A MORE COMFORTABLE, CONFIDENT MALLICIAH: After Thursday's practice, sophomore defensive end Malliciah Goodman admitted his freshman year could have gone better.
"I made mistakes here and there, but I'm here this year and correcting a bunch of them," he said.
Pretty high standards for a guy who was Co-Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Clemson coaching staff. In 2009, Goodman finished with five tackles for loss, which included a pair of sacks.
Goodman's much more relaxed now than he was at this time a year ago.
"You can tell that because I'm moving a little bit better," he said. "I'm getting relaxed, getting used to the game, getting focused—stuff like that."
It allows him to play faster, too.
"Once you know your plays and how to do things, it's kind of like a piece of cake, really," Goodman said.
OUTSIDE ON THE STRONG-SIDE: Earlier this week, senior outside linebacker Scotty Cooper called it a career because of a lingering neck injury, which he suffered last season against Maryland. Cooper was a backup on the strong-side (SAM) to redshirt freshman Quandon Christian.
"That's a hard deal when football is through for you. It's tough," said defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. "Obviously, when you're a football coach, you've been in seasons where you're playing and you lose a guy. You have to adjust on the run and keep going."
Steele wouldn't delve into specific personnel usage outside of Christian and Daniel Andrews. But when asked if Da'Quan Bowers could find himself in a role similar to Kevin Alexander's in 2009, Steele had another answer.
The starter at Bandit end, Andre Branch, is "more of that guy," that would be fit the role as a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid.
STILL LOOKING AT LINEBACKERS: The battle between redshirt sophomore Jonathan Willard and redshirt junior Brandon Maye at the weak-side (WILL) linebacker continues. Both were listed as starters when depth charts for the North Texas game were released.
"They're still working, still battling," Steele said.
The immediate future of freshman Justin Parker is still up in the air.
To redshirt or not to redshirt? That is the question.
"We'll see," Steele said. "We don't have to say right now."
MAKE IT QUICK: Tempo remains a big part of offensive nomenclature under second-year offensive coordinator Billy Napier. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kyle Parker feels good about how things are moving along in his second season as the Tigers' starter.
"We practice the same this year, as we did last year. We set a good standard," Parker said. "It was kind of tough last year because nobody had done it before, but I think we're in a good routine now and everybody knows what to expect."
NO QUARTERBACK GUARANTEES: Redshirt freshman quarterback Tajh Boyd has not been guaranteed a certain number of snaps per game this fall.
Napier would like to see his quarterback of the future get as many as possible.
"If we ever get the game in hand, No. 10 will run out there," he said. "If we feel like it's in hand, he'll be out there.
"A good year, he would get to do that a lot. A bad year, he wouldn't get to do that a lot. Hopefully, we'll have a good year and he'll get a lot of time."
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