A chip for Chad

CLEMSON - Offensive coordinator Chad Morris knows what's being written about the Clemson offense this year.

And judging by what he had to say Friday night after the Tigers' first practice of the 2014 season, he doesn't like it one bit.

After losing playmakers like Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant to the NFL, there is natural concern the 500-yard, 50-point games could be a thing of the past.

But don't tell that to Clemson's fourth-year play caller.

Sitting down to talk to reporters for the first in a post-practice setting, Morris went off.

Several times, in fact.

"Tajh and Sammy are gone and Martavis. So I don't know if we should even show up and play the way people talk," Morris said. "Honestly, I told don't even know if we should show up this year. Look, if we get a single first down, I don't know what we are going to do.

"I don't know. You know, it does kind of rub us a little bit sour and that's good. But I will tell you this, I will make sure I rub salt in the wound daily. I really will."

It's a message he continues to deliver to his team on a routine basis. While the rest of the college football world is focused on the players the Tigers return on defense, he said it's time for his unit to put up or shut up.

Ryan Norton, now a veteran on the offensive line as Clemson's starting center, has heard the chippy commentary from his coach all summer long.

"We are definitely reminded by it- by the whole coaching staff. And that's something that is going to push us throughout this whole camp and the whole season. Nobody is looking at us thinking this is going to be a good offense or this is going to be a good offensive line.

"No one in the country is thinking that. It's our job to prove them wrong and we are trying to go out there every day to prove that."

For Morris, it comes down to a mentality.

Ever since he arrived at Clemson, it was all about creating a "smash mouth spread" offense. One that was predicated on the running game. However, as most know by now, he changed his philosophy to fit his personnel.

With Boyd, Watkins and Bryant it was more pitch-and-catch than ground-and-pound. Now that those players are gone, it's time to find other ways to create big plays.

And if Friday's post-practice rant was any indication, he may be more motivated than ever before make sure this team is more physical at the point of attack, and more effective on the ground entering the 2014 season.

"They have to have an edge about them. A hard edge about them," Morris said. "They have to have that ticked off, pissed off approach. That's the personality these guys have to have. The days of being passive are over. It's about us now. We take great pride in saying we are the most explosive offense in the country.

"And it's not going to change."

Is it August 30 yet?

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