Adams, Bennett: Depth Not a Problem

CLEMSON – A lot of early talk this season by the Clemson football coaching staff has been geared toward the concern about lack of depth along the defensive front.

But ends Charles Bennett and Gaines Adams believe all will be just fine.

Adams, a redshirt junior who is playing the hybrid position of ‘Bandit', which is a cross be an end and a linebacker, says all the second and third team players need is a little time, which the Tigers have until their season opener against Texas A&M.

"I think the difference is the age difference," he said. We've got a lot of guys that haven't played in games and don't have enough experience. The difference between the first team and the second team is really just the age difference. They play hard, but the inexperience is the difference."

He may have a point. Looking at ‘Bandit' there's Adams on the first team, redshirt freshman Cortney Vincent on the second team and sophomore Kwam Williams with the third team.

At end, Bennett, a senior, is the starter, with freshman Phillip Merling on the second team and junior Brandon Cannon on the third team.

"You can't criticize them and put them down," Bennett said. "Just encourage them. ‘You messed up on this play, but don't mess up on this play. Don't let that be your downfall for the rest of practice. You've got to put that play behind you and just focus on the next play ahead.' I think by the end of camp that everybody will be on the same page."

So far, Bennett said the biggest problem with the young guys is that they are still trying to get a grasp of the new defense.

"I don't think I'll have to play 90 percent of the time, because it's a new defense and people are still trying to get adjusted to it," he said.

"They just need to study the plays and be more focused. I just think it's a learning curve. People just need to study more and put forth more effort. People learn at a different pace."

Because they youngsters are still trying to get accustomed to the defense, they're having a lot of blown assignments. When they are in the right spot, they're making the plays. It's just that they aren't in the right spot as often as they should be.

"They're not getting manhandled, but they're having a lot of missed assignments because they're still trying to adapt to a new system," Adams said. "They're not in the right place at the right time. But they haven't had that much time on the field to adapt to that type of speed from high school to college. I guess they're afraid of messing up because they want to go out there and do the right thing." Top Stories