Swinney talks further about Reader, who will step into that spot
|Tuesday, August 25, 2015 7:38 PM- -|
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile ran by the Clemson media contingent following Tuesday’s practice yelling “no comment” as he ran towards Memorial Stadium, and head coach Dabo Swinney Dabo Swinney
View Full Profile wasn’t in the mood to do much more.
The school released the news Tuesday afternoon that senior defensive tackle
D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Defensive Tackle (2012 - 2015)
#48 6-2, 325
View Full Profile was going to take some time away from football for personal reasons, and Swinney bristled when he was pushed about whether it was really for personal issues or disciplinary reasons.
Swinney started by saying the timing of the decision – 11 days before the season opener - was all on Reader and not the coaching staff.
“That's really nothing to do with me. That's on him,” Swinney said. “At the end of the day, the timing of things are never good when you're a football player, football coach or whatever, especially in the season, but at the end of the day these are still people. They are real people with real problems and lives and they don't always make good decisions. Sometimes they have problems, but this is a decision that he's made to kind of step away for a little bit, and see if he can get himself better with the issues he's dealing with. We're moving forward just like an injury. It's next man up.”
He then said that the coaches will support Reader throughout the process.
“We're just here to support the players. I've always said I'd rather lose trying to do things right than to win not doing it right,” Swinney said. “That won't change. We're fortunate that we've got good players. We'll support D.J. the best we can and hopefully he'll be back with us at some point. I have no idea, but that's not my focus. My focus is on this team and making sure that we're ready to go. We've got
Christian WilkinsChristian Wilkins
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#42 6-5, 305
View Full Profile and Rod Byers and Jabril RobinsonJabril Robinson
RS Fr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-3, 255
View Full Profile and Albert HugginsAlbert Huggins
Fr. Defensive Line
#67 6-3, 280
View Full Profile and Scott PaganoScott Pagano
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-3, 295
View Full Profile . We've got a great group of guys and we'll be ready to play.”
Swinney added that he thinks the team will be ready to play once the season starts, but also told the media he wouldn’t hesitate to make tough decisions.
“This football team is ready to play. My job is to always maintain discipline within the program and I'll do that and if it means letting a guy go or sitting a guy down, we'll handle that,” he said. “I'm the only one that can make those decisions. I'm very confident in where we are from that standpoint. Nothing has changed. I love our team. I love our personnel and we'll be ready to play on September 5th.”
It was at that point that a reporter once again asked if the Reader decision had anything to do with discipline and Swinney reiterated his earlier point and said he would only discuss players that were currently with the team.
“This is a decision he made for some personal things that he's dealing with. There's nothing else to say,” he said. “I'm not going to answer any more questions about D.J. Reader. I put a statement out. Don't ask me another question about him. I'm going to talk about the guys that are here on this team. Period. The end. Y'all want to talk about Christian or Huggins or Pagano? Those are the guys we're going to talk about. All of them other guys that aren't here. That's not who we're focused on. I get it. I've answered your questions. I've made a statement. There isn't anything else to say.”
He was asked if he was frustrated with the decisions some players have made over the summer and he said he thought the team has had a great summer.
“I think it's been a great three or four months. You've got a guy that gets in trouble and gets kicked off the team,” Swinney said. “That's one guy in 115 players. You've got a guy that goes pro, who did pretty good the other night. I was pretty impressed with him at left tackle. You've got another guy that gets in a bad situation. We've got a lot of guys who've had great summers and a great three or four months. It's unfortunate that you have a few guys who don't do the right thing and all of a sudden you've had a bad summer.
“That's not the case at all. We've had a great summer. This football team is focused. This football team is ready to play. My job is to always maintain discipline within the program and I'll do that and if it means letting a guy go or sitting a guy down, we'll handle that. I'm the only one that can make those decisions. I'm very confident in where we are from that standpoint. Nothing has changed. I love our team. I love our personnel and we'll be ready to play on September 5th.
Swinney was asked who would be in line to replace Reader, and he said there would be a competition to see who gets the starting nod.
“We'll let these guys compete. It's between Pagano, Wilkins and Byers,” he said. “Those three guys will compete for that next spot. We feel good about the work that we've gotten out of
Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 295
View Full Profile . They're all going to play. That position, we're in pretty good shape. We've got some guys that have earned the opportunity to jump in there and play.
“He's [Robinson] just got to go play. He's a young guy who's very talented and has a bright future. He's just never played a snap. He's got to go get on tape and have a little success and some failures. Pagano has played. He has some experience and I think he's ready to go. Christian and Huggins and Jabril and those guys, they haven't played. We'll find out more. This time last year Artavis [Scott] hadn't played. Deshaun [Watson] had never played. We'll be alright. They're good players and by the end of the year they'll be veteran players for us.”