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The Year of The Tiger

A chronological look at the 2009 season

August 22, 2009

The Tigers hold a situational scrimmage in Memorial Stadium.  Dabo noted that the kicking game had a good day. 

Jacoby Ford remains in a green jersey and saw limited action. 

August 18, 2009

The third fall scrimmage is a sobering reality of where the Tigers are.  Parker goes 3/10 passing, but there are four drops.  The kicking game remains an issue and Rendrick Taylor is hurt.  On the bright side Jamie Harper has 91 yards rushing, including a 56 yard touchdown on 4th and 1.

August 17, 2009

Kyle Parker named starting quarterback.  It was also announced that Willy Korn will play.

August 15, 2009

The second scrimmage of the fall answered some questions and brought others to the forefront.  Kyle Parker solidifies his place as the probable starting quarterback and Brandon Ford makes a move at WR.  On the flip side, problems with the quarterback-center exchange abound and the kicking game remains iffy at best.

August 14, 2009

The biggest concern coming out of this practice was not who practiced, but who didn’t – Jacoby Ford remains on the sidelines and the fans are becoming more and more concerned that his injury is more serious than being reported and that Clemson’s only established WR and deep threat may miss time during the regular season.

August 11, 2009

Clemson holds the first scrimmage of fall camp.  While the majority were interested in the quarterback battle, Dabo deflected those questions and instead focused on placekicking issues.  Spencer Benton was 0 for 4 on FGs, while Richard Jackson was 4-5 on FGs, but missed an extra point.

August 10, 2009

Freshman offensive tackle J.K. Jay is lost for the season with bulging disks in his back.  Jay opts for surgery and could be out for 8-12 weeks.

Jay injured his back while lifting weights in July.  Jay’s loss further depletes an already think offensive line.

August 4, 2009

Tigers hold first practice.

August 3, 2009

Tiger players report.

July 31, 2009

Senior reserve offensive lineman Barry Humphries announces that he will transfer in order to be able to start during his final season.  Humphries, who began last season as a starter, had fallen to fourth team on the depth chart and had been suspended for the first two games of the season for an alcohol related incident.

July 29, 2009

C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford were named first team preseason ACC by the media.  Spiller was listed at two positions, running back and specialist.

July 27, 2009

Clemson is picked to finish second to Florida State in the Atlantic Division by the media and C.J. Spiller came in second in the preseason Player of the Year balloting.

July 25, 2009

Clemson sophomore Stanley “Buster” Hunter decides to give up football due to repeated epileptic seizures.

July 21, 2009

Dabo Swinney appeared comfortable and at ease at his first annual golf tournament which was held at The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset, South Carolina.
Staying at two holes in order to be able to interact with each of the groups passing through and even taking time to interact with people floating down the river, Swinney’s gregarious personality added a refreshing touch to the event.
The last six weeks of last year as the interim coach Swinney tried to do everything, probably more than he should have.  He is more comfortable in his role now that his coaching and support staffs are in place and having gone through spring practice with the team as the head coach.
The new Clemson head man believes this could be a very good team, but for that to happen certain things need to fall into place, including chemistry and leadership, and the best thing to do is to focus on doing things that allow the team to get better and let the results take care of themselves.
The off field demands that come with a job like Clemson have also kept Swinney busy, but these demands are understood to be part of the job, and something Swinney seems naturally comfortable with. 
As opposed to trying to do everything as he did during his time as interim coach, Swinney sees his role now as managing the staff, morale, discipline, motivation, and to provide direction for the program.
Most of the concerns about the team are on the offensive side of the ball, especially at quarterback and solidifying right tackle. 
While there is ample talent at quarterback, the position is short on on-field experience.  It is clear that at least two quarterbacks will play regularly and Swinney specifically mentioned that whoever is on the field will need to perform to keep the job.
Adding to the jumble at quarterback, several offensive players have been impressed with Tajh Boyd’s arm and accuracy, though no one knows how Boyd will react against a live defense or within the offensive scheme.  Still Swinney would not rule out Boyd seeing the field, though Boyd has yet to be released for full practice.
The place kicking position remains a huge issue, not only with the inconsistency of Richard Jackson and Spencer Benton, but the Tigers also will have a new long snapper in Matt Skinner.  Swinney stated that such concerns will affect decisions that are made in certain areas of the field.
The Clemson head man completely trusts defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and that trust is reinforced by the fact that Swinney and Steele have the same temperament and football philosophies. 
The concerns on defense are miniscule in comparison other than staying healthy, especially on the defensive line.
Nickel corner Marcus Gilchrist will see time at safety, too, though the coaches are pleased with Sadat Chambers’ progress at the position.
There is still some consideration being given to Kevin Alexander seeing time at strong side linebacker.
On the injury front defensive end Ricky Sapp, offensive lineman Barry Humphries, safety Spencer Adams, and running back Andre Ellington return from surgeries, and offensive lineman Jamal Medlin was granted a medical redshirt and will serve as a student assistant coach.
Linebacker Stanley Hunter continues to struggle with controlling his epilepsy, which is very concerning to Swinney, who mentioned that Hunter’s health is being monitored closely.
The players report August 3 for a mandatory weigh in and practice begins August 4.  No academic casualties are expected.
The Spiller-for-Heisman campaign was kicked off with life-sized posters of C.J. Spiller on display.


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