Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches


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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney throws a playful punch at assistant Bill Spiers Thursday
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney throws a playful punch at assistant Bill Spiers Thursday

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The only disappointment in the Big Easy to this point has been the weather.

We arrived in New Orleans late Tuesday night, and while a majority of our time has been spent working, we’ve still had the chance to get out and explore the city. Here are a few of the sights and sounds through the first two days.

*We were out with a group Wednesday evening that wound up at Café du Mond for beignets (they were amazing) and there was a group of Clemson football players in the corner. The group was led by Louisiana native Travis Etienne and appeared to be many of the team’s younger players. As they got up to leave, however, I noticed that had on an older player on hand – defensive end Clelin Ferrell. I don’t know if that was accidental or intentional, but it’s good to see an older player out with the younger guys.

*Thursday’s interview session was interesting. One media member who covers Clemson called the Alabama players “little Sabans” because of their bland non-committal answers, but it’s obvious this Bama team is focused on beating Clemson. From Jalen Hurts using Clemson celebrating as his phone lock screen to the offensive linemen talking about how they aren’t going to have fun in New Orleans, this team is here on a mission. It will be interesting to see how they react Monday night if they face early adversity.

*The media shuttle took us to the airport to meet the team Wednesday afternoon, and they got us there about 70 minutes before the plane actually landed. Eighty or so media members crowded into a tiny building at the end of the runway, and the place quickly became a little too stuffy for me. Even though the wind was howling and the temps were falling, I sat down on the steps to talk to a few photographers.

Behind me, two gentlemen from Alabama held a rather long conversation about Clemson (I always love these on bowl trips). The conversation centered on the audacity of the Tigers in daring to think they could beat Alabama again, and one man asked a simple question.

“What is the deal with Clemson? Where is the appeal? It’s not like that place is Tuscaloosa or anything. I know you’ve been there. What is the deal?” he asked.

His conversation partner told him that the best way to describe Clemson was to mention Auburn – a school with high hopes and money that occasionally has a good season. He echoed the sentiment that Clemson was indeed not quite as nice as Tuscaloosa, and then had the statement of the day.

“They just aren’t that talented, not talented like other teams Alabama has seen,” he said. “They have a few nice pieces, but that’s it. What they do have is a coach who has them believing they are better than they are, and that makes them dangerous. Imagine what he’s gonna do when Saban retires and he comes to Tuscaloosa.”

The things you hear.

*Clemson practiced at Tulane Thursday afternoon, and we were allowed to watch the first 15 minutes or so of the session.

This team is loose. Kelly Bryant and the usual cast of characters look like they are having a blast, and during the stretching exercises cornerback Trayvon Mullen appeared to talk some good-natured trash to Bryant. Bryant took it all in with a smile.

Swinney during the early part of Thursday's practice at Tulane

I wandered over to the wide receivers, and I have to admit, Tee Higgins continues to wow. He looks more comfortable than he did earlier in the season, and he has every tool it takes to be a dominant receiver. As I watched them run through drills, I thought about how Alabama will concentrate on Hunter Renfrow, Deon Cain, and Ray-Ray McCloud. Cain had a big play against the Tide last season, could Higgins have a similar impact Monday night?

*Alabama running back Damien Harris told the media Thursday that he doesn’t think Clemson’s defense was the reason Alabama struggled during the title game – it was all a lack of execution on the part of the Crimson Tide.

“I don’t really know if it was that much of what they did. I think we had a lot of miscommunication, a lot of lack of fundamental execution plays that caused us to have negative plays, whether it wasn’t blocking the right guy or taking the right step, getting beat inside out, things like that,” Harris said. “Again, I don’t really think it was that much of what they did. I thought we just had a lack of fundamental execution in that game.

“In the first half of the game last year we came out, we went up 14-0, we were playing well on offense, defense. In the second half we had a little bit of success, but it just wasn’t the same execution that we had in the first half. They outplayed us in the second half and were able to come out with a win.”

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Subject (Replies: 35) Author
spacer New Story: Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches
TigerNet News
spacer Only one way to stop that line of thought from Bama folks...
kbtiger®
spacer Re: Only one way to stop that line of thought from Bama folks...
9 Lives
spacer Re: Only one way to stop that line of thought from Bama folks...
CarolinaKudzu
spacer That has not worked with SC.***
tigerfan28173
spacer The Alabama cretins continue to disrespect us, even after we
76er®
spacer Re: The Alabama cretins continue to disrespect us, even after we
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Now, if they would just line up outside our locker room and
tigeron®
spacer Seems Mr. Hood is trying to get us fired up this morning...
TennesseeLadyTiger®
spacer Loose and confident is great
Roar Echoes
spacer Re: Loose and confident is great
alfatiger
spacer So they are like Gamecoots but with trophies.***
Baltimore Tiger®
spacer Re: So they are like Gamecoots but with trophies.***
TigerKAT84
spacer Re: Loose and confident is great
TigerKAT84
spacer Re: Loose and confident is great
Coothater
spacer Re: Loose and confident is great
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer I hope Bama players and fans keep talking just like that
Hi Cotton Tiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer LOL! That's gold, Jerry! Gold!
twill
spacer Re: New Story: Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches
tannybogus
spacer Re: New Story: Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches
CUAllTheWay®
spacer I graduated from Alabama Law this past May
Leadeath
spacer Re: I graduated from Alabama Law this past May
njones63®
spacer Clouded Thinking
CUatFike00®
spacer Re: Clouded Thinking
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer LOL at Tuscaloosa as some sort of desirable destination!!
Judge Keller
spacer Full set of teeth.
Salty55
spacer Re: Full set of teeth.
ddclemson
spacer Re: Full set of teeth.
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: New Story: Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches
CUAllTheWay®
spacer How about you take the gloves off and say what you mean?
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer I love the Tuscaloosa comments
Ucel74
spacer Re: New Story: Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches
jhop
spacer Re: New Story: Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches
Eagle03®
spacer Got to be a balance...***
tigeron®
spacer Re: New Story: Sights and Sounds of New Orleans: Tigers are loose as game approaches
dgcannon39
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