Swinney: Tigers Getting Closer and Healthier

by - Senior Writer -
Quarterback Willy Korn will be out of practice this week but might be ready for Boston College.

CLEMSON -- Clemson interim head coach Dabo Swinney met with the press for the first time since last Saturday's loss at home to Georgia Tech, but did mention that he thought the team held up rather well considering the happenings in and around Tiger Town the prior five days.

"There was total chaos rampant through the halls, and you have a game to be played," Swinney said. "There was division here. There was division in a lot of ways. And my number one job was to bring this football team together and make them a team.

"I hoped I could get it done by Saturday, and I'm pleased with what I saw. This team is absolutely closer than it was at this time last week. They got their eyes back on playing football. Guys just seemed to be flying around. Defensively they were swarming to the ball. Offensively, we played with lot more purpose."

Swinney has also taken some heat for his post-game comments on Saturday, in which he mentioned that he did not care what the final score was. When prodded about those comments by a Clemson beat reporter, Swinney tried to explain his reasoning.

"Let me tell you something - losing will never be accepted with me or at Clemson, and that's the bottom line. I just felt like Saturday we accomplished a tremendous amount. And those kids, (with) what they had been through, there was no way I was going to sit there and allow those kids to be called losers. We got better at a lot of little things that are going to lead to big things, and that's what I'm excited about."

Swinney was also able to give the media an injury update, and he mentioned that quarterback Cullen Harper's surgery on his shoulder Sunday was successful and he should be ready for Boston College.

"I think it (the surgery) was not as intrusive as they thought, and it was really nothing but cleaning up fragments, so they did not have to mess with anything else," he said. "I saw Cullen earlier, and he is fired up and ready to go, and should be ready for practice tomorrow."

Swinney also said that running back C.J. Spiller, who has missed the last six quarters with a hamstring injury, might be ready for Boston College, but the coaching staff will have to see how performs in practice over the next week.

Defensive tackle Rashad Jackson, who has been out since the preseason with a knee injury, is also expected to return. Quarterback Willy Korn, who made his first start Saturday but had to leave with a bone bruise to his shoulder, will be out of practice this week but might be ready for the week of Boston College. Swinney even said that he wouldn't rule out Korn and Harper both playing against the Eagles.

Swinney also said that while he doesn't foresee any major changes personnel-wise, he said that there will be open competition and he has encouraged his staff to play "the best guy."

"One thing I want is competition," he said. "There is no job out there that is unchallenged, and I want everybody to compete. We are going to create competition, but I don't foresee any major changes. But we have to get better in punting, that is for sure."

On the much-maligned offensive line, Swinney said that he has seen some of the film, and was pleased with their overall effort.

"I thought they played pretty good," Swinney said of the line. "We had some MA's (missed assignments), and we gave up some big pressures. We had some pressure on the one that got Willy hurt. I thought we did a good job of covering guys up. I thought they did a pretty good job under the circumstances."

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