Wednesday Practice Notes: Swinney loving the cold weather in Clemson


by - Senior Writer -
Swinney said the Tigers are prepared for the cold in Blacksburg. (Photo courtesy ACC)
Swinney said the Tigers are prepared for the cold in Blacksburg. (Photo courtesy ACC)

Dabo Swinney is thankful for the cold weather.

Clemson practiced for two hours outside Wednesday evening in preparation for this weekend’s game at Virginia Tech. No. 3 Clemson (8-1 overall, 7-1 ACC) can clinch a berth in the ACC Championship Game against Notre Dame with a win over the Hokies (4-5 overall, 4-4 ACC). Virginia Tech is on a three-game losing streak.

Swinney met with the media following Wednesday’s practice, and there are a few notes to pass along:

*Couple of good days of practice. Appreciates the cold weather this week so they can get out and prepare for the cold weather in Blacksburg.

*Said he is happy with the schedule and the fact that they don’t play on Dec. 12th. Said this was the original schedule and he is happy with it. This is game ten and wishes they had 11 but thankful for the chance to play the ten games.

*They have a chance to punch their ticket to Charlotte with a win but have to go out and do it and make sure they win.

*Defensive end Justin Foster is still moving in the right direction, but no guarantees on when or if he will play this week.

*Coach Swinney says Blacksburg is a great environment, one of the best in college football, and the fans are special there. One of the great environments in college football. Won’t be a lot of people there, but the Tigers are thankful they are playing football and they have to go win it.

*Ruke Orhorhoro will be able to play this week. Lannden Zanders is out this week but will be ready to go when the postseason comes along. Frank Ladson is day-to-day and Joseph Ngata is out. Blake Vinson is available.

*On defensive tackle Tre Williams, he had shoulder surgery and is out for the year. It was the same shoulder he hurt in high school but they are thankful he got a chance to play a little bit.

*He is sure that it is special when guys get a chance to go back home and play in their home state. He knows how special it is being from Alabama, never thought he would play Alabama and Auburn as much as he has, so he understands what it means to play these types of games.

*Started the game in a different defensive package last week – a Rabbit package – to get more pass rushers on the field against quarterbacks who can throw it and run it. They moved the defensive tackle out at times and moved Myles Murphy and Justin Mascoll inside at times.

*On evaluating cornerbacks, ball skills have become even more important. There is a lot of 7-on-7 tape that you can use to evaluate. The guys that Clemson recruits oftentimes don’t get a lot of balls thrown their way on defense.

*On Amari Rodgers, Swinney says he is an elite, elite player and will be drafted fairly high and will go and have a great career. Rodgers was a running back most of his career and came to camp and they saw him at wideout and he reminded Swinney of former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith. Has great influence in his routes and understands the defense. He has great body control and he is powerful and explosive and has worked so hard on cone work and ball work, and now the game has slowed down him for him and the ball really sticks to his hand. He sees everything and his confidence has gone higher and higher and higher, and he and Cornell Powell think they are going to catch everything. He is a combination of Adam Humphries and Hunter Renfrow.

*Wide receiver Drew Swinney is healing up after collarbone surgery. Today was a better day for him. He has ten screws in his collarbone.

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