Confidence in CBs gives Tigers options

CLEMSON - Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney doesn't hesitate to say he's got the utmost confidence in his cornerbacks.

On a scale 1-10, 10 being the highest, there's no doubt it's a 10.

"I'm a 10. I'm confident. Those guys have played a lot of football," he said after Tuesday's scrimmage in Death Valley. "I tell Chris Chancellor everyday, ‘They're going to throw deep at you, son.' They throw deep at him and he makes a play.

"How could you not be confident in Crezdon (Butler), Chancellor, (Byron) Maxwell, (Marcus) Gilchrist and those guys? (Xavier) Brewer has had an excellent camp too."

With such a deep group of veteran players at the position, Chancellor is confident he and his fellow corners are going to get the job done this season, starting with Middle Tennessee. He doesn't look ahead to potential coverage situations against ACC opponents like Georgia Tech's Demaryius Thomas, Maryland's Torrey Smith and Miami's Aldarius Johnson.

"We just take it a game at a time. This whole summer we've been working towards September the fifth," Chancellor said.

Butler believes this year's defense has the potential to be really good. Though they've been learning a new scheme since the spring, things are starting to click.

"We've gotten it down pretty good. This camp has gone by fast but I'm feeling really good (about where the defense is)," he said.

More of a focus on getting pressure up front from the defensive line, Butler said that high pressure helps make his and his fellow corners' job easier.

It makes things a lot more fun too.

"We can't cover them forever," Butler said. "You can cover them for so long. So, getting pressure on the quarterback—that's looking out for us." Whatever coverage it is in Steele's scheme, Chancellor doesn't have a preference.

"I just go out there and execute. If it is man called, I go out there and execute. If it is zone called, I just go out there and execute," he said. "Whatever is called, that's what we've got to go out and execute."

Playing on a defense that has veterans at every position, not just cornerback, Chancellor a lot of confidence that the 2009 version of the Tigers' defense will be a good one.

"We have eight veterans coming back from last year's team. We're a very veteran (defense) that is going to know how to handle situations when adversity comes in games," he said.

For Swinney, it's comforting to know that he's got more than two corners who can step in to make big plays and stop big plays.

"We have good corners. I wouldn't trade them for anybody, so I'm confident," Swinney said.

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