Mr. Energy

CLEMSON - It's no wonder that the man who brought the hurry-up, no huddle offense to Clemson was sipping on a Red Bull before the start of Friday's practice.

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CUTigersTV: Chad Morris

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First-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris is all about pace.

The quicker, the better.

"We're striving for 80-85 plays a game," he said after the first day of preseason camp. "In order to do that, you have to practice fast. You have to train fast. You've got to answer the phone fast.

"Whatever you do, you have to do it fast."

"We're striving for 80-85 plays a game," he said after the first day of preseason camp. "In order to do that, you have to practice fast. You have to train fast. You've got to answer the phone fast."

Of course, plenty of speed has been added to the Tigers' skill position fleet.

Morris has the enviable task of incorporating highly touted freshmen wide receivers Sammy Watkins, Charone Peake and Martavis Bryant into the fold. Same goes for running back Mike Bellamy -- the guy known as 'Speedy' to the folks back in Punta Gorda, Fla.

"Those guys definitely added a different dimension to it -- the burst, acceleration, the play-making ability," Morris said. "I also saw some veterans today that realized, 'I'd better step up, or I'm fixing to get left out.' I was glad to see that as well."

During the open period of Friday practice that was open for the media, Watkins and Peake worked with the second-team. Bellamy rotated with redshirt freshman D.J. Howard.

"You have to get a gauge. You have to get a starting point. The only way you can do that is, you can't modify day one," Morris said. "You've got to throw them in it, see where they're at, modify from that point forward. From what I just saw over the last two hours of practice, we're not slowing down.

"We're going to pick day two up of install tomorrow and add a lot more. Tomorrow, they're head may be swimming a little bit. But I'm extremely proud of where they are right now."

He's also proud of quarterback Tajh Boyd.

Without prompt, Morris mentioned Boyd as a player who stood out during Friday night's practice.

"I thought his leadership -- number one -- was better today than it was anytime during the spring," Morris said. "He threw the ball better today than he has. He made some good decisions. He definitely showed where he needs to be. Yea, I'm excited [with] what I saw of him, but that needs to be every day. I think he stood out. I think you saw some other guys that stood out as well. Jaron Brown was one that stood out."

Freshan WR Sammy Watkins was just one of several first-year players singled out by Chad Morris Friday evening. (Roy Philpott)
DAY ONE INSTALL: Installation-wise, things are right on schedule... at least after the first day.

"We got in all of our day one," Morris said. "Everything that we had was accounted for, which was most of what we did last spring though day one, and we were able to add some new stuff that they haven't seen at all as a part of this offense."

Each day, he added, will usher in something new.

"We we're going to gauge after tonight to see if we need to slow down tomorrow. We're going to remain on track. We're on track. We're going to stay adding stuff tomorrow and reevaluate things every day," Morris said.

LIGHTNING PART II? Mike Bellamy weighed-in at just 173 pounds on Thursday, but he sure looked fast on Friday.

"Bellamy, he is lightning quick. I tell you what, everybody is out there in tag mode and he's dashing through everybody," Morris said.

The excitement level was quickly tempered. After all, it was only day one. There were no pads, just helmets and shorts.

"We've got to get him to understand and to know why we're doing things and where to go," Morris said. "But I think he's a guy that's going to be really special before he's done."

LEFT TACKLE DRAMA BEGINS: At last month's media golf outing, offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell said left tackle Brandon Thomas needed to "grab the bull by the horns."

At one time, Thomas was hailed as the replacement for All-ACC left tackle Chris Hairston, but Phillip Price won the job in the spring.

Morris was not ready to give a full evaluation of where exactly Thomas stands behind Price.

"I haven't watched film yet. We'll see how it works," Morris said.

The sooner that picture becomes clearer, the better.

"We've got to continue to work that. All that's for evaluation on film...after I get a good gauge of film, I'll have a better understanding," he said. Top Stories