Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was pleased with Saturday’s scrimmage, but says there is more work to be done.
“We are making progress. We have work to do still. I really like out attitude. We had some guys flying around and being physical, being sure of themselves. We handled some tough situations well and responded well. We gave up some plays and still need to cleanup some alignments and assignments and some tackling. There was some give and take as you would expect against that group of players on the other side of the ball. They are very high skilled and they are very focused,” said Venables.
Was there anyone coach Venables felt like bragging about after the scrimmage?
“Not really. It is hard to say. I saw good and bad both with guys that made some plays. Lateek made some plays but then wasn’t lined up right half the time so we will get him squared away because he can be a problem for people. He’s not the only one. There was some good and some bad. I liked the attitude, the energy and the chemistry of the guys on defense. Again they like each other and they don’t mind coming out to compete. They have a hunger and a willingness to work. I think they are looking to redeem themselves from a year ago. I feel like between all of us we have a lot to prove and I think they recognize that and they are embracing it which is what you want,” replied Venables.
Stephon Anthony continues to progress as he moves over to lead the defense from the MIKE.
“It has been good. He has a terrific attitude and comes to work every day. He’s got strong talent. He is still learning his positioning within the confines of the defense. I think he is getting more and more comfortable. He is making progress and understanding things better and understanding where other guys are lined up as well which is really helping them. He, Spencer Shuey and if Kellen Jones could play that would be a terrific threesome right there. B.J. Goodson has had a little toe thing going so he has missed the past couple of days, but those other three are active, disruptive and what you want in the middle,” said Venables.
Coach Venables is searching for more depth over the next few weeks.
“We are looking for more depth, more quality players, just deeper. Just in case, what if. We just want to stay healthy and if our guys continue to come with the same mindset and willingness to work and invest in the process daily. That is what it is all about. If they do that and they grind and focus and listen they will get better. They will make the improvement and we will collectively as a team,” said Venables.
The Tiger defense played well on the short yardage plays Saturday.
“It was good. One time we got high. We need to stop them every time. That has to be our mindset but for the most part it was pretty solid,” said Venables.
Transfer Kellen Jones is doing his best to help the team even though he has to sit out this year.
“He has a great attitude. He loves to play. He loves to compete. He likes all things football. He is quick. He is explosive. He has good instincts and moves well. He is a high energy disruptive player. When he shows up it is like a stick of dynamite going off,” said Venables.