Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables had a lot to say to the media on Monday following the victory at Florida State. He discussed the performance of several players and gave his own take on “The Fridge Package” saying that there is a lot more to come with that package.
He also said defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is not only a special player but is a one of a kind person too.
Venables on Christian Wilkins’ versatility
“He just loves to play, loves to compete, loves to play. You’re keeping score, he’s a great competitor. I don’t know if he is at his finest when he’s competing because he’s just got a lot to him. But competing is something that is a very natural part of his DNA. Never gets tired, has tremendous endurance, is very selfless in everything that he does…I don’t know that we will ever come across another guy like him, very unique on so many levels.”
Venables on Wilkins’ playfulness during practice
“It’s a hard dynamic, because you like that and then you know you’re trying to focus and get mad and put everybody on edge at practice. And then he comes up and pinches you on the booty and you know, it’s just like ‘Hey man, this ain’t the time. I’m not happy right now.’ It’s the dangest thing, but that’s who he is and so you certainly want to promote that. But he knows when to really get serious and when not to.”
Venables praises Xavier Kelly’s performance against Florida State
“He was very disruptive on Saturday. He helped a lot of other guys make plays, not really necessarily to the naked eye because somebody else got credit for the tackle. But he made a lot happen and he’s just got trajectory on where he’s going if he continues to keep his head down. He has improved his knowledge base and understanding what he’s supposed to do.”
Venables says you can tell Dexter Lawrence is healthy
“He’s so much better mentally and physically than where he was a year ago this time. What a tough guy. You know, a year ago people had no idea the pain that he was in…He’s been a very disruptive player and he’s really played well for us this year. He’s continued to get better and he’s still certainly far from maxed out to where he’s going to be.”
Venables and the defense have practiced against the Fridge Package
“We’ve practice against it, it had more success than I thought it would. Kendall Joseph spiked that gap and stoned them in the backfield, stuffed it up pretty good in practice…But that’s a lot of weight going downhill at you and a lot of fun. They got a lot more to what they’re doing though in that package, so it is going to be fun to see.”