Swinney Wednesday teleconference transcript

Swinney Wednesday teleconference transcript

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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney held court on the ACC coaches teleconference Wednesday morning.

Swinney breaks down what makes this team different, as well as the make-up of star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and more.

Check out the full transcript below:


COACH SWINNEY: We're excited about being back at home this week. It is senior day for us and military appreciation day. We've got a great military heritage here at Clemson. And so we always look forward to this day. And certainly with this senior class, this is the biggest senior class I've had, just unbelievably accomplished group. A bunch of graduates, and just great young men that we're going to honor individually coming down the hill this week.

So, excited about that. And ironically they'll have an opportunity, if we can win it will be their 51st win, which will be an ACC record for this group. Proud of this group and again looking forward to honoring them.

And then Duke, this is really going to be a big challenge. They're 7-3. Beat Northwestern at Northwestern who clinched the division in the Big Ten.

I think this quarterback is as good as there is in the country. And really impressed with him. I think he's probably going to be one of the top two or three quarterbacks taken in the draft. But Coach Cuts has done an unbelievable job with this football team. And I know that we're going to be challenged in a big way and are going to have to play at a very high level to have a chance to come out of it with a win.

So we're excited about it. And with that I'll take your questions.

Q. What makes Dexter Lawrence such an exceptional defensive lineman? And is it his agility that maybe most stands out among his qualities?

COACH SWINNEY: Well, I think it's the combination of his agility and size. There's very few guys that are 345 pounds that have the body composition that he has. He's 345 but he is a muscle. And his composition is really good. And then you couple that with his unique agility, ability to change direction, just strength, makes him really, really special.

And then he's a high character young man that just plays with a tremendous motor and effort. And so those are a lot of great characteristics. Certainly his measurables, but I think it's his immeasurables that make him special.

Q. Obviously you've had some excellent teams in recent years. But have you learned this year, are you better than you were in recent years in any certain area?

COACH SWINNEY: Well, I think we're just a more experienced team. Coming into the season, it's one thing, on paper, I felt like this would be the deepest and most experienced team that we had coming in. But that doesn't always equate to performance. But these guys have done a great job to this point. And I think that has proven to be the case.

And certainly we've been able to play a lot of people and we've been able to really use our depth through these 10 games. And I think hopefully it will pay off for us as we get down the home stretch here.

Q. When you're game-planning for Duke or for any opponent, in your opinion, is it more important to concentrate on what you do best and see if they can stop it, or do you have to concentrate on adjusting to stop them to see what you can do to stop them from doing what they do best?

COACH SWINNEY: I think it's a combination of both of those things. I think at the end of the day you always start with who you are and what you do, and you study how they defend those things or how they attack those things based on game tape and all that in the previous games. And then you formulate your plan.

But, yeah, you're not going to change who you are from week-to-week, but there are game plan adjustments and things like that that you have to tweak, or maybe as you study the opponent you realize that you might have to feature some other things more in your package than maybe something that you did last week against a different style of play. If they're going to be more of a man team or more of a zone team, then you're going to call some plays differently. But it's all within your system.

So at the end of the day, regardless of what you do, it still comes down to being able to do what you do better. Blocking, tackling. Just execution. But you gotta be aware of what they do so you can position your players to have a chance to be successful.

Q. Let's talk about the military appreciation day. I know I talked to you about it last year. Just refresh everybody here on the call about what you guys do for military appreciation day?

COACH SWINNEY: Yeah, it's a great event here. We play in Memorial Stadium. And right across from where the rock is where we enter is the Scroll of Honor and that's a memorial for all of our veterans that were lost in war. And Clemson was a military school, all the way until 1955, I believe. And in fact I think only Texas A&M had more officers in World War II than Clemson University.

So just a deep heritage here and something that we take a lot of pride in this day and just the pageantry that we try to instill and it's a lot of fun. A lot of fun. We won't be able to have the fly-over this year because it's at night. But there will still be a lot of veterans coming back and they, all throughout the game, they do a great job of capturing the essence of the day and the tradition of our university.

Q. A question about Daniel Jones, what do you see getting ready for him, do you think he's an NFL-type quarterback next year?

COACH SWINNEY: I don't think there's any doubt about it. To be honest with you, I haven't really studied him much prior to this game. Just because we haven't played Duke in a while. And just haven't studied him a lot closely. But as I watched him, man, oh man, not only is he going to be a pro, he's going to be a high pick. This guy can flat out play, incredible presence in the pocket. He's big and strong. He can fly. You know, he just pulls away from people. He rushed for 180 yards last week and can make every throw. He makes some really, really tight throws against contested coverage. And I can't imagine that he's not going to be one of the top quarterbacks to be drafted.

(Transcript per the ACC)

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