Clemson held its second preseason practice on Wednesday on the fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. The team worked in helmets and shorts for a little over two and a half hours in humid weather conditions.
“We got better tonight, it was a good practice,” said Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “I thought the tempo was good, especially among the offensive line. The young guys are also catching on. I was encouraged by the hustle I saw over the course of the practice. Our leadership got better also. You look for your players to take some ownership. I saw that tonight.”
Swinney was asked by the media out the team’s toughness. “We are definitely tougher now than we were at this time last year. We still want to improve, but we have made strides. We want to be the tougher team in every game this year, that is the mark of a championship team.”
Swinney also commented on the progress of his receivers. “They had a solid night. They worked hard. We have some talented players at the wide receiver position, we just haven’t had a lot of guys who have had opportunities yet. When talented players get an opportunity good things happen and I saw some good things out there tonight.”
Click below to hear Swinney’s post practice briefing.
Several receivers made some outstanding plays, including Brandon Ford, who had made several diving catches. Junior Marquan Jones caught a 70-yard bomb from Kyle Parker near the end of the practice.
Swinney also commented on the progress of running backs Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper who will be counted on to handle the rushing attack after the graduation of C.J. Spiller.
“I am sure both of them rolled their eyes last year when C.J. announced he was coming back. But, I am also sure today they would tell you they benefitted by working under C.J. They learned a lot from him.
“Andre and Jamie are two pretty good players also and they are capable of putting it together in every aspect of the position. They are friends, they are always together. But they are competitors also and that makes them better.”
Brandon Thompson and Rashard Hall both missed the practice to take final exams. Landon Walker and Brandon Clear both missed Tuesday’s first practice, but were back on Wednesday. Final exams for the summer session ended on Wednesday evening. Mike Wade worked some at quarterback on Wednesday.
Dabo Swinney audio: