Clemsons speedy Bellamy slowed by pass protection hurdles
CLEMSON – Those familiar with the Clemson football program know running back Mike Bellamy has rare speed. But offensive coordinator Chad Morris said the sophomore’s speed could be sidelined until the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder improves his knowledge and ability in pass protection.
“We all know what [Bellamy’s] talent level is like but we have to get him better in pass protection,” Morris said. “The game is moving extremely fast for him. [Pass protection] is his biggest downfall and leads to not having the confidence to put him in.”
Bellamy also struggled with ball security last season. But when Bellamy held on to the ball last season he was effective, rushing for 343 yards on 57 carries for a 6.0 rushing average.
Who is No. 2?
Morris said Bellamy is competing to be the No. 2 running back behind Andre Ellington.
Morris has also listed Roderick McDowell, D.J. Howard and freshman Zac Brooks and contenders to be the No. 2 back.
Brooks offers the best size-speed combination of the reserves. The 6-foot, 210-pound Brooks can run a sub 4.5 second 40-yard dash.
“Brooks is doing a good job,” Morris said. “He’s a big back who can run. He shows a lot of promise.”
He said it
Quarterback Tajh Boyd thinks the 2012 offense can be even more productive than last year’s unit despite losing three starting offensive linemen and tight end Dwayne Allen.
“It’s a year in the system and even though a lot of guys didn’t play last year, they watched, and they know nothing less is expected,” Boyd said.
Clemson’s first-team offensive line looks much the same at the close of spring as it did in the beginning.
In Monday’s scrimmage Brandon Thomas worked at left tackle, Kalon Davis was at left guard, Dalton Freeman was at center flanked by right tackle Tyler Shatley and tackle Gifford Timothy.
“For the most part it is the five we started [the spring] with,” Morris said. “We tried to move other guys in and out to see if they are ready but they are not ready.”
Only Freeman and Thomas have starting experience.