Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start


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Swinney is 6-6 as the head football coach but 4-2 at Death Valley.
Swinney is 6-6 as the head football coach but 4-2 at Death Valley.

CLEMSON – “No excuses. None. There are no excuses for this football team losing up at Maryland.”

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney sat down with TigerNet after practice on Wednesday and talked about the recent loss at Maryland and the season to date, and his answers reflect both his passion and desire to get the 2009 season turned around.

In talking about the Maryland loss, Swinney said that the Tigers lacked execution at key points in the game, and that the onus goes back to the coaching staff.

“We just have to coach them better, pure and simple,” Swinney said. “We had wide receivers that catch the ball during the week drop balls, we had five pre-snap penalties, and we had missed tackles and a lack of focus at times. And with all of that, at the end, we had a chance. On the play to C.J. [a called screen in which Spiller slipped], we had the right call, we had two blockers out in front, and there was nobody between him and the end zone.

“It was a touchdown. And he slipped. But honestly, we should have never even been in that position that late in the game. We had too many missed opportunities in the game. Had we focused more early in the game, the outcome would have been a lot different. We have to get that fixed, and trust me; we are going to get that fixed.”

The Tiger offense has generated most of the heat, and with good reason. The Tigers have just two offensive touchdowns in their last 13 quarters of play, and the lack of a sustained drive to score touchdowns is of great concern as Clemson heads into the final stretch of the season.

One reason for the lack of points on offense is the lack of production from a young wide receiving corps, and it has been suggested that the effort to get the ball into the hands of playmakers C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford, and as a result a lack of touches by the group, has halted their growth.

“Some of it is that,” Swinney said. “A lot of it is just poor execution more than anything. At Maryland, we had a young wideout who had practiced great all week, and then he dropped two balls and had a holding call. That is frustrating. You have to go back to the little things, and focus on the execution. Yeah, we have a lot of young guys, and we have to do a better job of giving them more opportunities.”


Swinney has come under fire for taking too much of a hand in the play-calling, and that the efforts of Swinney trying to co-coordinate with offensive coordinator Billy Napier are hurting the effort, but Swinney says he has very little input in the actual play calls.

“I am not calling plays,” Swinney said. “Occasionally, I might get asked to make a suggestion, but I am more in trying to manage the game. It might be a situation where I am asked, in a certain spot, do we want to be more aggressive or more conservative, that kind of thing. But I am not calling plays.”

With the 2-3 start the Tigers have suffered, Swinney said that all thoughts about bowl games and ACC Championships have been replaced by a much different mentality.

“Right now, we just have to focus on the next play, not even the next game,” he said. “Just the next play. And it really is that simply. Offensively, we have got some really good, but young, players, in spots, including quarterback. They just have to learn to focus on the next play, and execute the play that is called. We have done a lot of things wrong, but we still have been in a position to win.”

Swinney said that he wanted to come in and change the culture that had permeated the program over the previous 10 seasons, and he is seeing the results of that culture change, even though it is not showing up in the win column.

“We just have to learn to win, to have a commitment to a standard of excellence in every practice and on every play,” Swinney said. “Until we do that, it is hard to play winning football. But that all goes back to coaching, and if we improve just a little bit, we will start winning. We are in this to win, and that is what we will do.”

Swinney said that he remembers when head basketball coach Oliver Purnell took over the program, and he remembers watching Purnell’s first team struggle through a 10-18 season.

“I can remember going into Littlejohn and watching that team play,” Swinney said. “And even though they weren’t winning a lot that first season, you could still see the difference in that team from the team that won more games the year prior to that. You could see the progress, and you knew it was going to turn around for them. We can already see that kind of progress on this football team. We are more physical, and we are starting to do things the right way. It hasn’t translated to the scoreboard yet, but it will.”

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Subject (Replies: 49) Author
spacer Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
B-Meist®
spacer I hope he can accomplish what he says.
Zeus
spacer All the 'good' changes were on Defense***
deleted
spacer I think he nailed it pretty good with that comment about...
Clemfan3829®
spacer I'm going to go on record as saying...
tiger6
spacer but some of us, oh never mind***
cuvatiger®
spacer That reminds me of the line in "Men in Black" when Will
civil engr
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
jpo2269
spacer Please explain...***
cutgrfan®
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
cubobby80
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
leftie
spacer So last year we complained about not getting the ball to
RC Tiger
spacer ditto:
DGUARCHITECT
spacer It's a rebuilding year
BentZero
spacer That is crap...next year it will be Spiller, Ford, Sapp are
tigernj
spacer We may have skill players but majority can't perform when it
Clemfan3829®
spacer Skill players aren't the answer to consistency and getting
RC Tiger
spacer Re: Skill players aren't the answer to consistency and getting
Dugatiger®
spacer Agreed. OL has been the problem ever since TB became
1Tiger1
spacer Exactly. There are always plenty of excuses for our
1Tiger1
spacer Rebuilding with the players he recruited? That's funny.***
WALLACE
spacer ??? rebuilding. If this year was a rebuilding year, next
tigertrain®
spacer At this point, what more do you want from Coach Swinney?
gatecitytiger
spacer Re: At this point, what more do you want from Coach Swinney?
cubobby80
spacer Ever consider that just maybe
Watcher®
spacer Well said!
Watcher®
spacer Re: At this point, what more do you want from Coach Swinney?
clemsongradanddad
spacer No excuses... except to blame the players instead of coaches
Razzmatazz
spacer He realizes excuses would exacerbate his problems.***
Louis_Cypher
spacer Doesn't mean anything until we see results
Tiger04DMD
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
cubobby80
spacer Since when does signaling in plays mean you're calling plays
Judge Keller
spacer What???
Xrugger
spacer There are a few guys simultaneously signalling in the plays.
Razzmatazz
spacer So you can read hand signals?????
Watcher®
spacer Dabo please go to Napier for advice
74TIGER
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
LouieBouy82
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
bubba1239®
spacer 18 - 20 year olds???
Xrugger
spacer Children
CUsouix®
spacer .... Hire a real OC this off-season Dabo***
CUwRx
spacer Yes, PLEASE!!!!***
DV_1981
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
cubobby80
spacer Dabo compares himself to Oliver Purnell?
Tiger_Tim
spacer that comment sounded like Bowden. Purnell started with 0
tigertrain®
spacer The only thing I thought about that was OP had a lot less
MackDaddy®
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
SouthLowerUG
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
cubobby80
spacer Re: Swinney makes no excuses for 2-3 start
rkantor
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