Napier discusses open date, offense

CLEMSON - Offensive coordinator Billy Napier talks Wednesday for the first time since Clemson's 24-21 loss to Maryland.


What exactly are the fundamentals that need to be worked out on offense?
Napier:The game planning has begun for Wake. It gives us a chance to get ahead. Obviously, it gives us good work against the defense to keep our guys up to speed and playing fast. Offensively, our problem has been execution. That will be our emphasis over the next couple of days.

What are the certain things you have to get Kyle Parker more consistent on?
Napier: From a decision making standpoint, making sure he has a clear understanding of what we're trying to do and him taking that to the game field. That translates to reading coverages and going through his progressions—really black and white decision making. It's part of him growing up and I think he's seeing the value of the preparation time. The tape doesn't lie. He has an opportunity to learn from the tape and see where he's made some mistakes and see some of those fundamental things he can work on.

C.J. Spiller feels like he has been used more in pass protection. Is that where you like him, picking up blitzes?
Napier: I think that's one of the things he came back to work on, maybe. When given those opportunities, I think he's done a good job. On a lot of our protections, the running back shakes out. Obviously, we free release him a little bit. When he's been given those opportunities, I think he's improved in that area.

Do you want to get him more involved in the passing game?
Napier: There's no question we want to try to do that. Every week we try to do that for the most part. Every week we try to get him as many opportunities as we can.

Spiller said you guys didn't run the ball against Maryland very well because it was his fault. Did you see that too?
Napier: I think there were some things he could have done. Rightfully so, that's a mature player. It seemed to me that there were times that he didn't press his landmark or made an early decision and made it harder on the uncovered linemen…That's the type of young man he is. He's going to come out and say, "There are some things I can do better." That's a good thing.

How does lack of execution affect your play calling?
Napier:You just have to continue about your business. Guys drop balls or guys make bad decisions or run the wrong route-whatever the case may be. On game day, you don't panic, you try to get it fixed and run the next play. You keep sight of where you're at in the game and what you've got to do to win the game. The kids don't need to get caught up in it…I'm proud of our kids in the two-minute possession at the end of the game."

How would you evaluate your performance to this point?
Napier: I try to evaluate independent of the wins and losses. Obviously, we'd like to have a better record. I think there are some things I could improve at. Maybe not necessarily myself but the guys around me—helping my quarterback play better. If we were 5-0 or 2-3, and a couple of plays away…regardless of the record I've been learning. Every coach, support staff, player is learning. It's never going to be the same. Any season isn't going to be the same for a player or a coach. There's no question there are some things I can improve at. Every player on our team and every coach on our staff can. If we were 5-0, I'd still give the same answer. We just have to keep working and looking for ways to improve.

Andre Ellington really runs with authority. Is he moving up to that level with (Jamie) Harper as the No. 2 back?
Napier: Yes, there's no question there. Obviously when you start talking about dividing up touches, Andre is a guy, as the season as gone, he's getting more and more. We'll continue to try to do that.

With the receivers and the dropped passes, do you think it's just a mental thing with them right now?
Napier:I'm not sure. I don't know. We've had more than I've been around.

Is there anywhere else on the roster-whether it's a back or a safety-to fill that (No. 2 receiver) spot?
Napier:I think tight end is where we can do that. We've got some guys who are crafty enough to be productive for us. At the same time, we have who we have at back. You're asking about defensive players. That's a head coach question, when you ask about defensive guys. We need to continue to work with the guys we've got. Top Stories