Head Coach Dabo Swinney Press Conference


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Swinney signed 38 student-athletes in his five recruiting seasons.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, Windows Media (39:15)


Q: Dabo Swinney’s opening statement.


A: “This is a very bittersweet day for me. I dreamed of being a head coach, but I
certainly didn’t dream of getting my first job this way. Tommy Bowden was my first
coach at Alabama. He gave me my first opportunity as a player. He hired me here. He’s
been a great friend and mentor. I love him. He’s a good man and he’s done great for
Clemson University. Unfortunately, this is the bad side of this business.


“From an emotional standpoint, this is a very bittersweet day for me. From a professional
standpoint, this is a great opportunity. I’m going to take it and run with it and do the very
best that I can. I’ve worked my whole life to have an opportunity to lead a team. I’m not
perfect. I never claimed to be. I’m going to make some mistakes, but I promise you I
will make them full speed. There will be one gear and that will be wide open. That’s the
way I expect the team to play.


“We’re going to make some mistakes, but we’ll make them full speed. I’m very excited
about having a chance to have a fresh start. I had a great meeting with the team today.
They responded like I hoped they would.”


Q: Describe how your day went?


A: “It was like 1990 when I was a sophomore at Alabama. I had never sniffed the field.
I’m over there on the scout team getting ready to do my job for Coach (Bill) Oliver. Out
of the blue, Coach (Woody) McCorvey said ‘Dab I need somebody to catch the football.
If you catch the football, I’m playing you on Saturday.’ That was my big break and my
great opportunity. I took it and ran with it. I lettered three years and got a scholarship.
To answer your question, that’s what it was like today. I certainly didn’t see it coming.
That’s how things happen in life. Things happen quickly. You always have to prepare.
I’m going to do everything I can to make Clemson proud.”


Q: Talk about the decision not to keep Rob Spence.


A: “The decision to go in a different direction was mine. I love Coach Spence. I’ve
enjoyed my time with him. He’s one of the best offensive guys I’ve worked with. He
knows a lot of football. I’ve learned a lot of football from him. I respect Coach Spence.
This is a situation where I just wanted to make a fresh start.”


Q: On coaching changes.


A: “Offensively, we’re going to do the best we can with such a short week. Coach Brad
Scott will stay with the offensive line. I’m going to promote Mike Dooley, our offensive
graduate assistant, to our tight ends coach. I’m going to move Ryan Sulkowski to our on
the field graduate assistant. I’m going to move Billy Napier to the quarterbacks. He will
assist me with the game planning and play calling. I will handle the majority of that. I
have a lot of confidence in Billy. He will do a great job assisting me. I’m going to
promote Jeff Scott to full-time and he will help me with the wide receivers.. He’s a heck
of a young coach. Mike Dooley and Jeff Scott will be able to recruit immediately. Daric
Riley will move on the field for defense as the defensive graduate assistant. I had great
visits with all the coaches individually today. They are all on board. This is a win-win
for everybody. There is a lot of incentive to go out and work hard. But there is no more
incentive then helping these kids..”


Q: What is the quarterback situation?


A: “We’re going to go with Willy Korn. This is a game of performance and not
potential. If you’re the best guy, then you’re the best guy. There are no hidden agendas
here as I’ve told the guys today. If you’re the best guy, then take your opportunity and
run with it. The film doesn’t lie. If you’re not (the best guy), we’ll make a change. It’s
as simple as that.


“ I have all the confidence in the world that Willy Korn is going to do a great job. He
has been here two years now and knows the offense. He is a good runner.


“I also have confidence in Cullen (Harper). He has to be ready to go into a game and win
it. Those guys have to be ready. I challenged both of them in front of the team. We’re
going to be a family. There are no agendas. Everyone is going to be unified and playing
as one.”


Q: What is the biggest obstacle for this football team?


A: “Georgia Tech is the biggest obstacle. There are no excuses. These guys are on full
scholarship. We have a job to do. If we don’t get it done, it’s on me. We’ve got to line
up, be tough physically, and play like we’re supposed to play. If the guy in there isn’t
getting it done, then we’ll put the next guy in there. We’re not going to be all things to
all people, but we’re going to be tough guys. When I grade the field, I’m going to be
looking for one thing and that’s effort.”


Q: On perception of the team.


A: “I’m tired of the negative. I’m tired of it for these kids. They work their butts off
everyday. They go to class everyday and then come here. They work and they show up.
They’re playing hard. I hate it for them. We need to stop the negativity. Let’s have some
fun and play ball.”


Q: On Saturday’s opponent Georgia Tech.


A: “Defensively they are really good. They’ve got as good a front as we’ve played.
Derrick Morgan is a baller. He’s going to bring it every play. Michael Johnson is
probably a top-10 draft pick talent. He’s a great player. Those two guys are where it
starts. They are good inside and at linebacker. They have veterans in the secondary.
They have excellent schemes. They’re going to be a very difficult task for us.
Offensively, I have not studied them because I have just looked at their defense so far.
The biggest thing is that they do something that you don’t see. It forces you to be very
disciplined on defense. Each player needs to know his responsibility. Coach Johnson is
a heck of a football coach. He knows this offense. So, we have to do a great job
defensively.”



RB James Davis gets emotional talking about Coach Bowden leaving, Windows Media


QB Cullen Harper talks about comments he made earlier in the day about Coach Bowden "gettting what he deserved.", Windows Media


QB Willy Korn talks about working with the new offensive staff, Windows Media


Dequan Bowers on whether he is still glad he came to Clemson, Windows Media


Thomas Austin on the mood in practice, Windows Media


Michael Hamlin on coming together as a team, Windows Media

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