Bates’ philosophy for success at defensive tackle

Bates’ philosophy for success at defensive tackle


Bates’ philosophy for success at defensive tackle


Clemson assistant coach Tod Bates is excited to see what his defensive tackle group can do this upcoming season as they have something to prove and many to replace after the Tigers national championship and historic run last year. While speaking with the media Tuesday at Clemson’s media kickoff, Bates expressed his eagerness for the season ahead and the talent his group will bring to the field this fall.

Bates on newfound leadership in Pinckney and Jordan Williams

“The blessing in disguise for those guys not being able to physically do the reps in the spring was that they had to take a step back and only be vocal because neither one of them were vocal naturally, so they got a chance to sit back and really focus on the things that I’m teaching. There comes a time, like in the summer, when we can’t be around as much as coaches and you have to depend on your leadership to make sure the drills are being ran right out there on the field. They’ve done a great job with that and really stepped up in the spring. I never saw Jordan or Nyles’ without one or two of those guys under a wing, just showing them the way. They know what it takes. Nyles’ been in there and played significant reps and Jordan played a little bit last year before he got hurt early on and played late. It was great to have them in that room to help teach and lead those guys.”

Bates on new group at Defensive Tackle

“GONE” is Grand Opportunity New Experience. That’s what it is for all of these young guys because you want to talk about the guys that are gone, and we will miss these guys. This young group has to get an opportunity to gain experience so they can turn potential into credentials and really get to work. They’ve been focused and locked in and I’m really excited for coaching this group.”

Bates on preparation for upcoming season

“Pressure doesn’t exist when preparation is present, so that’s what I talk about. You prepare for it and let all of the outside people feel the pressure. We are just going to prepare and take it one day at a time and even break it down smaller than that to one play at a time. That’s all we can do is control what we can control, and you eliminate the pressure, especially on a young group. You want to definitely not have them out there playing tight and have them playing confident and that’s going to come with experience and opportunity.”

Bates on culture of Clemson and success in recruiting

“Once you come to Clemson, you feel that culture and the people make the place and I’m just one of those people. Coach Swinney, you get the recruits around him and Clemson really sells itself. We are just all about relationships and that’s been something I’ve really held my hat on since my days playing. I wanted to be a good teammate and now I want to be one of the best staff members I can be, and I want to be the best coach I can be. You want to be the best at what you do and building relationships is a part of that. Getting guys to buy into what you’re selling them and to know that what you’re selling them is how it is. It’s not going to change up once you get them here. You’re not going to recruit them one way and then get them here and be a totally different person, so being real is a big key. We have some real dudes on our staff here: support staff and full staff. We have guys coming in, wanting to be great. Just because you haven’t had the opportunity to play a lot, doesn’t mean you don’t want to be great, doesn’t mean you weren’t preparing, doesn’t mean you weren’t watching or paying attention to the things we went over before the national championship game. I have trust in my heart that if another guy went down, we would have plugged in another guy and he would have stepped up and played winning football because that’s the type of culture we have here. Coach (Dabo) Swinney holds everyone accountable in preparing you like you’re going to get into the game and earning that right. We lead the country in players played per game, but we don’t give that away. Those guys earn that, and they know that if they prepare the right way, they will have the opportunity to go out on that field and shine.”

Bates on freshman Tyler Davis

“His mindset, the way he went to work and rolled up his sleeves and just grinded. Even the work that he put in before getting here. We sent install sheets out and he knew most of the plays before he even got here, so that’s a tribute to him and the work he put in outside of it. Just understanding protection, I want to see him grow in that department and he’s grown over the summer in the drills that we’ve done, that Nyles and Jordan [Williams] have led, and showing him the key things that they see to help them recognize. A big part of defensive line is the block and protection recognition and things of that nature and how you play them. He’s grown already. I just want to see him take that next step. I challenged him to make another jump by the end of camp. I want to see him max out his potential, be the best that he can be, and grow into that role, whatever that role may be. I just want to see him be his best and get better every week.”


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