Mondays with Morris

CLEMSON - Offensive coordinator Chad Morris talks about Tajh Boyd's performance on Saturday, Mike Bellamy's role and looks ahead to the UNC game.


The following is an edited transcript of Monday's interview with Morris.

What's your sense of what was going on with Tajh early on in the game?
Morris: I don't know. I think that we've all gotten pretty accustomed and used to what he looked like versus Auburn, Florida State. He wasn't on his game, early on. Maybe I didn't throw the ball enough in that opening drive, give him something simple to hit. I don't know. He definitely wasn't the Tajh that we had seen in the past. It took him a little bit to get settled in, get dialed in. He had two other passes that probably should have been picked. Finally, it eventually bit us. We did give them one.

Tajh Boyd's 159.79 efficiency rating is 13th in the country. (Roy Philpott).
I don't know what it was. He and I would talk on the sidelines . He was frustrated a little bit. It was the first time, really this year, that I saw him kind of out of his element and a little bit frustrated, especially after the pick-6. He knew that with us being behind, some of that was on him. He wasn't playing well and was trying really hard. The injury had nothing to do with it. It was just the fact, sometimes you have those games. You try to find a way to bring him through it. We'd talk a little bit. Everybody wanted to talk to him and tell him to settle down a little bit. At some point, as a quarterback, you don't want to hear anybody. You just want to sit down, get away from me, let me figure this out, we're going to get things dialed back in. That's kind of what I told Tajh. In order for us to win this ball game, and this was midway through the first half, you're going to have to make some plays. You just need to relax and settled down.

That's when I was sensing some frustration out of him. I asked him, I said, 'Look, if I need to get Cole Stoudt ready, I'll do it. You know I will, but you need to let me know something here.' At that point, he was like, 'Coach, I'm going to be fine. Just give me a second, give me a minute.' At no point in time in the ball game did Tajh Boyd think we were going to lose that ball game, nor did I or any of our players over on that sideline.

Did you try to call some simple things for him, to have some success and get going?
Morris: You did. On one of the drives in the second quarter, I believe. I was trying to throw the ball a little bit. We were running. In hindsight, looking at it, we still wound up scoring a touchdown. Should we have ran it more? That was irrelevant, at that point. I was trying to get -- I knew were going to have big 10 rolling. I tried to find something to get some confidence in him and get some things going, hit some easy stuff. He hit a few, made some plays, we scored. At some point, you flip off the coach button and you turn on the psychology button. You try to be a counselor, at some point in time. You just have to flip those switches and do a lot of communicating with him on the sidelines.

Tell us a little bit about what's going on with Bellamy. After the game, he was about the last one in the locker room and was seen in full uniform talking on his cell phone while everyone else was in there. Then, he dressed and was about the first one out, head down, straight to the bus. He seemed to be unhappy. Looked like an immature kid.
Morris: That's one of the things we're going to handle in house. It's about the Tigers. It's about our guys that are putting forth everything they've got to win a ball game. I'm extremely proud of our players. We're not going to let anything or any one person derail something that we've got going. It's not going to happy. I wasn't there. I didn't get to see that. Mike got to play and play significant, but it's about the Tigers. I can tell you that.

What's the status? Does anything change?
Morris: No, not that I know of.

Talk about the offensive line, particularly with that second half performance.
Morris: They continue to be challenged, continue to be pushed. For them to be able to hang their hat on running the football and rushing for over 300 yards, they were extremely excited.

We just made a few small adjustments at halftime. It wasn't anything major. It wasn't a magic potion that we sprinkled on those guys. It was just a fact that, look, this is what they're doing. This is how we need to adjust to it. We're going to continue to maintain our game plan, and stick with our game plan. Even when we went down 18 points, to start the second half, when we stepped on the field. Even when we went three-and-out and punted the ball, there wasn't panic. You don't have time to sit and think. You've got to react. As a play caller, as a coach, you can't think I'm down 18 points. The world is crumbling around me. I told our players, there's not one run, not one pass, not one play that you're going to score 18 points.

How much does it open the offense with Ellington running as well as he has the last two weeks?
Morris: I think, anytime you can run the football, it opens up your whole playbook, in that regard. You're able to do some things. That excites me, to see that. That was one week. We're not going to get the national rushing title in one week. We've got to continue to maintain our focus and understand that, yes, we did some good things, but we've got to see the overall picture. We've got to get after it a little bit harder this week.

Is there a ceiling on this offense?
Morris: I don't think there is. These guys are seven games into this thing and they are having some success. Again, it would be so easy to keep adding and adding, and
"One of the greatest things that's happening right now, the success we're having, and all the notoriety that Clemson is getting and our offense is getting. You're attracting these high profile guys all over the country."

bogging them down. I think you slowly grow the offense more. You do what we do. You've got to have an identity, and I've been saying that sense I got here. You've got to have an identity. Your identity has got to represent your personality. Are we going to continue to grow this? Are we going to continue to expand our offense? You bet. What is the limit for it? The sky is the limit for it. Your quarterback is playing good. You've got plenty of skill guys around you. That's what you want. You've got guys that are really starting to hit their peak. We may not get the whole offense in this year, and that's quite OK. There's nothing wrong with that. One of the greatest things that's happening right now, the success we're having, and all the notoriety that Clemson is getting and our offense is getting. You're attracting these high profile guys all over the country. It's like a snowball, it just keeps getting a little bit a coach, don't over complicate it. Just window dress a few things.

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