By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- After a disappointing practice Tuesday evening, starting tight end Dwayne Allen spoke with the media about the team’s lack of discipline and mental errors that plagued practice from the start.
“When you set your standards high like we’ve done, there are high expectations,” Allen said. “Today we just didn’t meet them and I think it was a lack of focus, a lot of mental errors, little things like that. When you get down in the red zone on the goal line, and the pressure’s hot, you’ve got to be able to function and we didn’t do a good job of it today on both sides of the ball.”
Although Allen believes part of the reason why Tuesday’s practice was disappointing was because of it being the middle of camp, with soreness and exhaustion effecting everyone, he also believes that college is a maturation process and that there are a group of guys that need to continue to mature in order for the team as a whole to be successful.
“I think a little bit of it is that it is the middle of camp,” Allen said. “But it’s also personnel; I think guys just need to mature. College is a maturation process; I had to go through it for sure. But it’s great coaches like Coach Swinney and Coach Pearman that help guys through it.”
Although Allen believed the team lacked discipline in Tuesday’s practice, he wouldn’t necessarily call Tuesday’s practice a bad one.
“It wasn’t a bad practice,” Allen said. “It’s the middle of camp and guys want to take days off. So you’ve got to put a little pep into certain guys and this is when your leaders will really show themselves. Today just wasn’t up to our standards.”
After a substandard day of practice, Allen along with his teammates know how important it is to come out Wednesday energized, focused and ready to practice.
“All of the guys understand how important it is to come out tomorrow and practice hard,” Allen said. “We know that we didn’t do our best today so I’m sure the spirits are going to be high tomorrow and we’re going to have a great scrimmage.”
As for the new offense and how quickly he and his teammates are grasping it, Allen believes it’s not the offense that’s the problem.
“Midway through camp, the offense is not the problem,” Allen said. “It’s just whenever we get into key situations of not making mental errors. The guys get the offense, it’s just certain situations whether we’re in the red zone or its goal line and we’re backed up and the pressures high that guys bust under pressure.”
As for how he’s progressed so far this fall, learning a new role, new offense and taking on more of a leadership role as one of the upperclassmen on the Tigers’ squad, Allen feels he’s adjusting well.
“I’m doing well,” Allen said. “I’m just trying to keep everyone else’s spirits high because the grind of camp even gets to me. Coach Swinney did a great job putting this coaching staff together and its guys on this staff like Coach Pearman, Coach Elliot and Coach Hobby that are not going to let their guys have a down day.”