Wednesday notes: Swinney back to being a receivers coach


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Swinney helped out Jeff Scott's group Wednesday
Swinney helped out Jeff Scott's group Wednesday

CLEMSON – Once a receivers coach, always a receivers coach.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney spent extra time after Wednesday’s practice working with the wide receivers, the group he coached before taking over as interim head coach following Tommy Bowden’s departure.

The receiving corps has struggled through the season’s first two weeks, and Swinney said it was good to make sure the group got back to basics.

“It's been a really good week, just trying to create the eye intensity that you have to have. Just kind of back to the basics. I've been with those guys this week, and I've loved how they responded,” Swinney said. “There is pride in that group, and nobody needs to tell them they need to do a better job. We didn't have eight drops last year until the fifth game, and that was in a hurricane. And then we had eight drops in one game. We just have to become more consistent and when we do it kind of changes everything. It's going back to the basics and looking at some of the fundamental mistakes we've made and creating that confidence all over again.”

Swinney said spending time with each position group isn’t anything new, and that he wanted to lend receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott a hand on Wednesday.

“I am always grinding with those guys. Jeff does an unbelievable job and always has. But obviously he has coordinator duties, too, and one of the things I've always liked to do during our indie (individual) period is spend a little time there and spend time with the groups,” he said. “At times I'll go with the defense and get in the middle of that. I am always coaching, but this is a week where I really needed to get back. If they play great it's not because of me; it's because they got their mind right. But I felt like this is a week where I needed to jump in there with Jeff and help him and get back to some of the things we needed to do just from a drill standpoint and creating that eye intensity that it takes and the confidence.”

Injuries

“Mark Fields fell on his shoulder during kickoff coverage, but he practiced the whole practice. Xavier Kelly is doing good, really good. Austin (Bryant) is making strides day by day and we will keep going with that progress right there, kind of a daily update. I would say probably not (would Bryant play) for Georgia Tech. It's going to be close. But probably not. I think Louisville is a pretty strong possibility. Maybe if it was on Saturday it might have been closer for him. It's just literally day to day and he’s progressing pretty well. He needs to get a little bit of practice and get banged around a little bit. That part will come pretty quick, but we have to make sure he can cut and all of that.”

Ben Boulware’s progress

“He was out there sprinting today. I love Ben Boulware. He is such a grinder. He loves it. Blue collar, so selfless and just committed. He's doing great. We are going to at least let him go through warm-ups.”

Preparing for Georgia Tech

“We plan it well in advance. We have a plan of practice and the spring and fall camp. Last year we had the same experience, and it seems like every year we are on the road for the first conference game. I am not lobbying for a Thursday night game, but it sure gets old having to play them on the road. It's been a challenge, and they are a difficult opponent to prepare for just because of what they do schematically. It's hard, especially for our defense. But it's hard for them, too. They have a game Saturday, and then they have to turn around and prepare for Clemson.”

On ACC Championship Game moving from Charlotte, and his comments about playing on Pluto

“Is Pluto a planet? Did it make a comeback? Coach Spurrier retired, and Pluto is a planet. I have no idea. We just want to be in it. Wherever it is at, we will be glad to be there. We will host it here at Clemson; I would go for that. Columbia - that would be interesting. At least you can breathe in Columbia. I am sure they will get a plan figured out. We just want to be in the game.”

Tajh Boyd’s comments defending Swinney’s Tuesday sermon

“I didn't know he did that. I appreciate that. Any time you make statements people will agree with them or not. What matters to me is people who know me and what's in my heart and what the good Lord put in my heart. The people know who I am, know exactly what I meant. I didn't mean anything negative. It's a shame, but that's the world we live in.”


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