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Venables is ‘Locked In’; Tigers Have ‘Eyes Forward’ Only

After the Tigers one-sided loss to Ohio State in last season's Sugar Bowl, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables did what he has done every other season since joining Dabo Swinney's staff, he went back to work.

The last time we saw Brent Venables' defense, it was getting torched by Ohio State in last season's College Football Playoff. 

In the Tigers 49-28 Sugar Bowl loss to the Buckeyes, the Clemson defense uncharacteristically allowed 639 yards of total offense, with more than 250 of those coming on the ground. 

After the Tigers scrimmaged in Death Valley on Friday, head coach Dabo Swinney said that coming into the spring, Venables did what does every spring, he went back to work.

"I mean, just going back to work," Swinney said. "That's what we do every year, we go back to work. I mean, getting those playoff games, listen, I mean, we've been on both sides of that. Two years ago we won one by 28 points, against the team that just won it this year." 

"You know those games, it's hard, you know. We took our lumps the last couple years, but, you know, you got to be ready in those moments... But you got to be good enough to get there. So it ain't like it's it's all bad. So, just more of the same." 

In the typical Swinney fashion, the head coach said the one-sided loss is in the past and that his team, including the entire coaching staff, is only concerned about what is in front of them and that is preparing for the upcoming season.

"Our eyes aren't in the rearview mirror, our eyes are forward," Swinney said. "It's about this team, it's about getting this group ready for the opener on September 4... and a long way to go and that's the time to get the work done."

Since the Tigers began spring practice Swinney said that he has seen nothing different from his defensive coordinator and that he's as dialed in as he's ever been.

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"Just seeing the same commitment from Brent Venables that I've seen ever since he got here," Swinney said. "He's always been locked in, focused, fully committed. Gives his best every single day that he walks in the building. He gives his best, and we count on that." 

The Tigers' head coach made sure to add that he is as confident as ever in his longtime defensive coordinator's ability to field another outstanding defense in 2021.

"We've been really, really good on defense around here for a long time," Swinney said. And, you know, Brent's as good as it gets."

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