Topic: Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???
Replies: 21   Last Post: Jul 27, 2017, 6:38 PM by: Tigerdug23®
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Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 1:52 PM

Hear me out. I don't think anyone will dispute the fact that the D can, and should be better. It all starts up front, and we have the best line in the country, hands down. D will not be a problem whatsoever.

Here's where everyone is cutting us...the Offense. We lost the GOAT, DW4. Hard to replace a GOAT. Past that...is there really a drop? We could actually be better at RB...if 28 gets a chance, and turns into Spiller #2, I'll take that. Gallman was great, I love him...but he benefited from an experienced line and, mostly, having DW4. I think we probably have 2 or 3 backs that are more talented. Initially it doesn't look like there will be a QB to take the pressure off of them like DW4 did...but...the line will be a year more experienced, which means they'll be better.

At WR, Mike Williams was great...but we made it to the title game without him the year before...and we have more talent this year than 2015...I think we're fine, maybe better.

Leggett was a great TE for us and, probably won the national championship with his catch. W/o that amazing catch, we most likely don't get in position to score a TD...but, those guys are interchangeable. They don't make as many catches as a Mike Williams at WR, and we've got talent there.

So...we're back to QB...which is where everybody talking about Clemson 2017 ends up. DW4 was, w/o a doubt, the greatest football player in the history of Clemson football. Banks McFadden, Steve Fuller...I don't care...there was nobody I would pick first for my team ahead of DW4. Saying all of that...the first 10 games or so, he was average last year. He picked-up the pace late in the year, and won us a national championship...but the ding on him for NFL teams was his accuracy. When you look back to the most memorable drive in Clemson history, the last one, his accuracy, or lack there of, was very much on display. W/o tremendous catches by Mike Williams and Leggett, we lose that game. Those catches were much more an example of or WR/TE talent, than they were our QB talent. Not taking away DW4's leadership ability...but...it's not unheard of to believe we have a better QB on campus now, than we did a year ago. I don't think it's Kelly Bryant...but could it be Johnson, or one of the other two? I certainly believe that one of them could have the season that DW4 had through the first 10 games or so, accuracy wise. Can they develop the mental part of their game to his level while their skill carries them...only time will tell.

Saying all of that...I'll be the guy that comes out and says the 2017 team would beat the 2016 team...maybe not opening day, but possibly mid-season...definitely by playoff time. But the question is, can we get to playoff time?



Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 1:53 PM

How'd a coot write so much?


Re: Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 1:57 PM

We should be close but better no way.
Losing a DW will do that for you.
There is not a QB on this team that's even close to DW.
If not for Watson we lose 3 games last season.


Re: Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:07 PM

Dude nailed. Without DW4. We lose 3.


Re: Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 3:36 PM

Some of you guys kill me.

So we lose only 3 without him, right? Let's not count that HIS turnovers (and consequential scores right after) kept many of those game closer than they really would have been without the turnovers...but we'll just go with he only did good, didn't have any hand in why there was some bad.

So which 3 exactly are the 3....

We lost Pitt even with him, so it's absurd to say they still aren't one...so #1 Pitt.

We only won against NC State due to the missed kick and pick in the endzone (and that was with Watson), so #2 = NC State.

We nearly lost to Troy, so #3 = Troy...

So, by that...we lose to Pitt, NC State, and Troy, but still beat FL State, Auburn, and Louisville??

Or without Watson, we somehow don't let Troy, NC State nor Pitt keep it close and or win with just a small bounce the other way (which those games were easily a small bounce, or kick, away from a L)?? Just curious how this works.


This!!! ^^^

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 3:38 PM

Exactly what I'm saying. His regular season play was very average at best. He helped us lose the Pitt game, and made others very difficult.


Re: Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 6:36 PM

Yeah but you don't win the National Championship without him. Also, the Pitt game was a meltdown of epic proportions for the defense and the shovel pass. Not DW's fault we gave up 40+ points.

DW was a generational talent. Yes, he had some poor showings but not other QB on the roster wins the National Championship for us. It's not even close. Best player to ever play at Clemson.


4 things need to happen

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:01 PM

1) the QB must stretch the field ... cannot make the offense one-dimensional
2) McCloud needs to step up and do the things Artavis did - get tough yards
3) one of the RB's needs to break out and take the job
4) one of the TE's needs to break out and take the job

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Realistically, no.

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:02 PM

Our new QB would need to be almost as good as Watson - aka fringe Heisman candidate. It's not completely impossible, but it's extremely unlikely.

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how, exactly, could they do that?

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:03 PM


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Re: Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:04 PM

To be successful this year we probably need a qb similar to the talent level of a Tajh Boyd. A play within the system qb that can make all the throws.

If we were to find a DW it would be nice because he had the ability to will us to victories when all the cards were stacked against us


Re: Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:10 PM

I don't know about being better this year, but I will always believe that the 2015 Tiger team was all-around better than the 2016 Natty team, even though we didn't finish that year.


I'm not sure. Offense was a little better overall in 2015

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:18 PM

but the defense fell off pretty bad late in the year. I think the 2016 team had a higher ceiling as was evidenced by the 31-0 beat down of OSU and actually beating a better Bama team than the one we lost to in 2015.

The 2015 team was definitely the better team for the first 2/3 of the season, but they fell off a bit right as the 2016 team kicked it into high gear.

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I see what you're saying...

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:22 PM

sort of a Peyton Manning/Tee Martin thing...

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they will miss Leggett more than you think

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:31 PM

without a catch & 5 yd leep,we would have lost to Fla. st. & I don't think our great recievers are gonna equal Mike Williams at least during Auburn, Louisville,Va. Tech so early in the year. I like your attitude thou


Re: they will miss Leggett more than you think

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 2:35 PM

Well, your statement is a little weak in that the year before without Williams, Clemson went 14-1, beat ND, beat Louisville, beat FSU, beat Oklahoma, all without Williams. Hence, we have the talent to step up and not skip a beat.

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I see what you're saying and I like the optimism

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 3:11 PM

BUT let's be honest with ourselves and see this logically.

Defense: yes they'll be tremendous, more than likely better than the past 2 years, that's obvious.

RB: I don't know why you'd think it's just so easy to think Wayne is easy to replace. I know we have a lot of talent but we've had a good bit of talent back there since 2013 that hasn't really broke through to take the job. What made Wayne irreplaceable was that he was a true workhorse. That dude never went down and he'd more than likely get you some yard on his own. The line never helped him that much, it was mainly all him. That's what made so great. I do believe Feaster will be the guy to be the next great back but as of now it's still a question mark because Feaster still needs some experience and still has questionable blocking (which Wayne could do really well). Feaster is definitely more talented than Wayne and his ceiling is definitely a little higher. It'll be another 2013/2014 ideology with running by committee till someone proves they earned it. It's one of the easier spots to fix in my opinion.

WR- Losing Mike will take a toll but it won't be significant. We have a new breakout receiver every single year and we are ridiculously talented in that area. This is where I'll never see an issue for Clemson for a very long time and could continue to be better every year.

TE- Losing Leggett is going to really hurt. He was clutch when we needed him. Another Dwayne Allen type TE. He was reliable and his blocking was just good enough and sometimes great to get our outside runs going. He made tremendous catches when needed (did I mention clutch?). Replacing him is going to be really hard let's be honest here. This is where it's going to hurt us. What makes good offenses turn into great offenses is the TE, every football guru knows this. If you can kill the Linebackers in the receiving game then you've broken the defense on all phases. I don't know if we have anyone on the roster ready to take a Leggett role, at least from what I've seen. That could change, someone has to break out at this position at some point. This position I'm the most questionable about in terms of who's ready and who's the best.

QB - this is our 2nd or 3rd most talented position on the roster behind WR and arguably the D-line. There will never be another DW4 and I don't think there's anyone on the roster at this moment ready to be better than DW, he was a legend and the best QB to come out of Clemson. But in all honesty, we wont be in as much trouble here as many think. I think our worst QB situation under Dabo Swinney is behind us in 2014 with Cole Stoudt. No matter who plays they'll have an aspect that was better than Cole's. (As I've posted in another thread on this exact situation, Cole wasn't great and just barely qualified being good. He didn't fit our offense but that kid had leadership skills. He couldn't make the throws or run too well but did just enough at times for our defense to win and yeah he did amazing in the RA Bowl and I was happy he finished on a high note.) Anyways, most of the QB's on this roster are more well equipped to do better than Cole did, whether it'd be Bryants run ability or Johnsons throwing precision, we're in good hands. This defense has the capability to be just as good as 2014 defense which won us those games when we were struggling at QB with Cole.

We will never have another Watson but we have great talent at this position. Someone just needs to step out front from the rest and take the leadership roles and make the throws necessary.

Overall though, let's be honest, this team won't be better than a National Title winning team but it isn't out the possibility they could be close. We just have some question marks at TE and QB (I exclude RB because as Feaster gains experience he will be good.) Everywhere else we are fine and ready to go.


Re: I see what you're saying and I like the optimism

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 3:36 PM

Good commentary. Again, I think too much emphasis is put on QB. You have to remember that DW4 made it to NY on his 2015 campaign, and last two games of the year. The first 10 were above average, but not GOAT material. His will to win kept us in, and won us, several games, yes...but his average play put us in position to lose those games. In the Troy, Lou, FSU and Pitt games, he threw 10 INT's. Lou and Pitt each got him 3 times. That's not Heisman play. 5 of the first 10 games, he threw multiple INT's or the same number of INT's as TD's. We won despite of him, instead of because of him in those games. And Pitt we lost. Again...he's the GOAT at Clemson...I'd take him first over anybody...but his regular season can be replaced with better play this year by one of the new guys. We don't need his "leadership" to win games, if we don't throw multiple INT's and can keep our comp % out of the 50's.


We'll have to be better on defense

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 3:31 PM



"We establish no religion in this country, we mandate no belief. Nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate." ~Ronald Reagan

There's one problem with that though. Our defense was

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 3:36 PM

already very good, so there's not much room to improve on that side of the ball. We can maybe get a couple of points better, but probably not more than that.

There's much more room for the offense to fall than for the defense to move up.

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Better? Doubtful.

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 3:38 PM

But good enough to win it all...sure.

Tavien Feaster becomes a Heisman type RB.

Kelly Bryant runs for 100 a game and throws for 200 consistent all year.

Big thing here, reverse the turnover margin.
Clemson was so talented last year that they were negative in turnover margin and still won it all. Defense averaging 1 TD a game would be good enough to get us back to the playoffs.


"We establish no religion in this country, we mandate no belief. Nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate." ~Ronald Reagan

Re: Can the 2017 be better than the 2016 team???

Posted: Jul 27, 2017, 6:38 PM

These Coots think a lot about championships .

In comparison to their wanton lust for equivalence ...I think of the little Jewish kid down the block hoping Santa Claus makes a chimney mistake.

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