Work in progress

CLEMSON - The defense may have gotten the best of the offense during the first major scrimmage of preseason camp Tuesday, but in the grand scheme of things that shouldn't come as a surprise.

Especially when offensive coordinator Billy Napier said afterwards he played just about every player he had on his offensive roster.

And especially when the defense is usually ahead of the offense this time of year anyway.

If anything, Tuesday was more about seeing what his younger players could do before the team settles into its regular season routine in the coming weeks.

"Today was about trying to figure out who can really play consistent winning football and play with discipline. You know, it's hot out here and guys can have trouble focusing ... how do our guys respond? That's what we wanted to find out," Napier said.

"But again, today was about getting that rookie group out there and how they could respond. We got behind the chains a little bit but for the most part it was about what we would expect. We had some guys make some plays and our veterans played well. We saw some flashes."

Not surprisingly, Napier, just like head coach Dabo Swinney, continues to downplay the quarterback battle between Kyle Parker and Willy Korn- at least when it comes to naming a starter.

And Tuesday's stats really didn't offer much more indication one way or another as Parker completed 8-of-18 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown while Korn was 4-of-9.

Napier said there was a little good and some bad mixed in with what he saw during the scrimmage.

"I think K.P. had a pretty good day. I think Willy did some good things too," he said. "I know there were some mistakes in there from a read standpoint. But that's expected. Neither guy is really a proven guy and our defense is extremely talent.

"The problems today came from the negative plays from a protection issue."

Swinney later referenced the fact the first team offensive line was solid, but the drop off on the second team led to the issues mentioned by Napier.

"We were rotating a lot of players in there that we obviously won't be doing [in the coming weeks]," he said.

Clemson's head coach also suggested there could be separation starting to form at quarterback, but he wouldn't know for sure until watching the film.

"We'll have to watch the film," he said. "I couldn't say right now one way or another."

Swinney also maintained that both quarterbacks are likely to play this season as well, no matter who emerges as the starter.

UNDER THE RADAR: The biggest hit of the day came from Kavell Conner, who blasted Rendrick Taylor when the team was practicing its goal line offense versus its goal line defense.

"Kavell has probably had the best camp of all the linebackers," Swinney said. "He's just consistent ... and that hit he had on Rendrick - he just hit him square in the mouth."

Conner told CUTigers afterwards it felt good to inflict that kind of punishment at the end of a long, hot practice.

"It was a short yardage play and Coach Steele was telling us he wanted to see who was going to go out there and fight," Conner said. "The defensive line got low and cleared it out for me and I was fortunate enough to get a big hit.

"It definitely felt good."

Conner, who seemingly always stays out of the spotlight on Clemson's ultra-talented defense, said he could care less that his name wasn't mentioned in the preseason magazines as one of the top returning linebackers in the ACC.

"I'm not even sure why that is," he said. "I don't even care. As long as the defense is successful that's all that matters. If we work hard and stay focused we'll be successful."

Keep in mind the rising senior actually tied for the team lead in tackles last year with 97

NEXT UP: The Tigers return to practice for the second day of two-a-days Wednesday morning. The next major scrimmage will be held Saturday – again inside Death Valley. Top Stories