Swinney says defense now tackling in practice

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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said Wednesday that he made a change in Clemson’s practice routine last week – the defense did live tackling on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Clemson’s defense has struggled with tackling for a few years now, and many have wondered when the Tigers would go away from the ‘thud’ and actually simulate live game action. The answer – last Tuesday and Wednesday, and it was repeated this week.

Thud tackling is where the defender simply wraps up the ball carrier, but both players stay on their feet. Starting last week, Swinney allowed the defenders to take the offensive players to the ground.

“I would say I probably made a mistake,” Swinney said. “Ninety-nine percent of college teams and 100 percent of NFL teams don’t go live during the season. You are full-speed, but you thud people up and stay on your feet. Last year, we had a bunch of veteran guys that knew how to play the game up front on both sides. This year, I felt like the only way we were going to get better was to simulate the game speed in practice and to just go live and tackle to the ground and try to fix some of our problems.

“And create some confidence – I thought we had a confidence problem as far as finishing some plays. Not treating them like a veteran group, which they aren’t. At some point, you have to realize there are some diminishing returns with that. I felt that with last week and with the open date coming up, we would hold our breath and go through it. We have improved, and I definitely think it helped us last week. I don’t think there is any question about it – I think we tackled better.”

Swinney says he wishes he had made the decision to tackle sooner, even though the Tigers will likely scale back on live tackling drills in coming weeks.

“If I had been a little smarter, we would have done it earlier,” he said. “But, better late than never. And we’ve been lucky, and nobody has gotten hurt. If you go out there and get a great player hurt, you beat yourself up on that. But I felt like we needed to take that risk and let them see that game-speed on the practice field. They have been engaged this week and it has been good.”

*Swinney said he was also pleased to hear the ACC’s announcement that the conference would not move to nine conference games next season.

“I think this is great for us and great for our conference,” Swinney said. “With our continued rivalry with South Carolina as an annual non-conference game, and Notre Dame playing each ACC school twice in a six-year period, it was going to be difficult to keep the door open to play two-game series like we have had recently with Auburn and will have next year with Georgia.

“This will also give us flexibility in our schedule and to have seven home games going forward. That is very important for our community from an economic standpoint as well. I am glad we will continue to play eight conference games a year.”

*The Tigers are fairly healthy, but running back D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS So. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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is still battling a sore shoulder, and Swinney called Howard “pretty questionable” for this weekend’s game against Georgia Tech. Swinney said that center Dalton FreemanDalton Freeman
Gr. Center
#55 6-5, 265
Pelion, SC

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[thumb] has practiced all week and should be able to play Saturday.

*He said he still hasn’t made a decision on who will handle kickoffs. “We have another day tomorrow, but we will run one of them out there.”

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Subject (Replies: 57) Author
Front Page Story: Swinney says defense now tackling in practice
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney says defense now tackling in practice
^^^ what he said^^^^
sgt tiger®
Re: ^^^ what he said^^^^
I've been saying all summer that 2013 is going to be a
Tiger Woods
We may as well toughen up now on ourselves.
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney says defense now tackling in practice***
Did they tackle in practice during the 80s?***
Danny's players said that practice was tougher than games.***
For the most part, that was universally true in all levels
civil engr
Re: Did they tackle in practice during the 80s?***
A friend of mine tweeted, "Wish he would have allowed them
El Swann®
with friends like that who needs enemies! just kidding-
sgt tiger®
Hate to say it,but....
Prime T. Tiger
Re: Hate to say it,but....
What is the saying? You play like you practice.
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney says defense now tackling in practice
is anyone sick? how can you not ask that after last week?
I'll show my ignorance, but i'm shocked
Re:Dabo's 99% on College Teams not Tackling live is BS
Re:Dabo's 99% on College Teams not Tackling live is BS
sgt tiger®
Hopefully this will lead them to tackling in GAMES
That is what I love about this guy. He has no problem
Re: well apparently he does
I think that he knew that we are not a deep team and
It's a sin to lose a player in practice.....
You almost never see anyone get hurt making a tackle
Train as u Fight!
I tackled in high school. Only rule we had in high school
485 wins says otherwise
^^^ did it w/o SEC speed.... amazing.***
Dr Claw
Re: 485 wins says otherwise
485 DIVISION III wins. Not exactly like tackling Mark Ingram***
I think if I coached for 64 years I'd manage that many wins***
Anyone who watched Ford’s teams could easily
don't want to slam the program or the staff....but
You cannot and win big games ... But Dabo has seen the light
Re: You cannot and win big games ... But Dabo has seen the light
He says Alabama "thuds" as well as 99% of college football..
Re: kind of long response
definitely what we have needed
We had more scholarships then too.***
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER - Tiger Defense should improve
Excellent! I wonder if Venables played a big role in this?
Judge Keller
Only took 3.5 yrs & 2 DCs to learn. Nice on-the-job-training
Re: Only took 3.5 yrs & 2 DCs to learn. Nice on-the-job-training
I don't think they're gonna do live tackling with the first
YOU want a "gut-feel" HC. I want a steely wise Saban-like HC
Razz I'm suuuure that 'ol Saban was letting
Re: Razz I'm suuuure that 'ol Saban was letting
Train has left the station. we'll send you a postcard. -1.***
My word you're out of touch with reality....
Lol do you write for Shakin the Southland?
LOL. Dabo fixed several mistakes STS called out for years!
Made a Mistake
Seems like we have injuries from practice every year
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney says defense now tackling in practice
They better hope their 'roid supply wasn't from Nashville.***

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