Thursday practice report

CLEMSON - The Tigers finished their final practice Thursday night as they get ready to play the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina on Saturday.

Thursday's practice suited Coach Dabo Swinney's fancy much more than Wednesday's work out.

"We didn't have very good focus (Wednesday)," he said, after Thursday's practice ended. "Today, I thought we had much better purpose. They bounced around with some good spirit to them."

With coaches "getting after" the players a little bit more, Swinney said the level of practice was back to what he's grown accustom to in his short tenure as head coach.

"We haven't had many of those around here. (Wednesday) was one of those days where we kind of had to push them a little bit," he said.

He thinks Michael Palmer's absence from practice and limited work from Thomas Austin and Terrance Ashe contributed to a Wednesday practice that didn't have the "working-man" feel to it.

C.J. Spiller practiced on Wednesday after seeing limited work earlier in the week. It's nothing new though. He's been on a similar routine during normal practice weeks this year. Of late, the only week that Spiller's had a full load on the practice fields came the week of the Wake Forest game.

"It's about like he was before the break. He was a little sore on Monday and Tuesday," Swinney said.

After Saturday's 40-37 win at Miami, offensive coordinator Billy Napier spoke of players taking ownership of their positions, in reference to Jacoby Ford's idea of changing a flag route to a post route on the game winning, overtime score.

Swinney credits some of Ford's speaking up because of the open dialogue he tries to maintain between players and coaches. Along with the Swinney Council and twice a week meetings with seniors, he believes there's a fair amount of open communication.

"We try to listen to our players--not that we're going to always agree--but we certainly listen to them. I think they know that," he said. "Every good team I've been on, guys took ownership of their position.

"They're the ones playing the game. Sometimes, they give you great information."

Earlier in the week, offensive tackle coach Danny Pearman said David Smith could start seeing time at left tackle. Swinney said Smith could cross-train on the left side, in addition to his work on the right. Cory Lambert is listed as second team left tackle. Right now, Swinney considers Smith the third best tackle on the team.

"We're really pleased with how he's coming along. The light's kind of come on for Dave--he's done a nice job for us," Swinney said.

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