It's hard to imagine Lorenzo Ward was doing anything other than chiding Jadeveon Clowney as a motivational tactic, but the South Carolina defensive coordinator definitely raised some eyebrows Monday by saying former Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore had an edge over Clowney in at least one facet of the game:
Random but interesting: USC DC Lorenzo Ward says former Va. Tech DE Corey Moore "totally" faster off ball than Clowneyâ Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) August 12, 2013
Why does it seem like a comment meant to motivate Clowney?
Well, for starters, Ward said pretty much the opposite in the aftermath of South Carolina's bowl win over Michigan in January:
"The only guy I've seen close to Clowney getting out of his stance in a pass-rush mode is Dwight Freeney and Corey Moore," Ward told postandcourier.com. "Clowney is probably better than both of them."
Moore was certainly no slouch at the college level, dominating Big East offensive lines for the Hokies in the late 1990s. He collected 35 career sacks, a total Clowney remains a long way from, and had his No. 56 jersey retired by Virginia Tech three years ago. But as an undersized third-round pick whose NFL career was brief, Moore's pro career definitely isn't what will be expected of Clowney's, either.
Who knows from a simple Tweet whether Ward was completely serious or completely kidding, but based on the praise he heaped on the junior in January, the guess here is the latter.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.