Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson


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Bryant was knocked out cold and didn't return (Photo by Rich Barnes, USAT)
Bryant was knocked out cold and didn't return (Photo by Rich Barnes, USAT)

SYRACUSE, NY – Zerrick Cooper took snaps with both the first-team and second-team this week, and when the game was on the line it was Cooper who got the call and not Hunter Johnson.

Starter Kelly Bryant was limited with a sprained ankle and he left the game with a concussion late in the first half, and head coach Dabo Swinney said the decision to start Bryant and not Cooper or Johnson was his and his alone.

Swinney said he thought Bryant was close enough to 100 percent to play effectively.

“He was. He was ready to go,” Swinney said. “He kind of tweaked his ankle on one of the plays early and then he got a concussion. He got slammed into the ground is why he had to come out of the game. He put his heart into getting ready. I hate that he got hurt, but I'm glad that we've got an open date and hopefully we can get him healed up and ready to go.”

Swinney then said there was no question that Cooper would get the rest of Friday’s snaps, saying Cooper has been a solid second on the depth chart.

“Zerrick is the second guy. He's been the second guy,” Swinney said. “I actually thought Zerrick played pretty good. He did some good things, but we didn't help him in a couple of situations. We had a couple of missed assignments and evaluate and move forward.”

Co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott backed up Swinney’s statement.

“Zerrick has been the second guy up since we named Kelly as the guy,” Elliott said. “That was the reaction after Kelly went out. He went in there and did a good job. In the flow of the game, he was managing the system so we kept him in there.”

Elliott then said that the staff knew Bryant would be limited in the run game.

“We were trying to move the pocket with him but you could tell that he wasn't quite himself,” Elliott said. “There were a couple of third downs that if Kelly's ankle isn't bothering him, he goes and gets those and we get into some shorter situations where we weren't able to convert. Anytime you have his ability to run, it definitely helps, but that's not going to be an excuse. Guys need to pick up the load and carry them.”

Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said the coaches trust Cooper.

“We've got a lot of faith in Zerrick. I really don't think it had a lot to do with that. Anytime you lose, you're not looking for excuses,” Scott said. “It was a lot more than just Kelly being out of the game. We've got to do a better job as coaches giving those guys some better opportunities versus what they were doing. Give Syracuse credit, their guys executed better. I felt like we still had a good shot with Zerrick. There's a lot more there than Kelly not being with us.”

Scott said Cooper has separated himself from Johnson.

“I think he's been more consistent. We've had all spring and fall camp,” Scott said. “Hunter has done a really good job as well. He's closing the gap. I think from everything we've seen from January til now, Zerrick was a little bit ahead. I think he did some good things at times. Being thrown out there in that environment and in that situation, he'll have plenty of things he can clean up just like all of the guys.”

As for Bryant, Scott said the Tigers should have still been able to run the ball even without the threat of Bryant’s running ability.

“Obviously, we knew he was coming back from an injury so we wanted to be smart with him,” Scott said. “That still, I don't think was the difference in the game. We should be able to run the ball without having to run the quarterback every time. In the big scheme things, we don't look at that as being a big deal.”


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spacer New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
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spacer the you’re stooopid
RU4GOD2®
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Clemson_country89
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BrabbTiger22
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jamesw1962
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Shawn Larson
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levester®
spacer The coaches know what they're doing
Felix2
spacer We saw what he could do in a game which should be the
Tiger5
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b2westfarm
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Rswanson
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Xenotiger
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Papal Tiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
jamesw1962
spacer Out of all the coaches on our staff
Clawing17
spacer You're basing that on the 5 or 6 possessions
josephg®
spacer Re: You're basing that on the 5 or 6 possessions
Clawing17
spacer Re: You're basing that on the 5 or 6 possessions
Clawing17
spacer HJ looked bad in the Spring Game, use another example***
CoolBreeze864
spacer Re: You're basing that on the 5 or 6 possessions
Rswanson
spacer We are not looking for excuses just because we lost
Pawsitive Force
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
edmaddict09
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ClemCE09
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jeancooper®
spacer The white guy is actually more mobile in this situation***
grrtiger16
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
JayTheHitManHart
spacer All I know is Hunter Johnson played better then Cooper ....
OhWiseOne®
spacer Re: All I know is Hunter Johnson played better then Cooper ....
GSCtiger
spacer Nope, HJ was laser timed 4.73***
CoolBreeze864
spacer Re: All I know is Hunter Johnson played better then Cooper ....
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: All I know is Hunter Johnson played better then Cooper ....
lextiger551
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
edmaddict09
spacer Here we are 3 years later and Dabo still hasn't learned his
Tiger Diesel®
spacer Re: Here we are 3 years later and Dabo still hasn't learned his
Clemson_country89
spacer Also
Tiger Diesel®
spacer Crazy how many things it took for Syracuse to win
Ucel74
spacer Coaches fear starting Johnson causes Lawrence to decommit?
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Coaches fear starting Johnson causes Lawrence to decommit?
Felix2
spacer Even if Johnson were to take us to the playoffs? Doubt it.
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer HJ did not win Elite 11 top QB out of luck
SocMan2®
spacer ^^needs to stay away from those recruiting sites^^***
josephg®
spacer Seriously???***
SocMan2®
spacer They weren't smart with his injury, he wasn't ready, and he
CM Shack
spacer Re: They weren't smart with his injury, he wasn't ready, and he
JayTheHitManHart
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
TigerByWater
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LWT
spacer We will be airing it out next year with TL as our starter.****
Carlsbad®
spacer Re: We will be airing it out next year with TL as our starter.****
LWT
spacer Re: We will be airing it out next year with TL as our starter.****
JayTheHitManHart
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harrisg
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kerigantoo®
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LKN Tiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
Eagle03®
spacer Blame Swinney and the coacehs, not the players
fuzzyduck
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rhettfla
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson
rhettfla
spacer If KB was my son.........
41rcook
spacer Re: If KB was my son.........
rhettfla
spacer Re: If KB was my son.........
41rcook
spacer Re: If KB was my son.........
rhettfla
spacer A little? He's not my son and I was livid!
ATL PAW MAN®
spacer I set the over/under at 80.
ClemsonTiger1988®
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agtiger69
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23BGraham6
spacer Hunter should have started over Cooper***
JumboTiger
spacer We have best coaches in country but they **
mjm
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Rswanson
spacer Let me see if I got this,
BethelBoy
spacer Re: Let me see if I got this,
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: Let me see if I got this,
mikeysan
spacer Re: Let me see if I got this,
essoclub_sae®
spacer QB road is leading to Hunter Johnson
BartBYOGTiger
spacer Re: New Story: Coaches detail why Bryant got the start, why Cooper came in over Johnson***
Sib1004
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Sib1004
spacer Canned excuse prepared for whichever game we played really flat
dkmoore1975
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3Tigerssofar
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Orange Lightning
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rhettfla
spacer "Put Luckie in, coach!"***
Fever®
spacer Re: "Put Luckie in, coach!"***
Purple Gunstock 15®
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Japruitt04
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