Swinney defends Artavis Scott: "He’s had a great year"


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Scott has been another excellent playmaker from Florida

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney held his weekly press conference on Tuesday and had some frustrations after a reporter asked him about Artavis Scott's dip in production from last season. Scott has 38 receptions for 329 yards and three touchdowns this season with a stable of talented playmakers to help carry the burden of the high octane offense. In 2015, he had 93 catches for 901 yards and six scores in 15 games.

"I don’t understand why y’all would ask that question," Swinney said. "I really don’t. He’s the second-leading receiver on the team. How many catches does he have? I think he’s second on the team. He’s got 38. You know how many the leading receiver from Pitt’s got? Twenty-something, their leading receiver. Why would we even ask that question? Trying to create some drama? Oh, so ‘Artavis, are you disappointed your numbers are down?’ Is that how the question’s asked? That’s baloney. That’s what that is. That’s trying to create some drama. ‘Are you disappointed your numbers are down?'"

Swinney pointed that Scott is second on the team in receptions with 38 this season.

“His numbers ain’t down," Swinney said. "How about the fact he’s got 38 catches? He’s the second-leading receiver at Clemson. That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t understand why we ask that question. It’s like we don’t have any drama, so we want to create some. ‘Are you disappointed?’ Don’t put words in his mouth and lead him down that path. Artavis is as committed and as good a leader we’ve got on this team. Wayne Gallman would like to get 30 carries a game, too. Is that going be the next one? ‘Wayne, are you disappointed you only got ten carries last week? Do you want to get 30?’ I don’t get that stuff.

Swinney understands that with only one football with a multitude of playmakers on the team, there will be games where some players will not be as featured.

“How about let’s celebrate the team. We’ve got a bunch of good players. Everybody wants to touch the ball more. There’s one ball. Good lord. How about let’s talk about how good he’s done with the opportunities. How about the fact he’s played slot, he’s played this, he’s jumped in at punt return. He’s done a little bit of everything. He made the biggest play in the Louisville game that you could possibly have, on the kick return. This kid’s a great football player. He ain’t had a down year, and I don’t want that rhetoric out there. He’s had a great year. A great year. Not a down year. It’s not about that. It ain’t about that. It doesn’t matter.

Swinney has several players that deserve playing time including Ray Ray McCloud III and Hunter Renfrow too.

“Everybody’s got opportunities. Ray-Ray was a true freshman last year. So Ray-Ray doesn’t deserve to play? What do we do, leave him on the bench? He’s pretty good, too. Last year, Ray-Ray was a true freshman learning how to play, and Artavis was a veteran who knew how to play. Now we’ve got two veterans that deserve to play, and they get opportunities to touch the ball.

“(Hunter) Renfrow, he’s been pretty good. How many catches does he got? Probably less than them guys. ‘Renfrow, are you going to transfer after the year? You only had 20 catches.’ I just don’t like that. It drives me nuts. We’re trying to create some kind of drama on a football team where there isn’t any.”

Swinney is definitely a player's coach for always sticking up for his players.

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