Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables says his linebackers have been pretty good this spring, but they still have a lot of work to do.
“You always want better and you always want more,” the Tigers’ linebackers coach said. “There are always a couple of things we can get better at.”
Venables did not elaborate on exactly what his group could do better, but senior linebacker Kendall Joseph did.
“More so, it is just the fundamentals and the details,” he said. “We are playing some talented guys and when we do not have the details down, if we do one small thing wrong, they exploit us and that is what has been happening.”
Even though Venables returns starters like Joseph and Tre Lamar, as well as J.D. Davis and James Skalski, who both started at times last year when Joseph and Lamar were injured, he says he does not have a depth chart. Of course the Tigers are still trying to find a replacement for strong side backer Dorian O’Daniel, who used up all of his eligibility last fall.
This spring, Isaiah Simmons and Jalen Williams have been getting most of the work at the SAM/Nickel position.
The Clemson coach says the competition has been good and guys are working hard, but they still have a long way to go.
“It has been good. It is what you would normally expect,” Venables said. “There is a lot of work to still do. The depth chart is far being determined right now. You can look at it and say it is great competition or you are just not blown away.
“It is not like I have a group of guys where the whole group is grading ninety percent. So we have to get better there. But it has been a good spring.”
Joseph says there have been too many mistakes in practice by the linebackers as a whole.
“We have to have the intensity every day and we have to care about our mistakes, learn from them and get better,” he said. “Really, it is about having that edge every day and getting those details down.
“We have a lot more experience, but we still have a long way to go. Like Coach V was talking to us, we are making too many mistakes for as much as experience that we have. So we have to clean a lot of things up, but as far as the guys we have in our group, we care. There has not been a better one. We have a bunch of workers, so we will get it right.”