7 at 7: Chad Morris gets philosophical, Vic Beasley speaks logic, Corey Crawford preaches confidence

Corey Crawford

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner | Tiger Tracks on Facebook

CLEMSON – Seven quick quotes from Monday Funday at the Clemson football complex, to get your football mind whirring this morning:

1) Offensive coordinator Chad Morris got philosophical.

“These guys have worked extremely hard to get to this point. What we talked to these guys about: some guys come in here and think they’re the only person who ever wore a Tiger Paw. What we talk about is, where you are today is because of the players who have wore the Tiger Paw before you, and don’t ever forget that. A lot of players been through blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, and they are just as much a part of where we’re at as our current players. Then you also remind our players who will wear the Paw after you leave.

“So all you are is holding a place and a seat right now. You’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity you get. Every day you step on this field. Most the players, you’re gonna get 28 opportunities on a Saturday to play here at Death Valley.”

He wasn’t done.

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7 at 7: Seven day-after observations from Clemson’s 49-14 romp at Syracuse

Stanton Seckinger, Adam Humphries

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner | Tiger Tracks on Facebook

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Well, this is posting at 10 a.m. Sunday, but it is 7 a.m. in Seattle, Wash. – the site of the next College GameDay. All indications is they’ll have one heck of a drive from Seattle to the southeast for the Oct. 19 edition, when Florida State comes to Clemson.

It’s also 7 a.m. in Pasadena. Not that there’s (ahem) anything significant there later this season in college football. Ahem.

This day-after edition of 7 at 7 is decidedly offense-heavy. Check out the notebook on PostandCourier.com for some defensive stuff, because Brent Venables has his unit absolutely firing on all cylinders.

Oh, also: the game story, rehashing Tajh Boyd’s record night.

1) As the team thought he would, C.J. Spiller was on the field before and during the Tigers’ trek to Syracuse. Spiller is a fourth-year back for the Buffalo Bills, and the 2009 All-American made the Pro Bowl last season with 1,244 yards.

Spiller mainly hung by the running backs in pregame warmups, and briefly stopped by the end zone to take a picture with some young Clemson fans. He also chatted at length with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and ACC commissioner John Swofford at midfield.

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7 at 7: Mike Williams pushing Martavis Bryant for playing time, Danny Ford reflects on Bill McLellan, and what Syracuse defense does well

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner | Tiger Tracks on Facebook

CLEMSON – Typical Chad Morris: he’s at the point of expecting to be asked what went wrong after a 49-point victory, because elite is never enough.

Quite simply, Morris said in his weekly Monday sitdown with reporters, “There’s plenty to get better. We’re not going to spend the day patting them on the back.”

Among the complaints Clemson’s offensive coordinator had for his No. 16-rated scoring offense: “We’ve got to get cleared up in our run game. We had some snap issues. We gave up two sacks just by being soft, entirely too soft and not playing with technique. Our technique has got to get better on the offensive line. We’re going to keep pressing those guys. We had three drops.”

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Who has to step up after “big loss” of Charone Peake?

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner | Tiger Tracks on Facebook

CLEMSON — Well, that dateline’s a little misleading. We had a meeting of the minds Wednesday at the Post and Courier, some prep work for the rest of the season. Always nice to make a trip to the mothership, in such a lovely city…

The day, however, was not as pleasant for WR Charone Peake, who suffered a season-ending knee injury when he tore his ACL in Tuesday evening’s practice. It was a non-contact play; just an unfortunate occurrence during the first NC State prep session.

Peake was doing a nice job in the early goings in that Jaron Brown role; catching some intermediate routes and running the occasional deep pattern, while showing nice footwork and hands on his 3-yard touchdown catch from Cole Stoudt against S.C. State.

“This is a big loss. Charone was having a great year and was going to have a great year,” head coach Dabo Swinney said in a release. “We are thin at receiver with just six scholarship players now. We like to carry 10 at that position. We have good players, but we don’t have a lot of bodies.”

So what now for the Tigers? The issue is, they like running lots of multiple sets, which requires depth at the position. Like Swinney said, the talent is more plentiful than the depth, and that’s going to put offensive coordinator Chad Morris and wide receivers coach/whiz kid Jeff Scott to the test. Luckily, No. 3-ranked Clemson’s got a full week, not two or three days, to adjust the gameplan against the Wolf Pack.

You already know about Sammy Watkins, and probably about Martavis Bryant. Here’s who else you need to get acquainted with to fill Brown’s ‘field’ role at receiver (career stats):

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Practice report: Clemson plows through the injury bug

Martin Jenkins

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner

CLEMSON – The injured list continues to shrink and grow by the day for Clemson; while some guys return, others go down with a groin or a hamstring or a buttock. (Yes, you read correctly. Hold your questions for a minute.)

If it’s any consolation – not that pain and suffering should be taken lightly – Georgia’s dealing with more of the same. Literally: more.

Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph – who you’ll hear from frequently the week leading up to Aug. 31 – has an exhaustive report on the nicks and dings ravaging the Bulldogs’ depth chart during fall camp.

Even as the Tigers go through scrimmages with four available cornerbacks, while the wide receivers conduct a conga line through the trainer’s room, head coach Dabo Swinney isn’t about to coddle the Tigers.

“I don’t think you can practice scared,” Swinney said Monday at noon following a morning session, and seven hours before an evening practice.

Two-a-days proceed as scheduled.

“We’ve got a well-thought-out plan of preparation, and we’ve got to execute our plan. There’s no other way to get your team ready, especially if you aren’t opening with a team like Georgia, then maybe you can pace some guys a little bit differently.”

Full story: Targeting, ejections a jarring concern for defenses

Once fall camp transitions into game week, the Tigers will throttle back. But not with 19 days to go before the opener.

“There’s a few guys you can probably hold here and there in some spots,” Swinney said. “But at this point, it’s way too early for that. You’ve got to go through it.”

The latest batch is improving, on the bright side. Cornerback Garry Peters was “full-go” Monday; cornerbacks Darius Robinson (concussion) and Mackensie Alexander (groin) were confidently rehabbing, with hopes of a midweek return; and cornerback Adrian Baker has an MRI for his knee scheduled this afternoon, though there doesn’t appear to have structural damage in any ligaments and can put weight on the leg.

Then there’s cornerback Martin Jenkins, who took a medical redshirt last year with hernia surgery. He’s got an even more unique injury in camp.

“Martin has … I don’t know a better way to say it … but he’s got an arthritic deal in his butt. I don’t know how else to say it,” Swinney said. “It’s genetic. His dad had the same thing. It’s a matter of trying to get the right medication, and trying to get the dosage right to where he can go.”

Jenkins was able to go through team drills and 1-on-1 drills Monday morning.

“(The trainers) feel like they’ve got a good plan in place, and he was able to do more today than he’s been able to do,” Swinney said. “It can be treated and it can get better. It’s just a matter of when.”

Wide receiver T.J. Green, who avoided an ACL scare last week, could return sometime this week. Martavis Bryant and Adam Humphries have bolstered the position’s depth by returning.

Maybe if the Tigers were opening against, say, Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern, it’d be different.

“There’s no way to prepare our team for what they’re going to face than try to create that type of atmosphere on your practice field every day,” Swinney said. “If you don’t, then you’re not giving them a chance; you’re doing them a disservice.

“Right now is the time to push. We’ll pull back and start working on their legs as we start shifting focusing on Georgia. But right now, it’s all about Clemson. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the deal.”