saturday’s scrimmage was centered on the offense playing too “soft,” he realized after watching the tape that although his offense is not where it needs to be right now, it was the first scrimmage and things will hopefully continue to improve every day.
“I was disappointed after Saturday’s scrimmage,” Morris said. “Coach Swinney made a point right on the field that we were too soft and we were it was a matter of fact. If you’re going to play for us, this is how you’re going to play; we can’t play your way because it obviously didn’t work. We did do some good things Saturday, started a little slow which concerned me but after a few series we settled in and started making some good plays.”
Although the Tigers played their scrimmage Saturday in Death Valley, Morris and the rest of Swinney’s staff didn’t believe the team came out with as much enthusiasm as they should have which concerned Morris.
“We need to work on our enthusiasm and playing with more of it,” Morris said. “But again, it was only our first scrimmage, we’re not near where we need to be in order to be a successful football team, but we’re not ready to play yet.”
Being soft is a criticism that has plagued Clemson’s offense for quite some time, what will Morris do to develop our offense into a more physical one?
“You do develop being physical,” Morris said. “One way to stop playing soft is to practice physical; you’ve got to practice fast and physical. You can’t come out and lean on each other during practice and then expect to be physical on game day. If that requires us to do a lot of hitting right now then that’s what we need to do.”
Morris didn’t realize when watching the film of Saturday’s scrimmage that there were more positive plays than he thought when watching the scrimmage from the sideline.
“As a coach, sometimes you don’t sense the positives,” Morris said. “All you want to focus on is what went wrong. There were some guys really playing well and making plays out there but still it wasn’t everybody. We can’t give the illusion that we’re even close to being where we want to be right now.”
There are veterans both at the receiver position and on the offensive line that Morris believes need a good pushing.
“Some guys that have been here for quite some time we expect to be better than what they’re showing us right now,” Morris said. “They know who they are, it’s not just one or two of them, it’s all of our guys. You’ve got to stay on the edge a little bit, we’re going to coach on the edge and we’re going to hold them accountable on the edge. Don’t go out on the field and expect that this is your job. It ought to be an honor to go out there and play for Clemson University. Kids at the high school level would love the opportunity to come out here and play and some of our veteran guys are just taking it for granted and that’s unacceptable. We kick off on September 3rd and we’re going to have 11, hopefully more that are ready to go.”
One freshman receiver that continues to stand out to Morris is Sammy Watkins.
“Sammy has such great acceleration and ball skills,” Morris said. “He plays physical, very physical. He plays hard and fast. He’s still learning everything but he gets better every day. He’s definitely making a big push up there”