I was interested in a couple of comments by both Streeter and Dabo in the subject article. My comments are by no means intended to critize the coaches and/or players. I have played football at several levels, but I've never coached. So, these are only my observations.
CHARLOTTE, NC – Both Clemson head Dabo Swinney and offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter say they have no regrets about the way the quarterback situation was h
Streeter starts out by saying that, "There's no question about it, DJ was the leader of our team and our guys did a good job of rallying around him and it was just unfortunate week last week, it really was." All well and good, but is this a description of a "leader"? Does a leader need all his troops proping him up, or should they be following him? And does "rallying around him" include poorly run routes by wide receivers, or dropped passes, or missed blocking assignments? Just food for thought.
Then moments later he says, "Cade, he's as good a leader as I've ever been around and it spreads to everybody else." So is he saying that Cade entered the game, showed that he could "lead" the team, and provided the "spark" (motivation) for the team to follow him? Sounds like it to me. Kind of reminds me of when DW4 entered the huddle in Tampa down 28-31 to Alabama with less than 2 minutes remaining and said, "Okay. Let's go be legendary." Maybe it's just me, but that's the kind of leadership I'm looking for in my QB.
Streeter went on to say that Cade "really shined when the lights were on tonight (Saturday). Not that he hasn't done it in the past, but just having that opportunity. He did a good job of shining practice-wise. He's been solid at practice. He's definitely been solid at practice. So I'm just glad he was able to be ready in this situation, especially again in the ACC Championship Game."
I'm pretty sure I've heard both Dabo and Streeter say on a weekly basis that "Cade is coming along, but he's not ready? Practice continues to tell us that DJ gives us the best chance of winning."
So was the reluctance to play Cade, Streeter's or Dabo's? He started off with the usual defense of DJ, but this time, he couldn't ignore what we all saw happen. We saw a QB who believed in himself and his team... who made good decisions... who was not afraid to challenge the defense. We saw pass blocking improve, receivers ran routes to get some separation, and dropped passes virtually disappeared. We also saw the defense respond to the spark Cade provided, and they stepped up their own games. We saw a different team. We saw the Clemson Tigers.
As for Dabo's part, I found his comments in the final two paragraphs of the referenced article to have an underlying negativism... almost like he was saying, "Yeah, I finally had to put him in and he proved me wrong on everything I've been saying. Now I've got egg on my face." Comments like, "One game does not make a career. He's got a long way to go..." and "He's got a ways to go, but it's a great start for him..." And his final comments about "tonight it kind of turned, and he took it and ran with it. Again, he's got to keep it going. As soon as he has a bad game and we get the next guy in there we'll probably want that backup to come on in." I'm sorry, Coach. I have the utmost respect for you, but that sounds like "whining." Why not be positive? You made a difficult decision and replaced your starting QB, and it was the right move... and it worked! Make it easy on yourself-- "DJ didn't have it tonight, so we took a chance and went with Cade... and he lit em up."
I'm certain that CDS has had Clemson's best interest foremost in his mind on all the decisions he's made regarding DJ. I'm also certain that we "fans" have not made it easy for him with all the negative comments flying 24/7. That said, I would rather have him leading our football team than anyone else I can think of.
Those are my thoughts and my opinions on the comments from that article-- MINE ONLY. Overall, I have had nothing but respect for Dabo for the 14 years he's been head coach of the Tigers. He's the man I want leading my Tigers. I hope he remains in that position for the next 24 years and continues to build our football program. I've been attending Clemson football games for 68 years. I earned two degrees at Clemson between 1967 and 1973, and during that 6 years, the Tigers were 31-42. I was at every home game yelling for them. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine seeing three National Championships in my lifetime. In a large part, Dabo made those undreamed dreams a reality. Thanks, Coach!
Here's what I don't get. On October 22nd we were losing to Syracuse 21-10 going into the 4th quarter. Dabo brings Cade into the game and the Tigers score 17 straight points. Cade is probably the main reason. He didn't light it up, but the blockers and runners certainly had much more energy in their games. Fast forward to last Saturday night in the ACCCG. DJ is bad in the first two drives and Dabo brings in Cade, who absolutely lights up the UNC defense. He's the star of the game. So, Cade was ready on October 22nd and he was ready on December 3rd. I can't figure out how he could not have been ready on November 26th against South Carolina. Is there a reasonable explanation for this?
Yes there is a reasonable explanation, and it is called a streak of stubbornness in Dabo, and especially when the fans come out by the hundreds demanding that we change a player regardless of their position. When Dabo feels pressure from the fan base, bet the farm he will not do whatever it is the fans are pushing him to do, and if the situation doesn't come for Dabo to make it look like it was his idea to make the change at the point that he makes it, he would risk losing every game until the situation did show itself. Most of us knew before hand while we were calling for Cade, that Dabo would not give in with the fan base screaming for cade, and we're lucky that DJ chit his pants early in that game, and Dabo made the change!!!!
IMHO this is word smithing to make sure no one is thrown under the bus... does not matter what he says people will make something negative out of it... lose-lose... so lets make sure we don;t offend anyone.
The proof is on the field, it's there for everyone to see. Either you're making good sausage or you're not.
I've said since the 4th game that something was going on behind the scenes with this football team. What it is/was, we'll probably never know. I just know that Dabo never "looked like Dabo" this season. For awhile I thought he was sick. I just don't know. I just want him to make good decisions for the benefit of the whole team.
Good comments in the top post. I agree with your points. I also think Dabo was different this year. I just wish all of this could have been resolved before it cost us the rivalry game. Making it to the playoffs would have been a nice bonus, and I think, with Cade playing, we might have been competitive. Losing the rivalry game ruined the season for me. Glad we got it fixed and won the ACCCG, and I hope we play well and find a way to beat Tenn. Excited about Clemson football next year.
You and I feel the exact same way, the rivalry game was the biggest bummer watching that game as I've felt in a long long time, and saying that I was pissed at Dabo after that game would be putting it mildly. I never want to see him leave Clemson, but if I would have been his boss after that game, he would have been gone, and that is how pissed I was that he just stood there without a fight in him whatsoever, and Cade was being wasted begging to go in!!!!
DJ provided little hope against good teams. Takes 7 sacs against UGA in last years opener Throws more ints. than TDs.
He may be an outstanding person; however, he has not demonstrated he can process what is happening on the field in a timely manner before he makes a decision on what to do with the football. In 3 seconds after the snap a good defender will be in the quarterback's jocky strap. DJ could never figure that out.
I really doubt he will make a living playing football at the next level.
BUT, you never saw CDS giving him 20 carries a game just because he was so well liked by his teammates. I wonder how this reversal of philosophy ended up costing the Tigers another Playoff opportunity???
Dabo realized he had a problem on his hands with DJ; however, up until the ND game, the team was doing enough to win, even though by a whisker sometimes.
The ND loss was by the entire team and staff. Forward on to the Carolina game, and I think the staff thought we had enough guns to pull that one out. They thought wrongly.
Then, Dabo has undergone mammoth boatloads of criticism this year, primarily about DJ...criticism throughout the Clemson family. Something he hasn't experienced to the depths of this year's variety. DJ himself has undergone merciless, scathing attacks publicly across social media, some of it downright petulant at best, inexcusable at worst.
I previously posted my views about DJ's recruitment, so without being redundant, I think Dabo was trying to fulfill promises to DJ and his family, hoping he would hang in long enough for a successful season. The Carolina game brought his predicament to a full boil, as the entire fan base rose up in arms, including a BOT member making comments (per reports.)
Thus, Dabo realized he had to pull the trigger finally, and put Cade into play.
All that's water under the bridge to me now, and perhaps, to Dabo, also. I noticed a joyful glee on his face, as our game vs UNC progressed. He was all smiles and hugs with Cade afterwards. I believe he will soon enough have time for reflection, so hopefully, this type of problem never rises again.
I agree but, when the fans get their drawers in a wad, Dabo as the HC and a professional college HC, he can't allow what fans say or don't say cause him to make bad decisions bc he is angry about what the fans are saying, IMHO, I feel that is exactly what happen in the coot game. He was going to show the fans that they don't run nothing in the program, that he was the one and only chief of team, lose or not, the fan base would not get what they wanted, and that was for Cade to come in and save the day, and IMHO, he stuck with DJ regardless bc he never showed any type of move to go with Cade, not even for a play or two to give him time to speak with DJ letting him know to do his job or he would put Cade in to do it, and it's bc he had no intention of putting Cade in, and IMHO, it was bc of all the talk coming from the base about Cade should be the #1 QB!!!!
You make a really good point, ORANGE-- the HC can't listen to individual comments from fans to the point where he makes bad decisions based on those comments. He is the HC and he MUST exercise his own judgement. That's what he gets paid mega-bucks for. However, a good HC SHOULD listen to the overall "mood" of the fan base to ask himself a question: Am I making good decisions for the good of the program as a whole? This is where I think Dabo sometimes has a problem, as evidenced by some of his comments in pressers that he "doesn't have time to listen to the ramblings of the fans" (or something to that effect). One of Dabo's personality traits is his stubbornness. It can both positively and negatively affect his decisions... positive when it keeps him from going against his overall principles, but sometimes negative when it leads him to believe that he is infallible and should never change his mind on decisions like staying with DJU to the overall detriment of the team. Historically, he has sought advice from his past mentors, but lately it seems that he is totally introspective about these decisions.
Frank Howard had a stubborn streak, too, but he realized a couple of things about the fans. Once in an interview, he referred to the "gold line." The reporter asked if he meant the "goal line" and he responded, "no, the gold line. Because when we cross it, the fans send more money." And I vividly remember a 1971 interview when a reporter asked about his reason for retiring. He responded that, "it was for health reasons. The fans got sick of me."
In my humble opinion, Dabo made some bad decisions, but none of us know his reasons, and probably never will. Therefore, instead of castigating him for those choices and screaming for his head, I'm going to just scratch my head and say, "I wonder why he did that." We've got a lot to be thankful for in regard to CDS... he deserves a "pass" every once in awhile.
I noticed the same things as well. It really did seem like Dabo was upset he was proven wrong. Which I understand, nobody wants to be wrong. But there is times where you swallow the pill and do the right thing for the team and not one individual before it blows up in your face. It's okay to listen to outside info and take and use suggestions sometimes, he's done it before and it doesn't make anyone less of a coach or man because of it. It was a playoff opportunity missed and we as the fans will have to swallow that pill because we do still support Dabo, even if we question his decisions sometimes.
When I first read Dabo's comments about Cade and DJ after the game I felt like they were kind of odd and out of character, especially for a guy that's usually a 100% positive and a "glass half full" type personality. Dabo sounded more annoyed than joyful, and not nearly as happy as we have come to expect.
It sure didn't looked like "The Fun Is In The Winning" after his on-field interview.