Dabo Swinney ACC teleconference transcript


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Audio of Dabo Swinney's teleconference (MP3 Format)


COACH SWINNEY: Good to be back with
y'all today. We've got another tough challenge this
week with this North Carolina team. They're a
very, very complete football team, probably as
good as anybody we've played, and really just a
play or two away from being 7 and 0, as well. Very
well coached; Coach Withers and his staff have
done a tremendous job.

Offensively they're very balanced and got
a good running game, good passing game. And
defensively it's a bunch of NFL guys running
around over there, and they've got a returner that
leads this league. So just a complete football
team.

But we're glad to be back at home this
week, and this is a big week for us. With that, I'll
take whatever questions you have.

Q. Just address the play of Adam
Humphries. Seems like a guy with all the great
talent, you brought in a wide receiver that may
have been under the radar a little bit and first
caught the coaches' eyes on special teams but
seems to be making key plays in a receiving
role, as well?

COACH SWINNEY: Yeah, he's a heck of
a player. All those freshman receivers that we
brought in are very good players, including the one
that we red shirted, Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
Fr. Wide Receiver
#81 6-5, 200
Isle of Palms, SC

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. We're
excited about Stanton, too. It's a really good
group. Adam was just tremendous all through
camp. We really initially wanted to try to redshirt
him. But he would just perform so well, we felt like,
man, this guy is going to help us win this year, right
now. So we've played him. And he's playing on
special teams, and he's made some critical plays
for us. We've just got a lot of confidence in he and
Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Fr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 205
Moore, SC

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and Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Fr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 205
Calhoun Falls, SC

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. That's our
three other freshmen that are playing outside of
Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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. But Martavis and Charone are
as talented as anybody in the country, as well.
Those guys are all making a contribution and just
going to continue to get better. But appreciate you
asking about Adam.

Q. With Adam was the main idea to red
shirt him just for special teams initially?

COACH SWINNEY: No, no, we decided to
play him because we felt like he could help us win
games at receiver, and he's been our second team
receiver since day one at what we call our two man
position behind Sammy. He's taken advantage of
his opportunities. But we've really mixed him in
more here these last couple games, and you'll
continue to see that, and it's because he's earned
it. He's a playmaker himself, and Adam, Charone
and Martavis, all three of those guys we feel like
are ready for bigger roles as we move forward.

Q. It seems like you guys have yet to
put together a complete game, even though
you're undefeated. I'm just wondering how
close you are to that.

COACH SWINNEY: Well, that's a good
point. We really have not put it all together yet,
and I'm anxious to see us do that. The closest
we've been was Boston College to be honest with
you. That's probably the closest we've been to
really, I mean, just putting it -- all three phases
together. We had a few mistakes that kept that
from happening, but again, that was the best film
from all three phases that we've had.

You know, we've just got to continue to
improve and keep learning from our film and our
mistakes. The thing I do like about our team is
they complement each other well. One week it's
been the defense, the next week it's been the
offense or the special teams like you saw this past
week. They're just finding ways in all three
phases, and to have a good year, that's what
you've got to do. But hopefully down the stretch,
as we really get going deep into this second half
here, we can become a little bit more of a complete
team.

Q. What's your take on the defense to
this point?

COACH SWINNEY: Well, they've played
really well the last three weeks up until Maryland. I
mean, our defense was -- man, outstanding, up at
Virginia Tech, and really, really good against BC
and did -- I thought really came on in the Florida
State game. But we obviously did not play well at
all up at Maryland, and you've got to give Maryland
some credit for that. They did a good job in getting
ready for us in a week's time, had a little bit of
unknown going into it, but I guarantee you that the
teams that play them from this point on, they've
seen plenty. That's a good player up there at
quarterback.

But we're just still a little bit of a work in
progress on that side, and we're still trying to
develop the depth. We've got a lot of guys that
play a lot of snaps, which is, if you've followed us
the last couple years, not something we like to do.
We like to rotate a lot of guys in there, especially
up front, but we're still developing some guys, and
so that's been a little different for us.

But I like our young secondary. I think
those guys are growing up and they're getting
better and better each week. Again, we'll learn
from our issues the other night and hopefully play
better here at home against North Carolina.

Q. Paul Johnson said this week that his
team had played a number of weeks in a row,
and he found that it was -- that he would really
have preferred an open date earlier in the
season. It looks as if you've played a number
of games in a row, too, and when you saw that
schedule before the season, did you worry that
your open date wasn't until November?

COACH SWINNEY: Well, I mean, there
wasn't any sense in worrying about it because it
wasn't going to change. But you have to be
conscious of the fact that there's a cumulative
effect of just the games and the practice, and it's
not just that we've played seven weeks in a row.
You've got three weeks of camp, too, so it's ten
weeks. You go ten straight weeks here with no
break. So what you have to do is be smart with
how you practice.

I've made two or three adjustments in our
routine the last couple of weeks trying to keep our
guys fresh and really watching the reps during
practice. I've cut some time off of our periods and
things like that, just to try to get us over the hump
here physically and mentally. I know our guys,
they'll go play hard. I don't have any issues with
that. They're going to play tough, they're going to
play hard. But you've got to be smart and try to
keep them as fresh as you possibly can. So we're
big into getting these guys in the cold tubs and
trying to talk to them about getting their rest and
eating the right things. All that stuff matters as you
get deep into the season.

Right now it's time for us to just grind.
We've had fall break this week, which could not
have come at a better time for us, so our guys got
a break from school Monday and Tuesday, and I
think that's really helped them. We probably had
the best Monday we've had all year this past
Monday, which was really good, and yesterday
was good.

But we've got a grind. We've got an open
date coming up after Georgia Tech, and then
hopefully we can kind of get everybody healed and
fresh and then make a stretch run.

Q. Talk about what you learned about
your team in the comeback win from down
35-17 in the third quarter on the road.

COACH SWINNEY: Well, I don't know
that I learned anything that I didn't already know.
What I saw was great leadership, but I've seen that
all year. I mean, we were down 14 twice to
Auburn, so you know, it's -- I've seen a lot of
resiliency with these guys on several different
occasions this year. And I think that's one of the
things that helped us the other night with the
schedule that we've played, the adversity we've
already had to deal with. I do think that that helped
them because they've kind of been in some tough
situations already, and they just keep playing.
But that's a great credit to the leadership
that we have. These guys are—they have a good
resolve to them, and they just don't quit. And they
feel like somebody is going to do something to get
us back in it. You never want to go in at halftime
down, but our guys know, listen, it's a four-quarter
game, and that's how it played out the other night.

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