Tajh Boyd doesn't seem to mind spotlight. He knows that it comes with the territory when you're the man at quarterback.
His most recent question and answer session with the Clemson media-types was on Friday, following the Tigers' half-scrimmage. The following is an edited transcript of that Q and A.
How are things going?
Boyd: We're getting better. I think we're getting better. We're taking steps, progressively, everyday. Just to change something everyday. It's little by little, but it's coming along pretty strongly. Today was a pretty big emphasis on short-yardage. It started off not doing as well as we wanted to. Our group strides, all we try to do is continue to play and finish strong. We definitely ended the scrimmage really well. I was just proud of the way the guys performed at the end of the day. But, overall, there is no room for complacency. I think we know what we're capable of doing, but capable doesn't win games. We just want to perform every time we come out here and step on this field. That's what we've got to do.
Can you talk about the numbering system. Does it almost mean you have to re-learn the offense a little bit?
Boyd: I think the first couple of days there was a little adjustment. Right now, it's all second nature. You're starting to look at how it relates to the system that we ran before, and just some of the systems you ran as a kid growing up. They all have some similarities. Once you start to put them together, it's very simple and to the point where it can help us gain that more leverage during the games. We'll be able to run more plays, even if it's five plays. I think it will help. I'm excited about. Everybody has caught onto it. The linemen need to know some parts of it, but not all of it. The running backs are picking it up really well.
Coach Morris thinks it makes you quicker, getting plays off.
Boyd: Most definitely. It speeds up everything. The only thing now, the refs have got to keep up. We've got to make sure, ‘Ref, spot the ball. We're ready to go.' I think coach Morris and coach Swinney are alike. They're always trying to find a way to get better. I think they're thinking all the time. Whether they're asleep, taking a -- in the bathroom -- any time. I think that's signs of greatness for a coach. They just try to make sure that it reflects on us as well. I'm proud of the coaches that we have here, and just the job that they're doing.
Are there one or two guys on offense that have surprised you this spring?
Boyd: I think it's the collective nature of the group. Hot Rod [McDowell], a lot of people don't get a chance to see him, especially because he's been having to wait and take his turn. That guy is unbelievable. The stuff that he does when he has the ball in his hands, it's like some stuff I've never seen before. I think he's going to surprise some people when game time rolls around. I'm excited about the fact that he's going to be that guy. Just being able to take any given play to the house, so I'm excited for him.
I think Jordan Leggett has been having a really good spring, a new guy, came in mid-year and is picking it up really well. Our expectations for him, we're not looking at him as a freshman. We want him to grasp it and go. We expect him to pick up everything really fast. And he has, so far. It's been good for him.
[Germone Hopper] is another guy. We've just got to keep pushing the younger guys.
What about the guy protecting your blindside?
Boyd: Isaiah Battle?
He's going to be a great one. Again, I think everybody, there are some things that need to continue to work on, continue to improve on. Knowledge of the offense. Knowledge of the opposing defense. I think, once everything is there mentally, he's going to be an unbelievable guy. He's like another weapon out there. He's not a skill guy, but he's close to it. He's been good.
How would you assess the offensive line's development without Dalton Freeman?
Boyd: [Ryan] Norton has been doing a really good job. That's one of the things. I think, for anything, a quarterback's best friend on the team is a center. They've got to have a really good bond, to snap the ball really well. One of the hardest working guys that I know. Very self-critical. But, at the same time, he'll do it until it's done right. That's one of the things that you want. You want guys to push themselves and push the others around him. That's what he does at all times. Just excited about him getting a chance to lead those guys up front.
The quarterback's perspective
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