Quick hits with Brent Venables

CLEMSON - Third-year defensive coordinator Brent Venables discusses the first major scrimmage of fall camp.

Opening statement...
Venables: I really like the competitiveness and what we saw out there on the field today. The effort. Guys are playing hard. The physical nature of today. I was really pleased with that aspect as much as anything.

Are you starting to see some separation at some of the position battles out there?
Venables: Uh. You know. There's good and bad. I would say no, but that's not a bad thing. I really feel like guys came back better than what we ended up in spring ball. Competition is great in the secondary. I think we are developing a solid two-deep. Robert Smith is in his own league right now. He's play really really consistent. And Stephone Anthony and Tony [Steward] and Grady Jarrett. There's a bunch of them. They are all competing and helping each other get better. And Vic [Beasley] of course. It seems like our guys are hungry and not statisfied and very humble and hungry. As a coach that's what you are looking for.

Is it beneficial to not name a starter to keep the competition going since you have all this closeness everywhere between the first and second team?
Venables: I don't know. Today, we sent somebody else with the first unit. We do enough of that to keep guys competitive.

What about Tony Steward? How did he look today?
Venables: He looked really good. He's had a good fall camp and looked really good today. A lot of times you are looking for structure and leverage and push rather than individual players. But I know when someone is playing bad and he did not. He's had a really good fall camp.

What concerns you the most right now with your defense?
Venables: Just continue to develop. Still have a few more weeks here. Guys are still going to have to be hungry. We have to keep improving. Offense came out today and put together a nice drive in the beginning. That can't happen if you are going to have a great defense. We had 12 men on the field today. We had a fourth down conversion. We had some missed tackles. We have to come out with better precision and focus. We weren't flat. We were excited. Hey- sometimes this offense is going to make a play. They made some nice plays and that's not surprising. That's a good system over there. That's the biggest thing - to continue to fight and compete and continue to get better. Pay attention to the details of your position and master that.