Don't try so hard.
That's what Chad Morris advised. And, believe it or not, that took a little time sink in.
"Even early in the last week in practice he missed some throws," Morris said. "You saw it in his body language. That hasn't been him, that hasn't been him. In the years that I've been with him, that hasn't been him. I talked a lot about body language. I talked a lot about going to the next play. Quit pressing, it's all going to come into play.
"There's a reason why it's happening the way it is. There's a reason why the schedule is set up the way it is. Maybe we don't want you to play your best ball right now, and slowly build this bunch up.
Through all of that, even Morris had to remind himself that instant success is hard to come by. It takes time. It's a process.
And, just because it worked in 2012, that doesn't mean it will work in 2013.
"As a play-caller, you try to call plays like you did last year or the year before. You try to game plan like you game planned last year or the year before that. What you find is it's not the same team. Every year is going to be different," Morris said.
This year's version of the Clemson hurry-up, no-huddle offense is quite different than last year's, if, for no other reasons, DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Ellington, Brandon Ford and Jaron Brown are all gone.
And, assuming Morris is back on the Clemson sidelines in 2014, Boyd, Roderick McDowell and, probably, Sammy Watkins will be gone, too.
"Next year, I'm sitting right here next year and go, well, I tried to call plays like I did last year. Well, we've got a different team," Morris said. "It takes you a while as a coach to learn the personality of your team, learn what turns them on and clicks, right and wrong.
"What we might have been really good at last year, we may not be good at this year. What we were really bad at last year, we're really good at this year, all of that kind of goes hand-in-hand. That's why we call it a season. The more you play, the more you learn about yourself and about your group."
That, according to Morris, is no different than what Boyd experienced, specifically against N.C. State.
"He was trying to play like he did last year. He was relying on guys that maybe aren't here this year," Morris said. "It's just learning each other in the heat of battle. The biggest thing is don't press. Relax and go play. Be Tajh Boyd. We all know what Tajh Boyd can do. He's one of the best in the country, if not the best."
Different year, different team
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