Plenty of work to do

CLEMSON - Chad Morris was quite perturbed with Monday afternoon's practice, the first since the team returned from spring break.

And so was Dabo Swinney.

It's probably safe to assume that you'd be hard pressed to find anyone else on the Clemson coaching staff that was happy with what they saw on Monday afternoon.

"Today was fairly lethargic. It was like pulling teeth, at times, to try and get the guys going," Morris said. "I don't know if they told them it was an eight-day spring break or not. I haven't gotten that e-mail. I need to check my e-mail and see if spring break should have followed over to today. There wasn't the production that we needed and we had to have today."

He added, "We did do some good things. There were some good things out of it. We didn't do the edge about ourselves that I thought we should have had. Overall, just the intensity level -- maybe it was the spring break blues, trying to get back into the groove. That's OK. We're going to get it out of them on Wednesday."

Second at tight end
Thanks to attrition and plenty of hard work, Brandon Ford has earned the right to be called the starter at tight end. The real competition has been for the spot behind him.

Sam Cooper, Darrell Smith and Eric MacLain are the three vying for that second-team role.

"Sam is having a really good spring. I've been pleased with Sam. He's making some plays. He's learning. He's learning his role," Morris said. "Darrell Smith is another guy that has a role on this football team. He's athletic. I'm excited about Darrell."

MacLain, a four-star signee with the 2011 class, is still learning the ropes.

"MacLain, he's a hit and miss guy right now. He's still learning formations and how to get lined up right," Morris said. "He's going to have to understand that his big attribute is he's got to be physical. He's got to play physical. He's not going to out-run anybody, so he's got to make his money being physical. That's our challenge to him.

"He's learning that. He's got some spots right now where we're being able to check him out and see where he fits."

Wide receiver notes
Sammy Watkins may have gotten a majority of the headlines for his play last season, and rightfully so, but there are two other highly-recruited class of 2011 wide receivers to speak of -- Martavis Bryant and Charone Peake.

"Charone is being very physical. Charone may be one of the more physical wide receivers that we've got right now, but he's got to start making some plays in the passing game. We've got to have him start being more a part of that," Morris said. "Martavis has got to be more consistent. Unbelievable talent, but it's the same old song and dance. We've got to be more consistent. We can't just halfway run a route one time and fully run it the next time. That's our job to get him right, and we will."

The guards
The emergence of Kalon Davis at left guard has allowed last year's starter, Brandon Thomas, to work with the first-team at left tackle this spring.

Aside from Monday's practice, Morris has been pleased with Davis' performance this spring.

"He's in a role right now to be productive for us," Morris said.

The backup behind Davis is David Beasley. Over at right guard, behind Tyler Shatley, is Reid Webster.

"I'm really pleased with Reid. I think Reid is going to be -- coming on to be a solid backup. He still hasn't quite turned it loose, to where he really wants to compete for the starting job, but he's made leaps and bounds from the season," Morris said. Top Stories