Chad Morris wants tougher Tigers

CLEMSON - In part two of a three-part series, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris reveals his No. 1 goal for spring practice and discusses his thoughts on Tyler Shatley's move to offense.

The second-year assistant continues to sing the tune he carried through much of his first season at Clemson.

He wants his guys to be tougher.

"That's the number one goal going into spring ball," Morris said on The Roy Philpott Show last week. "I don't care if we put in the entire offense. That doesn't mean anything to me.

"We've got to develop a lot tougher attitude. You saw it come on a little bit during the season, but we still weren't quite as tough, rugged and physical as we need to be, to be able to execute this offense at a high level and get back to where we want to be, and that's a BCS game."

According to Morris, the quest to become tougher in 2012 began right after the 2011 season ended.

"It starts in our weight room, in our offseason, in our attitude," he said.

The kind of toughness that Morris wants to foster isn't limited to pushing around the opponent.

"We've got to put them more in adverse situations, both mentally and physically," Morris said. "That's my thing with our guys…not only do we have to get more physically tough. We'll create that. We've got to be more mentally tough.

"When it is third-and-1 and it is third-and-2, and it is week nine and 10 during the season, that's when you've got to have mental toughness, to keep pushing through."

To help ratchet up the toughness up front on the line, Morris was able to add Tyler Shatley, who spent his first three seasons at Clemson as a defensive tackle.

"I'm extremely excited about Tyler and what he brings to the offensive side of the football," Morris said. "Being able to put him at guard, he's such a smart man, got great football knowledge."

With Brandon Thomas as the returning starter at left guard, Shatley will presumably play right guard. With Dalton Freeman back for one more season at center, the interior portion of the line will take shape with veterans.

Questions remain on the outside at both tackle positions since Phillip Price and Landon Walker both graduated.

"Isaiah Battle may be one of the best athletes on the football team…he is an unbelievable athlete," Morris said. "I'm expecting him and Joe Gore, those type of guys, to really make a push."

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