Moore impresses Brooks

CLEMSON - New Clemson defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks watches a scrimmage and, generally speaking, tries not to get overly excited.

The veteran coach, who just finished his first week as Clemson's defensive tackles head man, has been burned before on both fronts when he has done exactly that.

But with that said, he really likes what he has seen from his defensive tackles, and not just in Saturday's scrimmage.

"I never like to say much after a scrimmage because you don't really have a good seat on the sidelines because of the angle that you're looking at it," he said. "Sometimes it is better than you thought and sometimes it is not as good so I try not to do that.

"The biggest thing I like so far is their attitude. They are taking coaching and they have a great attitude. They are just eager to learn and as long as they do that we can just go from there. They are giving good effort and they are taking from coaching and so I think we can help them from there."

With players like Brandon Thompson, Jarvis Jenkins, Jamie Cumbie, Miguel Chavis and Rennie Moore, Brooks is already seeing the quality depth the Tigers have in the defensive trenches.

"I think we have enough people that we can get a rotation," he said. "I'm trying to play guys against the same people so I can truly evaluate them. This is the only way I know how to do this. If I don't play the same nose against the same guy, then how I'm I supposed to evaluate him.

"We like to roll guys and keep them fresh anyway so we are going to roll them and see who the best is and there will be some situational guys."

One of those situational guys could be redshirt sophomore Rennie Moore.

Brooks has really been pleased with what he has seen out of the 6-foot-4, 265-pound nose guard. Currently, Moore is third on the depth chart behind Jenkins (6-foot-4, 298) and Cumbie (6-foot-7, 270).

"The guy that has been really receptive and has not played a lot of football from the way I understand it, and I don't know because I have come into this blind. I don't know how much a guy has played and I don't care, but Rennie Moore is really doing some good things," said Brooks, who coached three NFL first-round draft choices in Shaun Ellis, John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth. "He slips some blocks and is doing some nice things.

"Rennie has made some plays for us. He is really trying hard and has a great attitude. We played him at the tackle and at the nose."

The biggest thing the Clemson front has to improve is their pad level. There were times in Saturday's scrimmage that Jenkins and Thompson got beat because they were not sound and were not coming off the ball correctly.

"I can take each guy and say they are doing some good things because I see Brandon Thompson doing good things and Jarvis Jenkins has really made some nice plays for us, but I have to get him playing with his hands and all of them have to improve on their pad level," Brooks said. "That's the No. 1 thing that we have to fix. We are going to get our pad level down. I think it was better today."

But just a week into the job, Brooks likes what he sees and the potential that each tackle brings to the defensive front.

"I think they can be a special group," he said. "When we figure out the rotation and who plays what and who are the sub players and that sort of thing, we have a chance to be good. We are excited as a group." Top Stories