Elliott says Tigers have to embrace being the target


by - Senior Writer -
Tony Elliott says the Tigers have to embrace being the target
Tony Elliott says the Tigers have to embrace being the target

Maintain the hunger. Embrace the target.

Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott understands that the Tigers will have doubters heading into the 2019 season. After all, Clemson has won two of the last three National Championships and are predicted by many to sleepwalk through the regular season portion of the schedule.

As a coach, Elliott understands that keeping someone motivated – even yourself – is a hard thing to do. How does Elliott motivate himself? He takes his cue from head coach Dabo Swinney.

“I know that Coach Swinney is a visionary. Just like he said a few years ago, this is going to be the best decade in Clemson football,” Elliott said. “And it's become the best decade in Clemson football. So with his vision and his passion and his commitment to remaining true to who he is, the sky is the limit for this program. The biggest thing for all of us is just to make sure that we retain that same level of commitment to being ourselves. The hardest thing to do in any industry is to maintain success.

“When you are chasing success there is a certain level of commitment. And even for me personally, if you set goals and then you accomplish one of those goals, then you are like, 'that is not quite what I thought it was going to be.' So how do you recharge and refocus to go chase something else. I think that will be the biggest challenge going forward for everybody is just maintaining that hunger and drive like you've never accomplished anything.”

Elliott also knows the Tigers will be the target of every team on the schedule and will have to go into the season realizing the 2019 team has yet to win a game.

“We're not trying to create a thought in your mind that may not already exist, but again, here we understand how big the target is on our back, but the mentality here is to embrace the target, so we don't tell them about pressure," Elliott said. "We understand that, that there are rankings, and it's that time of year where everyone's going to be talking, and that's for everybody else to be talking. We understand, and we know what the formula is for success.

"It goes back to starting over. We haven't done anything in 2019. We've got to start over. We're going to start here on August 1st, and we're going to get what we earn, and what we earn is what we put on the field, so we don't talk about pressure. We focus on being the best version of ourselves and that transpires into being the best team, so ultimately we just focus on being the best version of ourselves."

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