CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Swinney sees opportunity to 'widen the gap' on CFB with Clemson's team culture

Swinney sees opportunity to 'widen the gap' on CFB with Clemson's team culture


by - Staff Writer -

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is busier than ever. So much so he's had to start telling pro teams and other outlets "no" on Zoom calls and the like for his advice and encouraging words.

"I am Zoomed out," Swinney told The Roar's Out of Bounds show Tuesday. "Facetimed out. I've just had it. I just want to high-five somebody or hug them. It's just crazy. We're doing everything. To be honest with you, I'm busier now than if we weren't dealing with this because we're just on the phone all the time."

That, however, wasn't before Swinney bragged on his improved jumpshot now to D'Angelo Russell in a call with the Minnesota Timberwolves recently.

"We've had so many...(of) these professional developments and a couple of them were kinda fun but I finally had to say I can't do any of them any more," he said. "It's just overwhelming...I guess they just think we're sitting around on our fingers. But it's just not the case. We're wide-open."

Swinney told Qualk and Kelly that his spring exit meetings with players have taken a lot longer now -- well over a month since in-person meetings with his team. With eight hours a week allowed now by the conference, they are also having team video calls as a group, offense and defense and in position segments. He is also on weekly calls with ACC coaches and sub-committees and recruiting has picked up with his coaches able to recruit their regional schools virtually now.

This is the last week of school for the Tigers before exams start next week and Swinney says his team is in a good place.

"When we all get back, we have a chance to really be better and have more appreciation and be more connected to our family -- to our God," Swinney said. "And maybe get some things done that we have always wanted to get done and hopefully our culture is gonna really shine through during this time. I do think teams with great culture have a chance to widen the gap. That's how I've challenged our team and our guys have done an awesome job. The leadership has been great.

"We're still very connected even though we're apart and at some point we're going to get back together and if they're doing what they're supposed to be doing from a strength-and-conditioning standpoint -- we'll have a chance to hit the ground running."

Swinney believes there's an opportunity for his team to be as ready from a mental standpoint as ever going into next season.   

"We're having an offensive team meeting and a defensive team meeting and our segment meetings," Swinney said. "That's good because they have to be there. They have to show up. They have to be locked in. They get to see them and it's interactive. We make them talk and answer questions and draw stuff up and so forth. That's been really good because I think from a football knowledge standpoint, we've got a chance to really improve...

"Because this time of year, we're not able to meet with them football-wise. So typically that's the biggest area to improve is the football-knowledge part, but the type of meetings we're getting -- we have a chance from a knowledge standpoint to be a lot further along than we would normally be. I'm excited about that."

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