Clemson offensive coordinator and new tight ends coach Tony Elliott is trying to help his position group improve in the passing game by getting them back to the basics and teaching different techniques – and he has taken a unique approach to do just that.
Elliott recently broke out some vintage film of tight end drills during the Tommy Bowden era to show the tight ends in an effort to equip them with certain techniques they can apply in particular situations.
“He’s pulled out old practice footage of back in the day of different releases and what we need to do in this situation, and if we’re pressed or if they’re playing a zone coverage, what do we need to be expecting,” rising junior tight end Davis Allen said.
“He likes to say he’s ‘adding tools to our tool belt’ right now, and that’s just kind of what we’re doing – just learning the basics and learning new techniques to help us.”
According to Allen, Elliott pulled tape from the early 2000s when Dabo Swinney was the wide receivers coach under Bowden.
“We were just watching how they were doing a drill about how to work different releases,” Allen said. “If you’re pressed man, or if they’re playing like a catch technique, we were watching footwork and what to do with our hands.”
As a group in 2020, Clemson’s tight ends combined to catch 50 passes for 664 yards and seven touchdowns, with Allen and Braden Galloway accounting for 43 receptions, 616 yards and six scores between the two.
The tight ends have been paying attention to detail and concentrating on doing the little things right in spring practice in hopes of being a better overall unit under Elliott’s direction in 2021.
“This spring, we’ve really taken the time to tone in on the basics and the little details that are going to make us better, and that Coach E says is going to make us better,” Allen said. “We’re improving in everything – every aspect, every tight end – we’re all improving.”
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