Brooks not satisfied

CLEMSON - It's not that Clemson defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks looks to split snaps just for the sake of being fair to the five listed at the defensive tackle and nose guard positions on the Clemson depth chart.

Of course it helps that he's comfortable substituting Jamie Cumbie, Rennie Moore and Miguel Chavis into the lineup for starters Jarvis Jenkins and Brandon Thompson. Even Da'Quan Bowers has moved inside from his defensive end position.

"You go into the game with a plan," Brooks said. "A guy gets nicked up, that might change some things. Plus, a guy can get really hot and is playing well—you stick with that."

In the past whenever he's had the luxury of using that kind of depth, Brooks likes to rotate guys in and out in the early parts of the game. That allows for the best players to be fresh if the game's tight in the fourth quarter.

"If you do that, those guys get involved early and they know what's going on. That's what (coach) Chris (Rumph) and I have talked about," Brooks said.

Rotation at the defensive end positions has been a plus too.

Aside from Bowers and Ricky Sapp, Clemson has had little drop off when Malliciah Goodman and Andre Branch are on the field. Throw in Kevin Alexander at times and there's a solid core of 10 bodies that can rotate in and out from the line.

Brooks has coached eight players who were selected in the NFL draft, including first-round draft choices Shaun Ellis, John Henderson, Albert Haynesworth and Justin Harrell. Eleven of Brooks' players were named All-SEC during his tenure at Tennessee.

This year's Clemson group compares to some of the best he's had over the years.

"Different guys bring different things. But I'm really pleased as a group that I've been able to play that many guys and the drop off is not there," Brooks said.

The Tigers have allowed over 100 rushing yards from an opponent only twice in six games this year and is giving up an average of 122 rushing yards per game. Middle Tennessee rushed for 92 in the opener, Georgia Tech gained 301 the following week and Texas Christian picked up 162.

The danger now, Brooks said, is for the group to start hearing how good it is.

"There's not anybody that's arrived. Don't get happy. Let's go get better," he said.

There's not much time to think about arriving after the 38-3 win over Wake Forest on Saturday. Up next on the schedule is Miami. The Hurricane's offensive tackles are both 6-7, a 6-7 guard and a 6-5 guard.

"They're good at what they do. I think it's a great challenge. Our guys are going to sit there and watch that tape and they know that," Brooks said. "Each week you try to break down protection and see what you can do to it…looking at it, you don't see any weak links."

The same is probably being said right now in south Florida about the Clemson defensive line. It's good at what it does and has no, if any weak links. Top Stories