Clemson is hard at work in the Allen N. Reeves Indoor Football Complex this week to prepare for the upcoming 2020 football season.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables took some time to discuss how the defense is rebuilding after losing standouts like Isaiah Simmons, K’Von Wallace, and A.J. Terrell from last year’s team.
Venables on Mike Jones
“He’s been working incredibly hard, putting a lot of extra time on his own. Mentally and physically he had a nice showing out there (Wednesday). I’m really pleased with the progress that he’s made, and he’s been paying attention … kind of laying in the weeds, if you will. He’s got a sense of urgency about him, a coachability. He’s got a good skill set and really can do multiple things. It’s not just one position for him.”
Venables on freshmen D-linemen Bryan Bresee, Myles Murphy and Tre Williams
“They’re three big, strong, athletic, smart, tough guys. They know how to compete and they’re very coachable. They’ve been working really hard to learn to know what to do and how to do it. They’ve all had their moments where they’re really, really good and then some other moments where, again, they’re still learning what to do, like you would expect. They have great motors, great skill, and they’re going to have to help us.”
Venables on cornerback Sheridan Jones
“He’s had a good spring and is in a much different spot than where he was a year ago. He’s stronger and wiser and playing with really good fundamentals and technique. So, he’s made improvement in the right spot.”
Venables on how the defense is restructuring at safety
“We have a lot of work to do. We lost a lot of really good players there. We have a lot of experience to gain through practice, film study, failure and success. We still have a good group of guys as far as talent, instincts, length, speed, athletic ability. We just have to get experience. We’ve got a sense of desperation. We’ve got to find a way to get them ready, mentally, to get them to know what to do consistently. We’re trying guys at different spots in different situations and really trying to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, what they can and can’t do, and this is the time of year to do that.”
Venables on Myles Murphy
“All things considered, just comparing apples to apples. He’s been very well coached. He comes with really good fundamentals and knows how to play low with leverage. He’s very explosive and he’s long. He not only has good linear speed, but good lateral movement, quickness, and he sees things fast. I would say Christian Wilkins could see the game fast and, a lot of times, you don’t want a guy that sees too much. They can see a lot, but they still do the job well. Again, he’s got a lot of work to do, but those are things that jumped out.”
Spring practice is underway. Get your official Clemson gear right here!