Venables respects the LOB

CLEMSON - Brent Venables might make his living as a defensive guy, but during the Super Bowl, he was pulling for the team that got there because of its offense.

Venables wanted to see Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos beat the Legion of Boom and the Seattle Seahawks. That, of course, didn't happen.

The Seahawks cruised to a 43-8 win.

"I really and have always admired Seattle and what they're all about, too, so they do it the right way, without question," Venables said. "There's a purity about what you saw, not trying to trick anybody and just playing great team defense. They're swarming, ferocious."

That subject came up earlier this year in the West End Zone.

"Our guys, we've talked about that, having that edge and that attitude," Venables said. "You've got to be all excited and fired up, emotional, it's a big part of the game, but knowing what you're doing is a big part of the game as well, and doing it with great fundamentals."

So, needless to say, the Tigers' third-year coordinator was very impressed with what he saw from the Seahawks' D.

"How fast they looked, how hard they played, how sure of themselves they looked and the go-for-broke attitude. They got after it," Venables said. "They took it to Denver from the onset. They had their ears pinned back from the onset. You can see it's a group of guys that like to play. There's a lot to that. It's hard to coach. That's a culture.

"You try to foster and nourish that concept. We felt we had that a year ago. Hopefully, we can replicate that, but it's not a given."

And it would appear that Venables is building his secondary to look like the physical, imposing group from Seattle.

Richard Sherman, who is now the highest paid cornerback in the league, is 6-3, 195 pounds. Former Clemson cornerback Byron Maxwell checks in at 6-1, 207. Strong safety Kam Chancellor is 6-3, 232 while free safety Earl Thomas, the smallest man in the group, is 5-10, 202 pounds.

Clemson's projected starting back four for the Georgia game has a similar kind of look: Cordrea Tankersley [6-0, 195], Mackensie Alexander [5-11, 185], Jayron Kearse [6-4, 205] and Robert Smith [5-10, 210].

"I think it's another way. It's obvious that it worked for them," Venables said. "When you've got the length and the size back there, it helps. You've seen it the other way, with some smaller guys and all the speed, but people are still trying to spread you out to run the football at the end of the day.

"Whether it's the quarterback run game, the power spread like you see with Gus Malzahn, then a lot of the game happens on the perimeter, quickly on the perimeter, so being physical and having some length to you is a big part of it, so I think there's something to that."

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