Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables broke down what went wrong versus FSU, and more importantly, what’s ahead for the Tigers.
Can’t sweep it under the rug: Obviously there’s mistakes to be corrected. Can’t just sweep it under the rug and act like it never happened. Missed tackling, big plays – the late one, we got a freshman in there in the backfield. Otherwise, they worked us pretty good underneath and those kind of things. Just trying to correct things. Got to play this game in an aggressive way and you can’t play back on your heels and not make mistakes and sometimes we did. Other times we didn’t and other times it was maybe one guy. Kids know when your real and when you’re not. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. You got beat by a good team and the kind of success they had was due to them executing and we didn’t execute very well.
It was the first game all year that we as a defense felt that we didn’t match the precision. The effort was there, but the precision and execution wasn’t where it needed to be. Against a good team you get exposed and exploited pretty quick. Our guys are going to feed off of us as coaches and we bring juice and energy and put the facts in front of them. Understand that it’s not doom-and-gloom. Losing stinks and it can never be acceptable, but you point out what the mistakes were and get what you can corrected. Make sure who owns responsibility players and coaches alike and move on together. It’s really simple.
Pass rush was just blocked: They blocked us. At times when we pressured, we weren’t precise or violent enough that we needed to be. That’s it. No magic formula for how it works. You either beat the guy or you don’t. Or you execute like you need to or you don’t.
Cordrea Tankersley working at CB: He’s a big guy and has speed. We’ll just have to work other details out.
Martin Jenkins working at nickel, corner: He works with the DBs every day. He works one-on-one and corner technique. He’ll be fine there. He’s arguably one of the top two guys there. He’s every bit as good as the other guys so we’re happy to have him out there.
Leadership not just a week-after loss process: Leadership has been what it’s been. It’s been very solid. Nothing has surprised me in how they’ve handled and that’s our job as coaches to guide and lead them. It’s no problem for those guys to get those guys’ mind in the right place. It’s easy if you allow it to happen to go down the wrong road…When something breaks down within that process, you don’t have the kind of results you want. We’ve been consistent with our message well prior to our game Saturday. It’s easy to keep our guys bought in and the leadership to continue to send the right message.
Targeting call and Bashaud Breeland missing the first half at MD: It’s unfortunate that it happened. He’s a good player. He’s just trying to be aggressive and he just has to hit the guy lower. That’s the rule. You can’t hit a guy above the shoulder. That’s what the rules are and you have to abide by them.
Depth in secondary: You feel a little bit better. Darius has played pretty good this year. Martin has played well this year. You feel very good and fortunate. It’s quite a bit different from a year ago.
Safety play versus FSU: I just thought overall in coverage, whether it’s linebackers or safety – we didn’t play nearly as aggressive as we wanted to. They did a good job of converting some routes and affecting certain thing and that threw things off a little bit.
Maryland ‘O’ hurting: I’m sure they will run their offense. They have good backs. Strong offensive line – their best player is the running back, quarterback and tight end. They’ll try to feature those guys. They are a spread offense. I’m sure they recruited well at receiver. They have some big, good-looking kids who have played. I’m sure it will be more of the same. They got to 5-2 so I’m sure they won’t completely reverse course offensively. Got to prepare for what we’ve seen on video. We have to prepare like their young guy will step like we would ours. I’m sure they will utilize their strengths.
Dueling Terp QBs C.J. Brown and Caleb Rowe: They are very comparable to each other. To us, they are the same guy.