The secondary returns arguably the best duo of safeties and one of the most underrated defensive backs in the conference. And although the linebackers are young, they're talented.
Still, there's little room for Steele to get complacent entering year two of his tenure in Tigertown.
"We don't change the way we do things. We ask them to go play when it's raining, snowing, when it's hot, cold, on the road, at home—it doesn't matter. We try to coach the same way," he told CUTigers after practice this week. "We don't look at who's been here, who hasn't been here, who's got experience and who doesn't.
"We go through our process. Our process does not change. Because of that, it allows you to keep the emotion out of it. There is no pressure, except for what we put on ourselves, which, by the way, is far greater than anybody can imagine."
"It's just about making individual players as good as we can make them."
With a date at Auburn looming large on the third game of the season, the foundation for the game plan has already been laid.
Those Tigers finished the 2009 season 16th in the nation in total offense under first-year head coach Gene Chizik, not to mention offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Auburn was also in the top-20 in rushing (13) and scoring (17).
"We've evaluated it and put it back on the shelf. We'll look at it when it's time," Steele said.
Of course, that goes for all 12 teams on the Clemson schedule.
"We prepare for every team in the offseason. We start backwards with our last game and work all the way forward to the first game and do a summer scouting report on every team we play," Steele said. "Then, we start back at the beginning with our first game, which is North Texas."
However, time is budgeted for a few periods in each camp session for the strange and unusual.
One might assume that includes some no-huddle, highly up-tempo looks, along with a little triple-option and some pro-style.
"We have a couple of periods here and there, where we do oddities of what we're going to see throughout the season, but that's not team-specific. It can come from a lot of things," he said.
The only team-specific work Steele will focus on is his own.
"It's a never-ending battle to learn how to be technical, to understand your technique, play the fundamentals, to tackle and play with relentless effort— it's never done," he said. "That's the biggest thing, to keep the process going."
And that process continues each day as the Tigers continue preparations for the upcoming season.