Swinney not pleased with tight end play, says supporting cast has roles to fill

Coach will play mix-and-match with Sam Cooper, Stanton Seckinger, Eric Mac Lain, Darrell Smith behind Brandon Ford

Clemson tight end Brandon Ford gets a first down during the third quarter at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson tight end Brandon Ford gets a first down during the third quarter at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

Clemson's tight ends have a collective job to do.

And Dabo Swinney was none too pleased with the way the Tigers' mix-and-match group performed in the opener against Auburn last Saturday.

"I thought our receivers performed well, but I wasn't pleased with the tight end position," said Swinney during the ACC coaches' teleconference.

A year ago, the Tigers grew accustomed to Dwayne Allen serving as one of the offense's primary playmakers. The coaches expect the same of Brandon Ford, who had multiple drops drops in the opener, while they're counting on several others to perform specific roles.

Wednesday evening after practice, Swinney clarified Clemson's pecking order at tight end, saying that Ford was No. 1, Cooper No. 2, and Seckinger No. 3, which would leave Mac Lain fourth.

And then there's Smith, who - though designated a fullback on the depth chart - is another in the cast of available role-players.

"It's not really a position where you can look at the depth chart," Swinney said. "There are a lot of different roles. You saw Darrell Smith in there quite a bit (against Auburn). He's going to be a real factor for us.

"He's listed as a fullback, and we don't even have a fullback."

Swinney said that Seckinger - a redshirt freshman and a converted wide receiver who had an impressive preseason camp - will play the role of "more of a slot guy."

"He'll be at the point of attack some, but we're not going to ask him to do certain things right now," Swinney said. "But you're going to see him in there as this thing progresses."

Swinney said that Cooper is second because he has a better overall mastery of the various tasks required of the starter at the position.

"Coop is the second guy right now, as far as knowing the whole package," Swinney said.

Sam Cooper worked behind Ford against Auburn, while Eric Mac Lain got one snap. Stanton Seckinger didn't play. Also working in the mix was Darrell Smith, the team's designated 'fullback.'

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Comments » 1

KerryCapps writes:

in response to sennmanthetigerfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He was definitely a good one...and Kevin Mack wasn't too shabby either...

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