Monday Practice Report

CLEMSON – After having a chance to review the film from Saturday's scrimmage, Clemson football head coach Tommy Bowden and offensive coordinator Rob Spence aren't ready to push the panic button just yet. <BR>

Yes, it's true that the defense dominated the line of scrimmage. But it's also true that the defense had put in some new schemes that the offense hadn't practiced against.

"I think we're about where I thought we'd be, to be honest with you," Spence said Monday following practice. "Probably maybe a little bit farther ahead than I thought."

Spence said it's still way early in the process of the players learning the new offense and that he wasn't out there to win the scrimmage.

"I think there tends to be a little bit of overreaction, if you will, about something that I didn't realize was more than a scrimmage," he said. "We were just calling plays that we just put in and installed. We're just working on different things right now and I didn't realize that it would actually be such a big deal to so many different people.

"We're really just in the midst of practice. We're trying to get prepared for next year. We're not worried about winning the scrimmage."

That being said, the play of the offensive line during the scrimmage immediately brought back memories of last year's offensive line at this same point.

That same unit went on to struggle just as much for a majority of the 2004 season.

"(The offensive line) wasn't a concern," Spence said. "I think their offensive line is going to be very, very good. I think the procedure penalties were just more a matter of excitement and anticipation. I saw a lot of really, really positive things after I looked at the film."

Bowden mentioned several players that are in the midst of pushing for a starting spots. And some of the names are a little surprising.

"Lionel Richardson right now is kind of pushing Anthony (Waters) for a starting job at linebacker," he said. "That's kind of something that we really didn't anticipate. But it's not that Anthony has done bad, it's just that Lionel makes a lot plays."

Bowden also said that, "Adrian Kindred has kind of jumped on the radar a little bit at linebacker, which is good."

One spot that seemed to be 100 percent locked down was that at left tackle on offense. But that, too, has changed.

"Tim DeBeer is kind of working with Barry Richardson right now at the first-team tackle," Bowden said. "He's making a push with Barry. Barry's a little hurt right now, but he's got to learn how to push himself harder than what he's doing."

Bowden added that Cole Downer is pushing starter Bobby Williamson at tight end.

La'Donte Harris continues to standout at wide receiver. He is the starter in a four-receiver offense and could very well move into a starting spot in the three-receiver offense.

"The biggest thing about Donte that just separates himself from the pack is with his work ethic, with his toughness and the way he works at being a good player," receivers coach Dabo Swinney said. "He really, really studies the game. He really has got a grasp for just more than one position. He tries to learn everything, so he's got a real understanding of what we're trying to do. And that just makes him that much more valuable.

"He's been the best guy this spring as far as being absolutely the most improved; has made plays every day; has shown up with the ones and twos. He's done a nice job. He plays the game the way it ought to be played, with toughness and passion. I can't say enough good things about what he's done so far."

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