Tigers go back to work, Swinney impressed with backup QBs, running backs

CB Garry Peters returns to practice; Tiger staff visits with coaches from Arizona State, Ohio State, Atlanta Falcons

Clemson's Chad Kelly during the first day of spring practice in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Chad Kelly during the first day of spring practice in Clemson.

Back at work after an 11-day spring break, Clemson's Tigers hit the ground running on Monday during a two-hour session at their indoor practice facility.

Dabo Swinney was pleased with the effort and focus, and said he didn't expect anything less.

"You start over with everything in spring ball as far as leadership and chemistry and all that, but the thing about this team is that we've got a lot of experience back," said Swinney. "We had a small group of seniors last year, so we didn't lose a lot of numbers. We have a lot of guys who were all recruited here with the same message.

"They've won 21 games in two years, so there's a culture and foundation that I like. They have the sense of urgency you have to have if you're going to have consistency in your program."

Swinney said he's pleased with the competition at quarterback between rising junior Cole Stoudt and redshirt freshman Chad Kelly behind 2012 ACC player of the year Tajh Boyd.

"Cole and Chad both had good days today," Swinney said. "Tajh was probably not quite up to his standard, but he's had a good spring and we're very comfortable with him.

"I'm excited about Cole and Chad and the way they're developing. After the next few practices, we're going to back off with Tajh a little bit and let Cole and Chad take more first-team reps."

Swinney said he also likes the competition and chemistry at the running back position.

Tiger staff visits ASU; Falcons, OSU come here

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"It's a good group (Rod McDowell, D.J. Howard and Zac Brooks), and Tony (Elliott) holds them to a high standard," said Swinney. "They come to work every day and do the things we ask them to do. When they make mistakes, they make them full-speed.

"We're going to need all three of them - we're not going to rely on just one guy."

Swinney said that defensive back Garry Peters returned to practice after missing the first segment of spring drills because of academic issues. He worked in shorts on Monday, but will be in pads on Wednesday.

Swinney also said that so far this spring, the Clemson offensive staff has visited with coaches at Arizona State, while the offensive staff at Ohio State came to Clemson. Also visiting with the Tigers' staff was the defensive staff of the Atlanta Falcons, who were interested in exchanging ideas about the pistol formation and the zone-read.

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Comments » 3

Xander5000 writes:

Why are we exchanging anything with the Atlanta Falcons and the Ohio State Buckeyes/Urban Meyer??
The Falcons are in the state of Georgia, which is the home state to UGA and Ga. Tech......teams we play. Who is to stop someone from the Falcons's camp from sharing info about us to UGA and Ga. Tech?? Urban Meyer has just been gushing over us ever since we landed Chad Morris. Plus he ofcourse, is aggressively, after all of our recruits, player after player. I don't like this.

MoncksTater writes:

Remain calm , everyone does this and it is nothing new my friends. I remember the Arkansas staff watching Danny Ford spring practice in the late 80's...competitors are always seeking advantages and growth...nobody is giving our playbook to the enemy . I think its extremely complimentary to our current coaching staff to have so many high profile observers...sorta like when Spurrier had a new type of offensive innovation , ironically that was also in the 19hundred80's.

Xander5000 writes:

in response to MoncksTater:

Remain calm , everyone does this and it is nothing new my friends. I remember the Arkansas staff watching Danny Ford spring practice in the late 80's...competitors are always seeking advantages and growth...nobody is giving our playbook to the enemy . I think its extremely complimentary to our current coaching staff to have so many high profile observers...sorta like when Spurrier had a new type of offensive innovation , ironically that was also in the 19hundred80's.

Point taken and it is flattering about the interest from high profile organizations. The thing is the timing of it and the area these people are coming from. Too close to home and the date of battle in other words. As for Meyer he does continue to look for that edge as do other coaches.

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