Mondays with Morris

CLEMSON - Offensive coordinator Chad Morris talks about the win over North Carolina and this weekend's game at Georgia Tech.


The following is an edited transcript from the interview with Morris.

Dabo talked to us about y'all getting to play a lot of guys that hadn't seen that much game experience...which of those guys stood out to you?
Morris: I think Cole Stoudt did a good job. Obviously, we asked him to throw the football twice. He had a drop and a completion. It's always good to get Cole in. I keep trying to tell Cole, one of these days when we first get you in, it won't be on the goal line. I thought he did a good job, for the most part.

We had some guys up front that did some good things. Are they in a role right now where they're pushing somebody as a starter? No. They were able to get in and get some reps. That's just kind of the way you take those games.

Are we starting to see more from the offense now that guys are getting more comfortable?
Morris: You're starting to see a little bit. As a coach, you've got to be real careful...just because we're mastering something and the guys are really grasping and executing what you're asking them to do, it's only human nature that a coach says, we've got to keep adding. That's the absolute worst thing we could do right now. We're playing with some confidence...we can't confuse them. Players that play confused play tentative. They have to think too much. When you're thinking, you're not reacting. You're playing slow, and you can't have that. This offense is built around speed and being physical. We can't have our guys playing slow and not physical.

"We're at about 70 percent into it. That's OK. We probably won't get it all in this year."

Are we going to continue to grow this offense? We are. We're at about 70 percent into it. That's OK. We probably won't get it all in this year. That's OK. There's nothing wrong with that. We've just got to get good at what we do. And we've shown that. We've seen that. There's still a lot that we've got to correct and improve on.

Are you seeing the players asking for more?
Morris: I am. They're getting to the point right now, when they step on the field for a drive, and we have to punt the football, they come off the sidelines and they're upset. They're unhappy, because they want to go score. When you starting seeing that with those guys, the offensive linemen, they're upset. I say upset, they're discouraged because we didn't go score...that's what you want. You want them to play with that kind of confidence. That kind of disappointment when we're not scoring. They're playing with a lot of confidence.

How do you feel the line did against a pretty good front?
Morris: I think that they've come along over the last five, six weeks. They've gotten better. They've taken a lot more pride in it, which is good to see. I think they graded out the best in pass protection. Tajh gave up a sack early in the game. The other two were on the offensive line. All three weren't on them. One was on the quarterback. We missed some assignments in the running game. We didn't play as well in the run game as I wanted to play, as they wanted to play as well. We've got to really get back into that and figure out. We had some miss calls up front or we weren't targeting the right backer sometimes. We've got to get back to being physical up front. They know it. Overall, I think that they've gotten better, and they're taking a lot of pride in it. They graded out well. I wasn't going to say it was great. There wasn't anybody great. A lot of things, we can improve on. We showed them this morning what we're going to correct this week.

Sammy Watkins was saying his hamstring was bothering him a little bit and you were using him as a decoy. Could you really even tell when he slowed up?
Morris: It was more in his rear-end. He had a bruise from falling on it. I think you saw, when he's on the field, you have to respect him, respect what he can do. It definitely opened up Nuke, opened up Dwayne. He still had eight catches for 91 yards. Any receiver in the country would love to have eight catches for 91 yards. Now, eight games into this thing, that's an average day for Sammy. That's a really good day. He did some good things with it.

Tajh Boyd ranks among the nation's most efficient passers. (Roy Philpott)
What can Tajh do to get better?
Morris: He's got to pick up his hots a little bit better. The last two weeks, he's had a sack on him. We've got to get better in that regard. Always can do better with our foot-work, moving in and out of the pocket.

Are you concerned about Ellington's health right now?
Morris: I am, just a little bit. He got bummed up a little bit, but still played. Andre, like everybody, they've got to practice. It's hard to come out and play on a Saturday and play some of your best ball when you don't practice all week long.

We hope that we can get him and get him ready to go on Saturday.

Thoughts on Georgia Tech?
Morris: Very well coached, defensively. They run a 3-4 scheme with some cover two behind it. They're going to try to keep everything in front of them. They're going to do some things in the third-down packages. There's some things that they do that present challenges for us, big problems for us. We've got to get the right adjustments, and have to study them a little bit more. They've kind of stumped their toe the last two weeks. It'll be a great challenge for us.

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