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Mickey Plyler's Blog: Defensive Issues
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Mickey Plyler's Blog: Defensive Issues


Sep 25, 2012, 1:30 PM

Defensive Issues

Defensive Issues
Through the first three weeks of the season, the Tuesday blog was a review of the video from the previous Saturday. However, two things happened and I will not be able to do a complete video review today. First, my DVR had issues and some of the game did not record. Secon


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disagree, a lot of it is position coaching ...there's


Sep 25, 2012, 1:44 PM

enough talent on that side of the ball to have a D that can get off the field (some) and not give up chunk plays. Something is wrong when the technique, intensity, or another intangible...I refuse to believe that all of Clemson's recruits are average players.

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Harbison should be fired today***


Sep 25, 2012, 2:10 PM



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I have spoken w/some former players and......


Sep 25, 2012, 3:25 PM

a couple of former coaches and THIS is the name that keeps coming up, fwiw.

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and Grab Brooks while you're at it!***


Sep 25, 2012, 6:14 PM



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Re: Harbison should be fired today***


Sep 26, 2012, 10:14 PM

You absolutely are off target. Replace Batson with a young turk who's up to date on strength training and is not afraid to kick a$$ and take names. Give these coaches some beasts to work with.

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Re: disagree, a lot of it is position coaching ...there's


Sep 25, 2012, 2:56 PM

A lot of you guys forget that Steele had some good defenses at Clemson back when we couldn't buy a touchdown and had to rely on defense to win games. Defense had a poor year last year, and having another poor year this year. Both coordinators are pretty solid in my opinion. Do not be afraid to look at the common denominator. It could be talent, it could be assistant coaches. Time will tell.

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Steele was great when he had 2 yrs to coach his players


Sep 25, 2012, 3:02 PM

in his system. But it took 2 yrs for the players to learn his system which lead to 1 good yr 2 bad ones.

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I guess I just expected growing pains win we got a new DC


Sep 25, 2012, 3:07 PM

because of the scheme and it's tough to break bad habits. I hoped that there would be an improvement though. I hope something changes and adjustments are made to compensate for the poor play like a 3-4 where you get your better athletes on the field. Steward, Anthony, Shuey and Tig should play on the field at once. Could it work? Heck, I don't know. That is why I'm on a keyboard and not making $800K a year as a coach.

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everything should be on the table right now. You cant get

[1]
Sep 25, 2012, 3:11 PM

worse than almost 700 yds giving up in a game.

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IMO,it all starts with the DE's..they are bringing down the

[1]
Sep 25, 2012, 8:53 PM

entire defense..Crawford plays too high and Goodman is too slow...Guarantee if we brought in Two very good DE's(Clowney and the Coots other DE?) this defense would be so much stronger as a unit...It's all starting with the play form our DE's.

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I agree.


Sep 26, 2012, 9:30 AM

This is why we struggle so much with the zone read. This is a play that basically picks on DE's. When an opposing QB looks at our DE to see if he's coming inside or outside the QB can be sure that our DE will not be athletic enough to quickly change his attack angle. If our DE is coming inside the outside option of the zone read will be wide open. If our DE is taking the outside path you can bet he's going to be pushed a mile outside and will have no chance to defend the inside option.

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Re: I agree.


Sep 26, 2012, 10:45 PM

Have you considered the fact that our defensive line is physically incapable of putting any real pressure in the middle? Talk about schemes and technique all you want, if you haven't developed the strength and size to go "jaw to jaw" with the opposing players, you lose---regardlless of schemes and "techmique." We are relatively a weak team physically, and this comes from the top, and he refuses to even consider fixing it.

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Re: IMO,it all starts with the DE's..they are bringing down the


Sep 26, 2012, 10:37 PM

Both of these players put on tremendous muscle and increased their strength shortly after getting to Carolina. That would not have happened at Clemson because we have no effective player development, especially with regard to strength and size. For example, Zac Brooks who has been here since December,
is still 6'2" and weighs 180---his weight in high school. He is obvioussly not going to be any kind of sigificant factor at that size. Spencer Region was the
8th ranked offensive lineman coming out of HS. And yet, he's been permitted to languish here for over a year at 30 to 40 lbs. overweight. Who is accountable? I'd say that Dabo, making close to two MIl a year is. Wait and watch. We'll lose at least 3 more games.

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Re: I guess I just expected growing pains win we got a new DC


Sep 26, 2012, 10:17 PM

Sigh.

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Re: Steele was great when he had 2 yrs to coach his players


Sep 26, 2012, 10:17 PM

You guys still miss the point.

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Re: disagree, a lot of it is position coaching ...there's


Sep 26, 2012, 10:10 PM

I do agree that our defensive players are average---they are below average. And our problems with a mediocre strength program continue, due in large part to Dabo's stubborn refusal to confront an obvious problem. We are physically a weak team, especially in the trenches----but it is pervasive throughout the team. That's why we have 4 and 5 star players come in here and do virtually nothing. Give Nick Saban these players, and they would be beasts, probably in their freshman years. But, it's not going to change, because that kind of objective awareness and appraisal must come from the top. And, sadly, it's not going to happen. Lucky if we beat BC this week.

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My 2 cents

[1]
Sep 25, 2012, 1:53 PM

disagree with about.....90% of this, but hey,thats
just me.



#21

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Re: My 2 cents


Sep 26, 2012, 10:51 PM

Well, present an alternative explanation. Are you actually saying that we are a physically, tough team? REally??

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BRING BACK RUMPH!!!!


Sep 25, 2012, 1:57 PM

The worst decision ever in letting him leave.... our talent has been under-developed ever since...

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You forgot Chris Clemmons. Bring him back also....***


Sep 25, 2012, 2:05 PM



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Mickey, enjoy the blog, but...

[1]
Sep 25, 2012, 2:39 PM

I'm getting a bit tired of hearing you say there is a lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball. As you mentioned in your post today, there are alot of highly rated recruits currently on the 2-deep (5, 4, and 3 stars). That to me says that these guys have the talent, they just aren't using that talent appropriately. Let's not confuse raw talent with execution, technique, and appropriate fundamentals.

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Re: Mickey, enjoy the blog, but...


Sep 25, 2012, 3:09 PM

I think we have talent but too little experience and depth. FSU had an All American DE go down and replaced him with a Senior. FSU had the highest number of Returning starters for 2 year in a row and the best recruiting classes in the ACC for the past 4 or 5 years. FSU is talented and experienced with depth of both. We have some experience starting and some talent in the depth chart but not both. A lot of our starters are talented enough if they were juniors or seniors but they are freshmen and sophomores. If we had the depth of talent and experience that FSU had I think we would have won that game.... and if the game was in Death Valley we might have won it any way.

I agree that our D needs to play better and our players and our coaches agree with that assessment. We simply need to support and cheer for these players while they are learning on the job. We are playing 3 DTs that needed a red shirt year... but we needed them to play.

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Re: Mickey, enjoy the blog, but...


Sep 26, 2012, 10:52 PM

Exactly my point. Lack of effective player development.

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Recruiting is a crap shoot...Rankings mean nothing...We


Sep 25, 2012, 3:08 PM

have had enough Roscoe's and Spencer Adams to know it now...If you're not shopping for a recipe, the quality of the ingredients rarely matter...

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Re: Recruiting is a crap shoot...Rankings mean nothing...We


Sep 25, 2012, 3:11 PM

<<
If you're not shopping for a recipe, the quality of the ingredients rarely matter...
>>
Are you kidding? If not I do not want to eat your cookin!

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People routinely waited an hour or more for a seat in my


Sep 25, 2012, 4:21 PM

restaurants, so I know my cooking is fine...And if you don't have a plan, it doesn't matter what you're working with...

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Re: Mickey Plyler's Blog: Defensive Issues


Sep 25, 2012, 3:49 PM

Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed that the LBs appeared to be searching out blockers...and then would just stand there and slap fight with them.

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He says schemes aren't the issue, but...


Sep 25, 2012, 3:54 PM

... it seems like the 4-2-5 sets we come out in a lot leave no one to cover the flats when the all the DB's are 5-10 yards off the line. Every team we've played has exploited that at times, but it seemed like every time we lined up in it Saturday, FSU would attack the flanks with screens and toss sweeps, to devastating effect.

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The problem with this article is...


Sep 25, 2012, 3:59 PM

...it basically concludes "We got who we got"....blah, blah, blah..."Wait till next year"...etc.

I would have liked to read about what, specifically, can be done NOW to improve the play of who we have. I still think we are lacking in the area of football fundamentals such as tackling and angles. I think these are coaching issues that need to be address immediately. There is also psychology at play. You need to light a fire under their arses. Don't just tell them "their manhood is being challenged". Get their arses out there on the practice field and kick some ####. Do drills to instill tougher tackling that will put the fear in the opponent. I hate to bring up DF but he wouldn't put up with any of this foolishness on defense.

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Re: The problem with this article is...


Sep 26, 2012, 11:00 PM

Amen. Back in the day, we used to have a pronounced goal of being the strongest team in th ACC, and one of the strongest teams in the country. In many instances, our sheer strength and toughness enabled us to beat more talented teams. Nowdays, you don't hear anything about this. Shame.

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Yet Koenning immediately had success with 2-3 star players.

[3]
Sep 25, 2012, 3:59 PM

For me the jury is out on Venables & his staff, but the early results certainly raise concern. I don't think the D's talent & experience is THAT bad. They seem to be underperforming. By comparison, for example, go back and look at how former DC, Vic Koenning had immediate positive impact (and success) when he arrived at Clemson, K-State, & Illinois-- mostly with far weaker (2 & 3 star laden) rosters.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/clemson/football/recruiting/commitments/2004/clemson-1
Clemson:
Lovett 2004: Total D: #26. Scoring D: #29
Koenning 2005: Total D: #20. Scoring D: #11.
Koenning 2006: Total D: #13. Scoring D: #16.
Koenning 2007: Total D: #9.. Scoring D: #10.
Koenning 2008: Total D: #18. Scoring D: #13.
Steele 2009: Total D: #20. Scoring D: #25.
Steele 2010: Total D: #19. Scoring D: #13.
Steele 2011: Total D: #71. Scoring D: #81.
Venables: 2012: Total D: #93. Scoring D: #68 (after 1st 4 games, Aub, Ball St. Furm, FSU.)

http://rivals.yahoo.com/clemson/football/recruiting/commitments/2008/kansasstate-21
Kansas State:
2008 pre-Koenning: Total D: #86. Scoring D: #117.
2009 Koenning: Total D: #39. Scoring D: #46.
2010 post-Koenning: Total D: #82. Scoring D: #66.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/clemson/football/recruiting/commitments/2008/illinois-26
Illinois:
2009 pre-Koenning: Total D: #91. Scoring D: #96.
2010 Koenning: Total D: #38. Scoring D: #67

http://rivals.yahoo.com/clemson/football/recruiting/commitments/2009/northcarolina-6
UNC:
2011 pre-Koenning: Total D: #49. Scoring D: #56.
2012 Koenning: Total D: #27. Scoring D: #35 (after 1st 4 games: Elon, WF, Louisville, ECU).

Recruitng rankings aren't perfect for a given individual but over a broader group, they're usually pretty indicative. And it's probably not a coincidence that Koenning had immediate success everywhere he went.

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I should add that I/we knew BV had a tough task ahead.***

[1]
Sep 25, 2012, 4:25 PM



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It helps when you have 2 stars like Gaines...***


Sep 25, 2012, 4:37 PM



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Or maybe when you coach up 2/3 stars like Gaines.***


Sep 25, 2012, 5:14 PM



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You can't coach Gaines athleticism and size...***


Sep 25, 2012, 5:17 PM



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Yea, we don't have anyone right now


Sep 25, 2012, 6:34 PM

Crawford...who many thought would be better than Branch
Goodman-Clemson's best defensive player?
Anthony and Steward- num #1 LBs in the country
Meeks and Hall,both were suppose to be NFL prospects.
Noo,we don't have any good defensive players, you're
right.
#21

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You see a Gaines Adams caliber player in there?***


Sep 25, 2012, 6:38 PM



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Before the season, everyone thought we did!


Sep 25, 2012, 6:41 PM

even our coaching staff!
#21

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They blow smoke every season...Several years ago, Billie was


Sep 25, 2012, 7:52 PM

getting challenged for PT in camp, or so we were led to believe...He goes down and the all we hear is what a hole that will leave...Don't remember the player or coach, but do remember hearing pre-injury how well player X was coming along and that he was close to being named co-starter...

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Maybe no Gaines Adams, but overall D talent level is higher.***


Sep 25, 2012, 8:07 PM



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Solely based off of recruiting rankings...Which we know are


Sep 25, 2012, 8:31 PM

inaccurate at best...

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Many studies show recruitng rankings meaningful, indicative.


Sep 26, 2012, 1:25 PM

Recruitng rankings are always perfect for each player, but over a broader sampling (like the 40 defensive players on a team) recruiting rankings are meaningful... unless you believe they just coincidentally got it wrong 40 times for Clemson recruits but got it right 40 times for Alabama recruits.

http://www.athlonsports.com/nfl/nfl-stars

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Star-Power-Recruiting-gurus-All-American-track?urn=ncaaf-311830

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Star-Power-Recruiting-gurus-track-record-at-th?urn=ncaaf-312394

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Star-Power-Judging-the-recruiting-rankings-gam?urn=ncaaf-312875

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Star-Power-The-nation-s-most-overachieving-team?urn=ncaaf-313921

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Star-Power-The-nation-s-most-underachieving-tea?urn=ncaaf-314624

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Obsess much? lol.***

[1]
Sep 26, 2012, 1:26 PM



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There's no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people who ask questions.


Re: Many studies show recruitng rankings meaningful, indicative.


Sep 26, 2012, 11:14 PM

As I've been shouting into the wind, it's the lack of player development at Clemson. Soft and weak.

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Re: Maybe no Gaines Adams, but overall D talent level is higher.***


Sep 26, 2012, 11:12 PM

Really? What gives you that impression? Name the "studs" on defense.

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Re: You see a Gaines Adams caliber player in there?***


Sep 26, 2012, 11:10 PM

No

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Re: You can't coach Gaines athleticism and size...***


Sep 26, 2012, 4:58 PM

agree. Plus the number of stars don't measure the work ethic and heart of a player. However if I had all the answers, then I'd be making 800K a year

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Re: You can't coach Gaines athleticism and size...***


Sep 26, 2012, 11:09 PM

He put on tremendous size and muscle. Apparently on his own initiative.

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Re: Or maybe when you coach up 2/3 stars like Gaines.***


Sep 25, 2012, 5:54 PM

Gaines was a great player and Ron West did a good job coaching him. He was a very good coach and recruiter for Clemson. He and Vic did well with Illinois defense and it looks like he is having success at Az state too. Best of luck to him.

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Re: It helps when you have 2 stars like Gaines...***


Sep 26, 2012, 11:07 PM

Like Pryce, who saw the weight room and "got it." This was his way to becoming a "talent." Put on 75 lbs of muscle, and became our best offensive lineman. However, it seems that so many of our players now don't even know the way to weight room. Could we provide some maps?

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2014 until a Venables owned defense ...


Sep 25, 2012, 4:25 PM

I can't judge him until he's working with HIS recruits.

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Re: 2014 until a Venables owned defense ...


Sep 25, 2012, 5:02 PM

I agree with you, Atlanta. We are 4 games into Venable's first year. This is way too early to be criticizing our coaches. Dadgum! We are 3 and 1. I agree our talent level on defense does not look good, but they WILL get better and may be pretty good by the end of the season. We need to recruit some defensive hosses this year, and we have a good start on that. Passing judgment now is VERY short-sighted. By the way, recruits do read this board. Ya'll knew that. Right?

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Re: 2014 until a Venables owned defense ...


Sep 26, 2012, 11:17 PM

And gets a decent strength program.

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We dont have top 5 defensive talent but we sure have

[3]
Sep 25, 2012, 4:46 PM

a lot better than 100th ranked talent. With the players we have we should be 25-30th. Recruiting rankings dont always mean a lot. But when your entire defense consists of 3, 4, and 5 star recruits you should be better than 100th in the darn country!!!

We went against teams like Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Cootville, UNC, NCST for these guys. Its not like we were the only 1A school wanting these guys. Sure we could have missed on evaluating a few guys, but not all 22 on the two deep. If we did miss on all 22 guys then we need new coaches. Nobody misses on that many.

Take LB's for example: Justin Parker - 4 star (he is injured this year but has come no where near 4 star playing), Tig Willard - 4 star, Stephone - 5 star, Steward - 5 star, Lateek - 4 star, Quandon - 3 star, Shuey - 3 star, Corico - 3 star, Goodson - 3 star. That's a whole lot of stars in those guys. Have you seen ANYTHING out of them on the field approaching that level of rankings. Heck no. That falls on position coaching and player development. Clemson used to do good things with 2 and 3 star players. Now we are doing bad things with 3 to 5 star players. Gotta change.

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Re: We dont have top 5 defensive talent but we sure have


Sep 26, 2012, 11:26 PM

Good post. You can recruit anyone, but if you don't have an effective player development program it doesn't matter. Our strength program is mediocre at best---probably worse. Until that is rectified, it doesn't matter who we recruit. And Dabo seems utterly blind to this. Furman beats us on the line of scrimmage, and we don't have a problem??? What about this is rocket science? Don't accept my opinion. Just wait and see.

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More Jumping Jacks !***


Sep 25, 2012, 5:48 PM



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Re: More Jumping Jacks !***


Sep 26, 2012, 11:32 PM

Meaning? Were you referring to ou coaches?

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Incoming Talent


Sep 25, 2012, 7:23 PM

Agree with statement on missed evaluation and lack of development. Also agree on incoming players...but here is key question, what is confidence level that we have it right this time and current S&C coach can help develop the potential of the players and position coaches can improve technique. To place all on Venables is just wrong. He can handle scheme etc, but the nuts and bolts are up to the same position coaches who are not developing what wwe have. Thoughts?

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I agree some of it is talent


Sep 25, 2012, 8:44 PM

However, BV has to learn how to adjust for what he's got. He's said it himself. He needs to figure out who's able to do what he's asking them to do and how to adjust for those that can't. I'm just glad that I don't have to do that job. I'd drive myself crazy.

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Re: I agree some of it is talent


Sep 27, 2012, 12:08 AM

I believe it's a combination, but more primarily a lack of player development. Our S&C program is really poor. We are therefore a relatively weak and soft team, esspecially in the trenches. When we are beaten on the line of scrimmage by Furman, who can imagine that we don't have a problem? Coach Batson is a nice guy, but times have passed him by. And I don't think he's willing to kick a$$ and take names. Unfotunately, Coach Swinney seens to be in total denial regarding this. Sadly, more bad news ahead this season.

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