After watching his wide receivers get beat over and over again in last week’s mini scrimmage, Clemson co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott challenged his players after practice.
“I told the guys after practice (last) Wednesday that we were going to find out what this group is made of Friday and Monday,” he said.
What his position group showed Scott is what he already knew, they are competitors. Clemson’s wide receivers bounced back and performed better in practices last Friday and this past Monday. Now Scott hopes that continues today in the Tigers’ first major scrimmage of the spring in Death Valley.
“I have been really pleased with the progress of those guys in those two practices,” Scott said. “It tells me what I already knew about this group. They are competitors and it is important to them.”
Scott relayed what head coach Dabo Swinney told the media last week. Cornerbacks Trayvon Mullen, A.J. Terrell and Mark Fields had got the best of the wide receivers in the first five practices. They have been very physical, especially when the receivers have tried to come off their releases.
They have also been attacking the ball and winning those one-on-one battles with Tee Higgins and Diondre Overton.
“The biggest thing is the maturity and the growth,” Scott said. “Look at all the great wideouts we have had here. Outside of Sammy (Watkins), with all of those guys really, there was a maturation process that took place.
“Think about a guy like Mike Williams, who was just a long athletic guy and really had to learn to be physical and attack releases and attack DBs and not run away from them. That is kind of where the process of where Tee and Deondre are going through right now, but I think the last two days have been their best two days.”
Scott has also been pleased with what he has seen from T.J. Chase, who he says has taken the next step in his development. Chase made a big play for the offense in the red zone during good-on-good drills this past Monday.
He is also really pleased with what he has seen from Amari Rodgers, who continues to work hard and gets better. Then there is freshman Derion Kendrick, who continues to make plays and wows the coaches.
“DK continues to play fast and he has shown up,” Scott said. “He has probably made as many competitive one-on-one plays down the field as any guy we have had so far this spring. That is great to see from a young guy.”