Venables: Tigers' physicality, discipline has bolstered defense

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley tackles Georgia Tech running back Robert Godhigh.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley tackles Georgia Tech running back Robert Godhigh.

Another week, another dose of triple-option football with The Citadel. Brent Venables talks about that particular challenge, his defense's improvement and his philosophy on early-entrants to the NFL draft with Vic Beasley's status in question lately...

Same offense, same focus this week: The option philosophy is the same. The delivery at time is a little bit different. They're just a little more diverse in their presentation. You still have a dive, quarterback and pitch. We'll still have to play with the same discipline, physical and technique-driven and focus that we did last week. I've said it 100 times, but if something breaks down in that process - they'll run up and down the field on us. We have to have a great deal of urgency.

Stats can lie, but this season's improvement is evident defensively: I think our guys - when the game is on the line - have shown the ability to get a stop and make a play. Play consistently. The stats aren't (always right). We play a lot of possessions on our side. We play a lot of people. We've been fortunate to get up in some games and play a bunch of guys. We've played a pretty good schedule. We feel week in and week out - outside of the Florida State game - we've played relatively well and improved in a lot of areas that we had some weakness in a year ago.

Robinson embracing Senior Day


We're far from a polished product and certainly are satisfied with where we're at. I'm pleased with the investment in the week-to-week preparation. Our body of work - we've played an equal part with our offense and finding a way to win our ballgames.

'Solid' but not 'special' effort against Georgia Tech: I like to look at the negatives. That doesn't always come out the right way. We certainly congratulated our players and are pleased with their effort and pleased with their work. Pleased with the leadership and toughness. There's a lot to be pleased with, but that had the opportunity to be a really special performance. It was a solid one don't get me wrong. It had a chance to be a special performance with getting off the field on a couple third downs. I don't feel we were out-executed as much as we made some very fundamental mistakes.

Those plays did happen. We've worked hard to try to find out why and make the improvement. We want to be an elite defense and to be a great defense you can't have those breakdowns during the course of the game.

Auburn's Hail Mary TD against Georgia: I did (see that). Ball's in the air man - just get it down. Obviously they had a couple young guys back there trying to make a play. I felt real bad for them. I've got friends on both staffs and you got to knock the ball down there.

Probably not (just tough) for young guys. It takes that heady season veteran or what you say to them in that timeout. Hopefully we'll all use that. It's funny (my players) come in and say, 'He should've knocked it down,' but it happened right before N.C. State at the half and you guys are trying to catch the ball like there's nobody else there. I remember everyone one of you guys. That's what can happen and you can lose games that way...

Vic Beasley's NFL prospects as a junior: Anything can happen. Everybody has to weigh it themselves. Is he a first round guy? I don't know. There's a small window of opportunity. Percentage-wise it's a small window if in fact you have to opportunity to be in the NFL. What you want to do is maximize your small window on the front end because that's the only opportunity you can control. Whether it's injury or bad luck once you're in the door, you may not last for a variety of reasons. You have one opportunity to go into the front door. You want to maximize that because you can't capture what you might lose if you go in at a discount. Anything can happen, but I've not talked to him.

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Comments » 1

clemvol writes:

Am ready for the entire team to be physical, mean, nasty and this is especially needed for the offensive line. Basically an entire season has gone by so far. Everyone is seasoned, matured, skilled. Now is the time to finish off in a big way. Don't let anything or anyone stand in your way. Get it done Tigers.

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