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2017 Season Blog.

Defending

Super Bowl Champs.

7 Things for Sunday: Part II.

By TOM

Greetings Pats Fans,

First off I just want to thank all the fans of this site. I have been promoting my books for sale primarily on this site. As a result, I have sold almost 500 books in the past year. Thank you for your support and patronage, both are greatly appreciated. I cannot tell you how happy it made me when I read that report. So thank you Draft fans and Patriot fans alike, and mostly thank you to all the fans of my books and website worldwide.

The Best Game This Weekend.

By TOM

3. If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em.- I love the Harrison signing. "I told him I liked him much better in our colored jerseys. I told him that," Brady said. "He is excited to be here and hopefully he can help us win. I know it’s late in the year but guys who have played in these big games and those situations; it always helps having good players out there. Hopefully, he can go out and do a great job for us." First off, just the fact that it gets those whiny baby Steelers crying like little girls warms my bones on the coldest damn week I can ever remember.

He is trying to get ready to play in the Pats defense. "Yeah," BB said about Harrison. "He's worked hard. Got a lot of information to process but he's working at it. We'll keep stringing them together here and see how it goes." He still has a few week to prepare before the first Playoff game.

It is almost like BB planned this. "Very similar to how it's always looked over there: very explosive, powerful guy, good pass-rusher, good edge setter, good tackler, instinctive player, tough, (and) physical," BB said a last season. "He looks pretty much the same as he has in the past. I know there is an age difference, but he's kind of defying that. He looks good." The Steelers can't stop falling over themselves to whine, bitch, and moan, like a gaggle of little girls.

He is a veteran that they just need to step in and run the arc outside of Flowers or Wise. "He's been playing it for a long time," BB said. "He's been pretty successful doing it. He's found things that work for him." They are so desperate for a designated speed rusher, and will only need him 10 to 20 plays a game.

They have so much great inside rush that having just one speed guy that Tackles have to worry about, could be the difference between going to the Super Bowl and not going to the Super Bowl. "If anybody thought I signed a two year deal with a team in the NFL at age 39 to sit on the bench and collect a check and a participation trophy, they’re mistaken," Harrison wrote. "I didn’t sign up to sit on the bench and be a cheerleader. I was clear about that when I signed, and I was told I would be on the field when I signed. When I was asking for reps in camp, I got none. I got lip service though: we know what you can do, you don’t need the reps. But I know what my body needs in order to be in shape to compete, and I said so, but still zero reps." Harrison has been the bad guy for so long that we forget how good he is.

To be a great bad guy, you have to be great at harming your opponent. "At the beginning of the season, when it was clear I didn’t have a role anymore, I asked to be released. Throughout the season, I was told week in and out that I’d be used. I wasn’t. I started getting frustrated about the whole thing," Harrison wrote. "I asked to not be dressed or take unnecessary practice reps if I wasn’t going to play. That’s what happened for a [few] weeks. Then we had a game week that I got solid reps in practice and everyone assumed I would play. I got to the stadium four hours early as usual, and my locker was empty. Nobody said anything to me about being inactive, just an empty locker. I asked to be released again. I was told no." He has been a truly great bad guy for years.

Now he is our bad guy. "If I didn't play in the biggest game of the year, that told me I wouldn't get any more snaps," Harrison said. "So all that lip service you gave me before didn't matter." And all the Pitt players can suck it.

What do you think he is going to do if we host Pitt in the Champ Game in Foxboro. "If you didn't want to be here, come out and say it," Pouncey said. "Don't make it look like it's the team's fault. You think the team and the organization wanted to get rid of James Harrison? Come on, now. If I wanted out, I wouldn't let the team take the blame for it." He is now Darth Vader to the Steelers.

Even though he just signed with a team that he thought gave him the best chance to win it all. "I cleared waivers, New England had called and said they wanted me to come up, and we talked," Harrison said. "At 4:30 that afternoon, I flew to Boston, and there was no communication from the Steelers about anything." So he signed, what a crime.

And Harrison is hearing all these cheap shots from a thousand miles away. "I don't know how many secrets about the playbook Harrison could give to [them]," Dupree said." Because I never saw him in meetings." That was just a cheap shot.

4. Best Game To Watch This Season- It is hard to believe that Clemson and Alabama are playing again in the NCAA Playoffs again. "Oh, it's a lot of fun," Christian Wilkins said. "The reason why I came to Clemson was to compete at the highest level, play against the best teams and win championships. You know if you're Clemson and you're playing Alabama, then you've had a good season. They're always going to be at the top. That's just the kind of program they are." This is the third straight season that they are playing, and the first two were epic showdowns.

Not only are these two great teams, but they both are loaded with Draft talent that the Pats could use. "It's been great to compete against Alabama," Swinney said. "One of the things that was a goal of mine nine years ago was build a program that can be consistent and to build a program that can beat the best, and Alabama has been the best." Both teams have succeeded at acquiring top end talent.

Not only are they loaded with top end talent, but they also have a ton of Day Two and Day Three talent. The Pats are going to be doing a lot of drafting on Day Two. They could take more than one player from this game on Day Two. This is going to be a game that you have to watch and takes notes on more than once.

#9 *Da'Shawn Hand-DE, Jr, 6-4, 278 1st- He would a perfect pick for the Pats at 32 or with the Jimmy-G pick. But I think he is what they have drafted the past two years. He is an oversized edgerusher like Flower and Wise. Now if the Pats think he is as good as Flowers, they would be fools to pass on him. And he is a true freak like Flowers. At his size, he should an inside rusher. But he plays the Edge for Alabama at between 270 and 280 somewhere, and has been as effective as Flowers at Alabama. I think the Pats need a pure speed rusher. But if they think Rivers is that guy? Hand is a guy they could take at 32, just for the pure freak factor.

You do not want to cut back when he is in the area. Plays the Option very well, and can hit the QB on the keeper. Great hands to shove the TE back and cut inside his block to the QB. Great job stunting inside, and still finding the QB. You cannot get outside of him when he sets the edge.

#94 *Da'Ron Payne- DT, Jr, 6-2, 308, NT/DT 3rd- Payne is a big NT/DT type player. If the Pats lose a few DLs (like Branch and Guy), he could be an option at 32. But with Valentine coming back, and the emergence of Adam Butler and Ricky Jean-Francois, I just don’t think they will spend their top Draft equity a D-tackle. 

He is the Center of their defense. When he gets a great blast off, he is past the OC and panicking the QB in a flash. Nice aware player that jumped on the QB fumble against Auburn before anyone else knew what happened. When he sees it on short yardage he stops the RB instant, and suddenly they both are moving backwards. He can defeat the double team at the point as well as anyone in this Draft.

#47 *Christian Miller- LB Jr 6-4, 230- Miller is a guy who could stay in school. He is a 4-3 OLB, who is a terrific rusher. He could be a speed rusher that the Pats are looking for on Day Two or Three. He is a little undersized to play D-end in the Pats system, but he could be a designated rusher.

Nice job setting the edge and turning the RB inside. Strong inside move to open up the edge for an outside blitzer. Nice pursuer from the backside, to hit the RB down the line. He looks a little clunky zone dropping. Nice job stunting inside, and finding a lane to the QB in the middle. Not only do they double him, but he can use his hands to get past the ORT and RB, and sack the QB.

He is definitely better moving forwards than backwards. He will line up at MLB in the Dime, and zone drop straight backwards. He can chip the RB coming out of the backfield, and then turn and cover him.

#29 *Minkah Fitzpatrick- FS Jr 6-1, 201- Fitzpatrick is an ultra-talent and leader who controls the Alabama defense, and makes plays all over the field. He is a top five talent and out of the Patriots price range in the Draft.

He finds the ball all over the field. Great blitzer. He has that knack for hitting the QB. He can shoulder slap the TE and burst past him to the QB. Amazing job finding the RB behind he LOS. He flies in like a guided missile and takes out the RB in the backfield. He is so great and turning back and crushing the QB when he scrambles out of the pocket. One of the most aware players on the field I have ever seen.

#15 *Ronnie Harrison- FS, Jr, 6-3, 214- If BB goes nuts for safeties again (and wants 8 safeties on the roster again;) Harrison could be the guy. The Pats have three picks in his price range. He is a bit a 'tweener. He is listed by most as a Strong safety. That is what his size says, but he was mostly a free Safety this year. He played a lot of Cover One, so Fitzpatrick could roam around the field, and Fitz was really their SS/CB.

Harrison was a terrific FS for Alabama this year. He is a big devastating hitter that can play sideline to sideline. Great speed, smarts, and instincts. His experience this past season at Free safety is going to bode well for him next season in the NFL.

#39 Levi Wallace- CB, 6', 181- Shoves off the WR trying to block him, and gets to the ball carrier quickly. I think he has the best ball skills of the three, Day Two, Alabama Corners. It is tough to say where these guys are going to go. Speed at the Combine will determine how high and what order they go in. Averett and Brown are though to be faster, but I think Wallace is a better player at CB.

#28 Anthony Averett- CB, 3rd, Sr, 6', 185- Very aggressive in run defense. "We recruited Anthony because of his athleticism, his speed," Saban said. "He's worked hard and has become a very good player for us for all last year and so far this year." Great speed and twitch on the field.

He gets a little high sometimes moving backwards. But he has great speed and COD. Great mover on the field. He can gallop backs with the WR. Nice quick feet moving backwards in front of the WR to slow him down. Plays off as well as finesse press.

#2 Tony Brown- CB, Sr, 6-0, 198, 3rd- When he stays and plays low, he can be a very physical player. He hurt his knee against A&M. but has gotten "stronger and faster" since. He had trouble stopping and starting for a few weeks and it showed. But he has turned into the aggressive press corner since.

Some think Tony Brown is the best. "When Tony can stay focused on what he's supposed to do, do the right things, make good choices and decisions about what he does and stay focused on it, he can be a very effective player," Saban said. “So consistency in performance comes from that and that's what we work to always try and get from him. That's what we'll continue to do." All three of them excel in the Press man that BB likes the Pats to use.

Brown might be more of a Nickel to start in the NFL. "He's probably going to get more opportunities in the future to play," Saban said. "I'm hopeful that we're going to spend every bit of time that we can with him to try to do things the way he needs to do them so he can be successful. I think he wants to be successful. We just have to help him do it." I think all three could end up on Day Two, but one might slide into Day Three.

He has some twitch. Nice blitzer off the edge. Covers a lot in the slot. Nice job shoving off the WR, and tackling the RB. Lines up in the slot, and reads the toss quick, and charges up field for the TFL. He comes up from off coverage, and cracks the WR down catching the ball underneath.

#20 Shaun Dion Hamilton- ILB, 6-1, 233, 4.79, 2nd- He could be a guy who could play Van Noy role of blitzer/Cover-Linebacker. "All those guys have done a really good job. I can’t say anything but positive things about their disposition toward their work ethic to try to get back, how they’ve tried to support their team mates," Saban said. "Shaun Dion is out there coaching guys just about every day. When Minkah couldn’t practice he was coaching guys every day. All the guys have tried to stay involved as much as they could and do a good job in terms of what they need to do to get back, but also what they can do to help the players who are playing" He is a great player and leader.

Starting ILB. Plays the middle of the zone well. I like the way he moves on the field. Takes on the FB in the hole with some interesting power. He moves laterally down the line on the 2nd level very well to stay in front of the RB. Excellent job dropping at an angle while watching the QBs eyes. Nice job filling the hole on Dives.

#32 Rashaan Evans- ILB, 6-2, 234, 4.73, 5th- Nice knack for hitting the QB as he throws on the blitz. Nice spin move inside. Nice job getting around blocks on runs toward him when he is at ILB. Great sure tackler. He always seems to get in on the tackle when the RB runs the ball.

#15 *Keith Holcombe- OLB, Jr, 6-4, 240- He was looking pretty good as an edgerusher rusher before he got hurt. He has that knack for hitting the quarterback. He was a guy they put on the edge, as their main edgerusher, Hand, who is not a pure speed guy, is not the classic number one rusher. He will make any team that takes him as a special teams guy. He can also drop a little into coverage and not look terrible.

One of the Crimson Tide’s top special teams players in each of his first two seasons ... totaled 38 tackles on the season, including a team-high 11 special teams stops ... also added three pass breakups, one sack (-4), a fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry ... earned CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition for his efforts in the classroom ... selected as one of the UA coaching staff’s special teams players of the week for his performances against Fresno State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and LSU, and a defensive player of the week honoree following Colorado State. Florida State: Saw significant playing time on defense while remaining a threat on special teams ... made one tackle on the night in Atlanta while also breaking up a pass on defense ... recorded a fumble recovery on kickoff coverage to give the Tide the ball 11 yards out, leading to a Damien Harris rushing score on the next play. Fresno State: Collected a career-high seven tackles while adding a pass breakup in his first career start at linebacker ... tallied three of his tackles on kickoff coverage to pace the special teams units and earn himself special teams player of the week honors from the UA coaches ... his seven stops ranked third for the Tide on the afternoon. Colorado State: Led Alabama in tackles with a career-high nine stops ... broke up one pass, which was nearly an interception as the ball grazed off his fingertips ... his play in the starting effort earned him defensive player of the week recognition from the Tide coaches.

#49 *Isaiah Buggs- DL, 6-5, 293,Jr- Terrific two-gapper. He doesn't play a lot, but when they put him in makes plays. He should stay in school, and be a starter next year.

#69 Joshua Frazier- DT, 6-3, 315, 5.19-

#6 Hootie Jones- SS, 6-1, 215, 4.63-

Alabama Offense:

#3 *Calvin Ridley-WR, 1st, Jr, 6-1, 190*- If he is on the Board at 32, the Pats have to take him. "Yeah, he's their go-to, the answer for them," Clemson CB Ryan Carter said. "But I saw a couple of other guys make plays for them. No. 4 Jeudy, the freshman. When I watched him on tape, he's a very explosive. He looks very similar to Ridley as far as his shape, his frame and as far as him being able to make those explosive plays.

"But outside of Ridley you have to try to limit Ridley. And if we do that, I think we have a great chance of winning the game. But their guys supporting him, they're really good too. We have to be locked in, period. But if we can take care of Calvin Ridley, I think we'll be fine."

Though he is in the mode of Cooks and Dorsett, only bigger. But he is a phenomenal talent with will be one of the first three WRs taken in the 1st Round. He not only has elite speed, he also has elite hands. I didn't see him drop one ball this season.

His hands have been all but perfect this season. He is an elite speed WR. Nice job adjusting to he ball deep down field. He can draw the flag on the adjustment, as the CB cannot slide to the side with near the agility as he can. He is not just a pure straight line speed guy. He has explosive bursts in and out of cuts and breaks.

#9 Bo Scarbrough- RB, Jr, 6-2, 232*- He did not have a great season, like I thought he would. He will likely drop into Day Three if he comes out in this Draft. "That's the thing about Alabama. They always have a big back, a big power back, and they always have a more stout back sort of, powerful speed scat back. But this year they have four or five running backs who can do it all. So, that's probably the biggest difference," Clemson ILB O'Daniel said. "They have a variety of running backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield. Run hard, make you miss or whatever the case may be so you have to keep yourself honest and you have to keep the defense honest in how you're pursuing and attacking the run game." Harris clearly surpassed him as the starter for Alabama. He could be an option on Day Three for the Pats, but I think he stays in school.

Great screen back. It is odd to see such a big power runningback with such soft hands. He is a great weapon catching the ball out on the edge, and hurting DBs. Punishing runner who gets better as the game goes on. He runs too high sometimes, but punishes defenses all game long. He is best in the 4th quarter when the defense gets tired.

#34 *Damien Harris- RB, Jr, 5-11, 216- Harris is an elite talent at RB. "They have four guys back there that could be starters anywhere in college football," Clemson DE Ferrell said. "This is the best all-around, well-shaped group of backs we've played all year. It's not just them that makes them look good. It's probably the best offensive line we've played all year as well. They helped them in that aspect too." He could be available at 32.

This is such a strange Draft with five top flight 1st Round talents at RB: Barkley and Love, Guice and Jones II, and of course Harris. You have to say that at least three of those five is off the Board before pick 32. However, the NFL has devalued RBs so much in the Draft that if two or three of them slip down to 32 it would not be a total shock. He could be the best value on the Board when the Pats first pick. And with Jimmy-G gone and Brady looking his age a little, having a dominate RB is an old QBs best friend.

Slippery outside between blockers. Always seems to pop forward. Great natural hands catching the ball out of the backfield. They are just so smooth and natural. Rarely goes down on first contact. He can make the big block in pass pro. He can turn and spot the D-end behind him and stone him with a great block. Big back, who does not get caught from behind by defenders.

#75 Bradley Bozeman- OC, Jr, 6-5, 300- This is guy I would stand on the table for in the Bunker, but the Pats have Andrews and Karras at OC.

Nasty inside power block, who can impact the DT, and turn him as he moves him back. Stays low in pass pro, with his arms extended in perfect form. Nice job getting to the second level, and turning the LB out of the play. He just stones DTs in pass pro. Nice job shoving off two rushers when they stunt into him. Blocks more than one rusher multiple times in games. He controls the middle of the line with power and smarts.

#8 *Deon Cain- WR, Jr, 6-1, 210- Big, strong, and super athletic talent at WR. I think he is a 1st round talent, but because of the injuries he is likely to drop into Day Two. It is tough to look at the Pats and not see WR as a need. But is it because of all the injuries? Or is it time to refresh the talent at WR a little. Cain is a top talent at WR who really struggled with injuries all season. If he can get a 4.4 next to his name at the Combine he is a lock 1st Round pick. If he gets a 4.5 next to his name? He could be a Patriot at 32 or Jimmy-G's pick (or bait for a trade down;).

He can really reach out, out of bounds, with his legs back in bounds and snag the ball with just his hands. He can run a nice In through the double team to sprig open right over the middle. He can cause the PI with just his speed down the sideline. When he is healthy he can dominate. Consistently makes the spectacular catch.

#75 *Mitch Hyatt- OLT, Jr, 6-5, 295,- The Pats will be looking for Tackle talent in this Draft. If they don't go OT at 32, than Hyatt might be the best Day Two talent at OLT. Fleming and Cannon are free agents, and Solder is talking about retirement.

Nice balance. If you cannot get him off balance you cannot beat him. He is so good at sitting low in his kickslide, with arms extended, and keeping his quick feet moving. Great job sealing the DE outside on runs. Great job absorbing the big punch, and not losing any position.

#55 Tyrone Crowder- ORG, 6-2, 340, 4th- Big power OG who is going to drop into the Day Three OG mix, and where he washes out nobody knows.

Overview: Senior who has earned a pair of all-conference honors in his career, including first-team honors in 2016 as a junior ... has 46 knockdowns in 1,833 snaps over 34 career games (28 starts).

2016: First-team All-ACC (media, coaches) ... had 25 knockdown blocks in 869 snaps over 15 games (15 starts) ... posted an 83 percent grade in 81 snaps of Clemson's opening win at Auburn ... graded 90 percent in only 20 snaps in rout of SC State ... graded 91 percent in 54 snaps of the win over No. 3 Louisville ... played 28 snaps at Boston College, grading 93 percent ... also posted 93 percent grade at Florida State, with two knockdown blocks ... named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts ... graded 86 percent in win over Syracuse ... collected three knockdowns with a 90 percent grade against Pittsburgh ... graded 89 percent with two knockdowns at Wake Forest ... had two knockdowns with a 90 percent grade in 48 snaps against South Carolina ... graded 89 percent in 61 snaps against Virginia Tech ... posted two knockdowns in 54 snaps in Fiesta Bowl victory over Ohio State ... had three knockdowns in 76 snaps of National Championship win over Alabama.

#13 *Hunter Renfrow- WR, RS-Jr, 5-10, 180- He has that knack for getting open over the middle. "I guess the word is appreciation," Renfrow said. "I'm just very appreciative for the opportunity to go out there and make the most of it and exhausting the moment. That's something we talk about. Not wishing for tomorrow. Just living in the moment." He is the type of slot WR the Pats crave.

He gets open with great quicks and underrated speed. He will probably stay in school. If not he could certainly be an option for the Pats on Day Three, especially if they are worried about Edelman or Amendola returning.

He returns punts. He has that knack for finding the marker on 3rd down. Great clutch WR. Knows how to get open short, and turn up field for a lot more. Good hands.

 

Clemson Defense:

#7 Anthony Bryant- DE, Soph, 6-5, 265,- Clemson has three super talented DLs, who should end up in the 1st round in this Draft. "I’ve had conversations with several of them, you know, just because you wanna give them the best information. There’s a couple of them I think that have made decisions, but there’s a couple that are probably up in the air," Swinney said about his ultra talented underclassmen. "I think that’s one thing I really appreciate about this team, these guys, they don’t really wanna talk about it. I’ve kind of had to force a couple of them. They’re very committed guys, very focused. I love that about this team." Bryant and Ferrell are going to have a big decision to make after this game.

Bryant is a super athletic edge guy, who is just coming into his own. "They have length, they disrupt the passer, get their hands up and block the ball," Alabama QB Hurts said about the Clemson three. "As far as timing, I think we have to be on the same page and be able to execute in the passing game. Whether it’s the line or me and my timing or receivers being able to get open, I think we just all have to be clicking." Bryant has prototype size and athleticism.

Great job stunting inside and sacking the QB. He looks better and better every week. He is a great run defender on the edge. He always seems to get in on tackles when they run to his size. When he hits a QB in the gut with his pads, he can make him wobbly.

#42 *Christian Wilkins- DT, 6-4, 310- Wilkins is a great talent at DT, but I don't like the way they use him. "We've built this team in the trenches, and most great teams, that’s where it starts. You’ve got to be able to control the line of scrimmage and have some type of running game and stopping the run," Swinney said. "And certainly that’s been what Alabama has been for a long time. We’ve tried to do that here. We’ve tried to go the best we can and getting those guys to help us be dominant up front, and we’ve done a good job of that." I think he is a better one-gap player than two-gap player.

But they like to line up in odd fronts at Clemson, and stack and shed. He often lines up on the Nose. He is too athletic to be Nose Tackle. When they let him shoot a gap, he consistently gets into the backfield. He is a great run defender right in the middle of the line.

Terrific stack and shed player when they run at him. "They have a lot of guys that can hurt you in a lot of different ways," Christian Wilkins said about Alabama. "Just talented. Can catch the ball, can run the ball, can pound you and do a lot of different things. And a good solid O-line. Really strong, got some dudes up front that are pretty impressive and the skill on the outside. Ridley is definitely leading that group. Just really skilled everywhere. Just fast receivers. They all look the same. If they didn't have different numbers on, they'd all look the exact same." He will fake up field and little, and then drop, and pick up the TE crossing.

Great power crashing the double team back with his initial impact. "We make it a point of emphasis to play with a lot of joy, to play loose and play free and show the world that we’re having a lot of fun playing the game we love," Wilkins said. "How can you not have fun when we’re doing the little things right and we’re clicking and we’re winning?" He will be an impact player on the next level.

#99 Clelin Ferrell- DE, Soph, 6-5, 265,- He will fall for the inside fake, and give up the outside run sometimes. Nice job picking up the H-back sneaking out of the backfield. Nice job setting the edge against the double team, and sending the RB inside into the LB. Great job reaching out and slapping the ball out, when he turns the corner behind the QB and can't grab him.

He is a fierce run defender on the edge. He will be drafted for his passrushing, but he is not a speed rush guy only. I wish he had garnered more Sacks this season. He was around the QB enough to have garnered more. He is a little under-experienced and still trying to find his knack. But 8.5 Sacks, and being a fierce run defender is still pretty good, especially for a coach like BB.

I like the way he thinks. "We're not defending nothing. We’re the attacking national champions," Ferrell said. "We might have the belt. But this team didn't win that belt. It's up to us to go back and get another one if we want one. I have tunnel vision. I’m looking at what’s next. I want more." Ferrell garnered 8.5 Sacks, 17 TFL, on 61 tackles, and 12 pressures, and has improved as a rusher this season.

#6 Dorian O'Daniel- OLB, 6-1, 220- They have two solid run and hit linebackers behind their D-line. "There will definitely be some wrinkles," said Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel. "But I don't think there will be too much because that's a program that believes in what they do. Look at how successful they've been in umpteen number of years. They believe in what they are and if you can stop their bread and butter then hats off to that team. So, I don't expect too much to be different but there will definitely be a few wrinkles to keep us honest." O'Daniel had 10.5 TFL and 5 Sacks on 99 tackles.

O'Daniel if a fifth year player who was a special teams guy his first three seasons. "At the end of the day it’s just football," O’Daniel said. "Student-athletes in this day and age get so caught up in rankings and this, that and the other that they forget why they’re playing this game. And we have a lot of characters on this team, personable characters." He has only been a starter the last two seasons.

He consistently gets to the RB on the second level. He is not a down hill tackler. He can line up in coverage on the slot guy, drop a bit, and then get outside and send the RB inside on the Draw.

He covers the outside flat, and can turn and tackle the WR catching the ball on the third level behind him. Terrific job dropping down the seam, then flashing up to tackle the WR who caught the ball in front of him. I think he is at his best when a WR, on either side, catches it short and he can just run and hit.

#34 Kendall Joseph- ILB, Jr, 6', 230- He is better moving down hill to the line than O'Daniel. "Dorian has had a great year; Kendall has had a great year," Swinney said. "Dorian and the starters have done a good job for us and grown. It has been great. I’m really, really pleased with our backers. We probably have more functional depth at linebacker than we've ever had." Terrific job go down hill to the QB over the weakside.

He can be a bit too much of a dancer reading the run play from the 2nd level. "Personally 95 percent of the team wanted to go to California, I mean who doesn’t? That’s California," Joseph said. "But it will be awesome to play in New Orleans and play in the Sugar Bowl. That’s a blessing, and we’re excited to go down there. We can’t wait." But he does have great quick feet.

When he reads it right he gets there quick. He is constant motion on the field. He can look like a chicken with his head cut off sometimes, but he usually ends up at the ball carrier. Much better moving forwards than backwards. Struggles to shed blockers sometimes. That's why he tries to never stop moving. 

#29 Marcus Edmond- CB, 5-11, 175 4.5,-  He is small, but he is a physical tackler. He is a Day Three Nickel-Corner/Special teams player.

Overview: Senior who saw an expanded role in the secondary in 2016 ... has 26 tackles over 385 snaps in 32 career games (three starts) ... completed summer internship with Clemson athletic communications in 2015.

#31 Ryan Carter- CB/Nickel, 5-9, 180, RS SR- Interesting Day Three Nickel Corner. He plays special teams.

He doesn't have the best ball skills. "Yeah, they do a lot as far as the ways they get the playmakers the ball in space especially," said Clemson cornerback Ryan Carter. "They do a good job of getting them in open field and getting those one-on-one situations where it's tough for a DB to come up and make a tackle in that open space so they're doing a lot better job of getting their playmakers the ball on the perimeter and I think we have to do our best job of rallying those type of tackles and rallying to that space and things like that." He does have great speed and quickness.

Senior who developed into a starting cornerback on Clemson's 2016 National Championship team ... has 52 tackles, nine pass breakups and an interception in 860 snaps.

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