Notebook: Still Plenty of Work Ahead

CLEMSON – Listening to those involved in Saturday's scrimmage, it seems as though it was lackluster. The Clemson coaching staff was by no means thrilled, but at the same point, they weren't disappointed either.

Take, for instance, running backs coach Burton Burns, who sums up the way most coaches felt in Tigers' second scrimmage of the preseason.

"We had a good week of practice, but today, there were some things that we have to do a better job of," he said in specifically speaking about the tailbacks. "We have two weeks before our first game and we're not ready as a group to play a ball game. That's all five of them. There are a lot of things we're not doing well enough to win a football game."

The running backs had trouble holding onto the ball, but Burns said assignment wise, they did fine. Again, it was just a ho-hum type of performance all the way around.

Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said it was more of an even scrimmage, where as the defense dominated last week's scrimmage.

For every good thing the offense did, like score on big plays, there were turnovers and penalties. The offense jumped offsides six times, while the defense did it "three or four times" Bowden said.

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However, quarterback Will Proctor believes there's comparison between this week and last, especially for the offense.

"The offense had a real good few days of practice and we put a few things together but penalties kind of killed us again," he said. "It's a good thing we didn't play today and that we've still got two weeks."

THE PLAY OF CLAY: Antonio Clay, who was thrust into the starting lineup at Sam linebacker due to the broken ankle of Tramaine Billie, had a solid scrimmage. In fact, it could be said it was one of his better performances this entire preseason.

"Antonio made some good plays, but he basically had about three mistakes," his position coach Ron West said. "I think his effort was really good and he made a lot of good plays. They were all learning mistakes that he can improve on. But he played a lot better with his discipline this week than he did last week."

KOENNING ON THE RECORD: Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning assessed the defense with in an unedited transcript:

"Some positives, we created some takeaways today, but they scored a touchdown when it should have been a takeaway. They threw it right threw one of our good players. We had a lot of our twos playing because we took out a lot of our ones because we're trying to be smart this time of year, so a lot of down-the-line guys got a ton of reps.

"The negatives are, Sergio bit on a flat route and gave up a touchdown and the one that I mentioned that was down the middle that should have been a routine pick. In my mind, those are the negatives."

DEPTH CHART MOVES: While most of the moves in the depth chart won't be completed until Monday, is hearing there could be some serious shakeups on the defensive line, including starters.

In fact, don't be surprised if there's some big movement at the two inside positions, involving Dorell Scott and Rashaad Jackson.

Offensively, wide receiver Aaron Kelly is back even with Rendrick Taylor at the X position following a good week of practice. Kelly and Taylor are dead even again heading into the final two weeks of preseason.

SPILLER AND DAVIS: Tailbacks C.J. Spiller and James Davis lined up in the backfield together more times on Saturday than they did in last week's scrimmage. However, for the second straight week, neither carried the ball when in that formation.

"They really want to put in those passing plays so we can both get out in the perimeter so we can catch the ball and get up field," Davis said. Top Stories