There are not many things Trevor Lawrence needs to improve on as he heads into his second season at Clemson.
However, there is one thing in fall camp Dabo Swinney wants to see from his All-American candidate at quarterback.
“I want to see him make more plays with his legs, and I don’t mean breaking long runs,” Clemson’s head coach said. “I just mean extending some plays. You saw a little bit of that in the spring game, extending some plays because he is dangerous when he can buy some time and you almost get some scramble situations. He is dangerous.”
Being 6-foot-6 and weighing 215 pounds, Lawrence gives the impression that he is a pocket passer, but he has proven at times, he can be more than just a guy who has to sit in the pocket and throw the ball. And with playmakers at wide receiver like Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross, Cornell Powell and others, Swinney likes his guys chances to get open even better if things breakdown and Lawrence has to improvise on the run.
“We have guys that you can’t cover forever, and he can put the ball…he can throw the ball left and right, you know,” Swinney said. “There are some explosive (plays) there that I think we can take, where last year I thought he just hung in the pocket too long and there were times when I felt like he should have run. He got better at that as the year went.
“I just think him making a few more plays with his legs, both by extending the play and creating passing lanes and explosives, and also just take the five yards, get down and let’s keep moving.”
Swinney says Lawrence is so confident in his ability to make every throw, and he is confident in his receivers, that he sometimes doesn’t take what the defense is giving him.
“Let’s just make it third-and-five, instead of third-and-ten, by making that better decision on second down and take that five yards,” Swinney said. “I think that is just part of the process, but he is in a pretty good place. He had a heck of a freshman year.”
Overall, there is not much Lawrence needs to improve on. The coaches went through the film with him and were as critical as they could be from a detail standpoint. Just some footwork things and reinforcing that he takes care of the football from a ball handling standpoint.
Lawrence did a good job overall taking care of the football, so the coaches are not worried about him throwing interceptions as much. He threw just four interceptions last season and ended the season without an interception thrown in his last 169 attempts, a school record by the way.
“I think the number one thing was physically taking another step and he has done that,” Swinney said. “He looks great. He has really done a nice job with his body. He was not in a bad place. He was ahead of most freshman, but now you can just tell that physically he is in a much different spot.
“Then he has to assert himself as the leader. This time last year, he was just trying to get in line and go win a job. Now we need him to be a leader.”