Quick hits with Brent Venables

CLEMSON - Defensive coordinator Brent Venables discusses the open date.

With them (Wake Forest) having extra time to prepare, do you expect a lot of new trick plays, anything to try and move the football?
Venables: I’m sure everybody will have new things. Sometimes what you see isn’t what you get. I’m sure they are working on themselves and trying to improve fundamentally, and finding out what they’re doing well and what they’re doing not so well- like all of us. I know they played Boston College, they were tough last week and had a chance to win that game. They played Louisville, a team that we all respect, and play them 20-10 about a month ago. They are more than capable and they’ve got a really strong defense. I think Jimbo Fisher says it’s the best defense int he ACC. So, it’ll be a tough game, but that will get here next week.

With this defense playing so well, what do you work on during the bye week?
Venables: There’s plenty, trust me, there’s plenty to work on. It’s like anything, you have to keep going to work everyday. We’ve played consistently the last month or so because we have been going to work everyday. It’s time to practice, you go, you focus on doing the little things the correct way. If you take time off when you’re not supposed to, you’re not going to make those kind of improvements, you’ll regress. We need to stay sharp, improve, and keep looking ahead.

Do you sense that your guys take the sense that every possession matters more when he offense isn’t playing as well?
Venables: I don’t know, I can’t necessarily speak for our guys, but you’re in a tight game and every play does matter. Until you get complete and total control of the game, those plays do matter. They add up. That’s always our focus and our message to our guys. It goes back to the same old cliche, if we are playing as well as we are capable of playing, and worrying about ourselves, we’ll have the opportunity to play well and win.

A lot of fans on social networking were very proud of the fact that this team feels like one from the 80s that hangs their hat on defense. Is there a sense of pride in that?
Venables: Obviously all of us coaches are proud of how far we’ve come, the improvement in the last month or so, and getting into a rhythm. You still look at yourself more than anything and how well you’re playing. Are you executing? Are you playing with good fundamentals? Are the players playing with great effort? Are they tackling in space? Are they attacking the football when it’s in the air? Are their eyes where they belong? When you’re dong those things, you usually have a good end result. I know us coaches, watching our guys play, we have good chemistry, we’re in a good rhythm, we’ve go great leadership, and our guys are enjoying themselves and having fun. They with intensity and greta toughness along the way. Our fans should be proud of our players- all of our players. As a football team, we’ve really had to scrap. Our offense it trying to overcome enormous obstacles. Everybody’s doing their part under the circumstances.

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