It’s always good to broaden your horizon. It’s good to see if there are other things you might be good at that you might not have thought of.
So during fall camp, during Clemson’s team building days, quarterback Kelly Bryant has discovered he is not much of a fisherman or a golfer. Bryant went fishing this past Monday when the team had “Lake Day” following practice. Let’s just say it was not a good experience.
“I’m kind of disappointed in myself right there, though,” he said with a smile.
Bryant isn’t too much of a golfer either. When he went out with quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter, Chase Brice, Trevor Lawrence and Ben Batson recently, he discovered he needed to work on his golf game a little more.
“I know ya’ll saw that. I got a little bit better,” the senior said laughing. “I think I may have hit a house or two, but, you know, hopefully they have some insurance.”
The good news for Clemson is Kelly does not have to be a good fisherman or a better golfer for the second-ranked Tigers to win on the football field. He has to get better as a quarterback, which is what he is good at. Even better news is he had done just that.
Since the spring, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney along with co-offensive coordinators Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott have spoken about how improved Bryant is as a passer. They have said he has improved in all areas and he is overall a much better passer now than he was this time last year.
One area Bryant has worked hard to improve on is his downfield passes, an area he struggled a lot with at times in 2017.
“I felt like it has grown,” Bryant told the media after practice earlier this week. “The biggest thing I wanted to get better at was just giving (the receivers) a chance rather than overthrowing them and not giving them an opportunity to make a play on the ball.
“That is something I have been stressing. Making sure I’m hitting my landmarks and the spots where they are going to be down the field. Those are two of the big things I have been emphasizing and putting into the deep ball.”
Bryant has also worked on being more of a dictator of the offense as opposed to being just a game-manager. In other words, he has worked on having a better understanding of the offense and why they are running a certain play at this time and what is the meaning behind the play.
“I have always been a guy that has led by example, but now I’m more vocal. I’m putting guys in position and making a few checks here and there,” Bryant said. “That just comes with the territory. I have been in the offense for such a long time my confidence has grown.
“It is still growing. I’m still learning as well. Now, I feel like I’m a little looser. I can make some calls because I have the experience and I know what to see pre- and post-snap a little bit.”
And with that comes a little more trust from the coaches and a little more freedom for Bryant to change in and out of a play based on what a defense is showing him.
“It comes with experience and having to learn on the field and also having that game experience as well, seeing it,” the senior said. “Now it is seems like it is slowing up a little bit for me.”