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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has taught a lot of lessons the past seven seasons. Along the way, some guidance got lost amidst all that winning.

“There are certain things you can’t teach on the mountaintop,” Swinney said Friday as the Tigers opened fall camp.

His team, Swinney believes, carries a new, healthier perspective after what it went through in 2021.

A year ago, the Tigers were runaway favorites to win a seventh straight Atlantic Coast Conference crown and gain a seventh consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff.

Instead, Clemson opened 4-3, including losses to eventual national champion Georgia and ACC winner Pittsburgh.

The Tigers, in Swinney’s own words, were not very good, but he told them they’d be judged on how they got back up with most of the season left to play.

Clemson finished with six straight wins — the longest current streak among Power Five programs — and have carried more than momentum throughout this offseason.

“They’ve gained a reset on the appreciation of winning,” Swinney said. “Sometimes, you can win so much you can lose respect for what it takes.”

Any disrespect for the process came along with a rash of injuries, the likes of which the program hadn’t experienced in several years. Starting tailback Will Shipley missed three games with a foot injury while defensive tackle Bryan Bresee — like Shipley a five-star recruit — was lost for the final nine games after tearing an ACL in a loss at North Carolina State.

Both were held out of spring drills, but were back on the field Friday and eager to provide a punch they couldn’t fully deliver last season.

Bresee was turned loose earlier this summer and was thrilled to once more work with his teammates.

“I think this offseason, we’ve been a lot closer as a team,” Bresee said. “That’s been a big deal for us.”

Shipley said having momentum from their finish last year has been a big lift for the Tigers.

“We’ve definitely got it in the back of our minds,” he said. “We’re ready to run out there Sept. 5” at Georgia Tech to open the season.

Starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei went through growing pains, too. Considered a can’t-miss successor to national championship winner and top overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence, Uiagalelei struggled with his footwork and accuracy.

Uiagalelei completed less than 56% of his throws for 2,246 yards, nine touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He heard grumbling from fans who wanted him to transfer.

Instead of getting frustrated, Uiagalelei got to work on his body and habits. He cut out most junk food and reported this week 20 pounds lighter than his listed 250 pounds from a year ago.

“Shoot, he lost 20, 25 pounds,” Shipley said. “His dedication has never been in question. … I can’t wait to see him prosper.”

Uiagalelei has worked hard studying video and refining his technique in hopes of leading Clemson into championship contention, offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter said.

“Really proud of where (Uiagalelei) is, battling through some of the stuff he went through last year and just overcoming that,” said Streeter, also the quarterbacks coach. “That’s part of life, and he’s learning those lessons and he’s doing a great job right now.”

The slimmed-down Uiagalelei went through warm-up drills before leading the Clemson starters down the field in an up-tempo attack. His throws were sharp and on target.

Swinney said Uiagalelei will bring a healthier attitude to the field this season, too, just like his teammates.

“They’ve got a good buzz,” Swinney said. “I love their mentality, their mindset. I think it will serve them well.”

___

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Jets OT Mekhi Becton Limping Badly After Camp Injury: Report

Getty New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton being helped off of the field after a devastating injury.

The New York Jets suffered what appears to be a major injury during training camp.

Connor Hughes of SNY shared on Twitter that Mekhi Becton was “limping badly” throughout practice and was taken inside by a trainer:

BREAKING: Mekhi Becton, limping badly throughout practice, is being taken inside with a trainer. He removed his shoulder pads #Jets

— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) August 8, 2022

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VideoVideo related to jets ot mekhi becton ‘limping badly’ after camp injury: report2022-08-08T11:48:31-04:00

Dennis Waszak Jr described Becton’s injury as an “apparent leg/ankle injury” and it occurred on the second play of team drills.

Mekhi Becton went down with an apparent leg/ankle injury on the second play of team drills.

Was down for a few moments, helped off the field and now walking very gingerly with a noticeable limp back to the locker room. #Jets

— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) August 8, 2022

Rich Cimini of ESPN shared that Becton suffered the injury to his “surgically repaired right knee” which makes matters even worse.

On the second play of practice, Mekhi Becton suffers apparent injury to surgically repaired right knee and limps off to the locker room. He’s limping badly. #Jets

— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 8, 2022

This would be the second injury in as many days to the offensive line.

During the green and white scrimmage, reserve offensive tackle Conor McDermott went down with what appeared to be a very serious lower leg injury.

Head coach Robert Saleh called it an “ankle” injury and it didn’t look good either.

#Jets HC Robert Saleh said Conor McDermott is dealing with an "ankle" and they'll know more tomorrow.

The veteran offensive tackle was carted off the field during the green-and-white scrimmage. #TakeFlight #JetsCamp

— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) August 7, 2022

Depth Becomes Necessary Play
Robert Saleh says Jets, free agent star OT Duane Brown have "mutual interest" ????Boy Green hops on LIVE to talk about the New York Jets hosting offensive tackle Duane Brown + shares first comments by HC Robert Saleh on the team's interest! Make sure you like the video, hit subscribe, & check out the Boy Green merch store to show your support: my-store-11201970.creator-spring.com/ If you'd like to read…2022-08-07T16:48:34Z

Prior to any of this injury news, the Jets were actively kicking the tires on available offensive tackles in free agency.

They explored Riley Reiff during mandatory minicamp, but he ultimately signed with the Chicago Bears.

Most recently they brought in veteran Duane Brown for a visit over the weekend. He was in attendance when McDermott was hurt during the team’s scrimmage on Saturday.

According to NFL analyst Will Parkinson, the Jets continued that visit into Sunday when they were hoping to strike a deal.

After hosting 5 time Pro Bowl OT Duane Brown yesterday, the Jets continue to host and meet with Brown today as the sides look to agree on a deal. Per source, all signs point to the Jets and Brown agreeing to a deal and giving the Jets much needed depth behind Becton and Fant.

— Will Parkinson (@Willpa11) August 7, 2022

I imagine with all of this injury news that the Jets will now increase the heat on their pursuit to lock Brown in.

Throughout his 14 years in the NFL, he has exclusively played at left tackle. Becton has shifted over to right tackle this offseason and McDermott is a reserve player. However, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN, the Jets’ pitch to Brown was as a backup swing tackle.

If Brown wasn’t interested in that offer, he likely wouldn’t have shown up to the Jets for the visit. So if he is open to that it would be quite a coup for the Jets to lock in a proven player of that caliber at a key position of need.

However, that offer from the Jets may get a lot more tantalizing with this Becton and McDermott injury news.

This rash of injuries just underscores the importance of trench play. Both Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas have said repeatedly this offseason that you can never have enough good offensive linemen.

Follow @BoyGreen25 @obermuller_nyj on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes, and more!

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