Earlier this summer, the head coach adamantly stated that Steward will not redshirt this season.
Venables wasn't as firm when asked for his opinion on whether Steward would or would not contribute in 2012.
"I don't know. I'm a next week, next month, next year kind of guy, just as far as trying to plan," Venables told CUTigers. "We'll see. I don't want to waste anybody's time. We always have the big picture in mind, not just kind of living for the moment."
Steward, who sat out most of his freshman season after tearing his ACL, is competing for time at weak-side linebacker with Jonathan Willard and Corico Wright.
According to Venables, Steward played well on Saturday.
"He feels comfortable in the defense. I could probably say that from the first day. He looked comfortable. That's a very positive thing," Venables said.
GRADING THE SCRIMMAGE: Venables was blunt when asked if there were individuals he wanted to brag about after the scrimmage.
"Not really," he said. "It's hard for me to say. I saw good and bad, both -- guys that made some plays. Lateek [Townsend] made some plays, but he's not lined up right half the time. Get him squared away he can be a problem for people. He's not the only one.
"Just some good and some bad -- I like the attitude. I like the chemistry, leadership from guys on our defense. They like each other. They don't mind coming out to compete. They've got a hunger and willingness to work.
"I think they're looking to redeem themselves from a year ago."
TO IMPROVE UPON: There is one area in particular that Venables would like to see improve before the season starts on Sept. 1 in the Georgia Dome against Auburn.
"More depth, more quality players and just deeper, just in case -- what if," he said.
Staying healthy will play a big part in that quest.
"If our guys continue in the same positive mindset, the willingness to work and invest in the process, that's what it's about," Venables said.
Steward's role undecided
CUTigers.com Top Stories
RECRUITING RADARIn our weekly Recruiting Radar, CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel updates you on the latest news and intel on the Clemson recruiting front!
Pagano to TransferAfter helping Clemson win a National Championship and earning his degree, Scott Pagano has decided it is time for him to move on.
CUTigers.comFriday at 11:58 AM
TIGERS TAKE A W FROM WAKEAfter back-to-back heartbreaking losses to Syracuse and Duke, the Tigers built a 21-point lead on Wake Forest and won by 12 to complete the season sweep of the Deacs and keep their…
DEJA BLUEFor the second straight game, Clemson had the lead or a chance to win on the final possession of the game and came up just short. This time, it was against #18 Duke in the most…