WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Deacs got after it early Monday morning in their first post-scrimmage practice of fall camp at the Doc Martin Football Practice Complex.
The 10th practice of camp, which was the front part of the first two-a-day this season, saw the Deacs focus on route running and goal line play.
Demon Deacon Digest spoke with Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson after practice was complete to get his thoughts on their work Monday as well as a final wrap on Saturday’s all-important scrimmage.
On his evaluation after seeing tape of the scrimmage
Clawson: “I would say after the scrimmage I pretty much nailed it. We end up watching it four times. We watched it once live, then I graded it that night by myself. Every coach grades their position. The next morning, we watched it as a staff. Then we watched the whole thing with the players. So every play gets watched, and most of them you rewind it three or four times, so when it’s all said and done you’re probably watching every play 10 or 11 times. But sometimes the general impressions are accurate. I thought it was a cleaner scrimmage than I originally thought. There wasn’t a lot of missed assignments. I think guys were in the right spot. The offense had some really extended drives against the defense. You go back and there’s a 10-play drive and 11-play drive 1s vs. 1s, which is good. The defense made some good stops in the red zone. The offense moved the ball at times, but got a stop with the exception of the one real long drive against the 1s.”
On the positives and negatives
Clawson: “The first and second offense turned the ball over once in 94 snaps. That’s certainly good for the offense, but not good for the defense. The offense took eight deep shots down the field, and didn’t complete any of them. We took eight bombs, dropped one, threw one out of bounds, and six of the eight plays the defensive back made a really nice play breaking up the football. So great, we’re defending the deep ball, which we have to do. You go back to Clemson and other games last year we didn’t do a good job of that. But, you wish on offense you had done a little better job with it. You’d say a positive on offense is that the completion percentage was high, which resulted in first downs and us moving the football. We made some explosive plays, with long runs — Cade (Carney) had one, Rocky (Reid) had one and Kendall (Hinton) had two. But, again there weren’t a lot of good four, five or six-yard runs. There weren’t many negative plays, but there were too many one, two or three yard gains, and those have to start being from an offensive perspective, three, four and five-yard gains. Defensively, we were pretty stout. Willie Yarbary does a great job of holding the point. Losing Zeek (Rodney), that was a concern. Willie does a nice job of holding up double team, not giving up push, not giving up movement, and that’s important. When you get a dynamic guy like Duke (Ejiofor) back, hopefully Banks as a three technique gets some one-on-one blocks, then you have Marquel (Lee) and Jaboree (Williams) in the back end. If your nose guard can hold the point, that’s really going to help us. Willie did a really good job with that.”
On if he had concern with the lack of moving the football in the late-scrimmage red zone drills
Clawson: “That part was soft. The 1s vs. 1s it was one series. It’s just the nature of camp, on both sides, but on the 1s we were down our top three tight ends. Offensively line (on 2s, I believe), Je’Vionte’ Nash was in there. On offense, if you have a missed assignment, the play is going to go backwards. Some of those things were just young guys being put into a position they weren’t ready for yet. With the 1s vs. 1s, it was a three-and-out, just one series. In the 2s vs. 2s, the defense stepped up. In those situations in that scrimmage, we had some guys in there we didn’t plan on playing.”
On being down a cornerback today
Clawson: “(Amari) Henderson still has a hamstring. We’re hoping to get him back later in the week. He had that last year. When a guy has a hamstring for the first time, you try to get him back. When he has a history of it, you’re going to be very cautious. You don’t want to bring him back at 75 percent. Dionte (Austin) was out with an undisclosed injury, and we’ll see how he progresses. Cam (Glenn) we’re hoping (will be back) Thursday). Him and Duke we hope to have back Thursday. Thursday is now two weeks before the game. We’ll have them practice one of those two practices, see how it goes. Hopefully they can go through it Friday and then give them limited snaps on Saturday.”