Dabo weighs in on Morris
What can you tells us about coach Morris' situation at this point?
Swinney: Nothing, other than he had a good interview with the AD from Texas Tech. Hopefully, it works out. It would be a great situation for him. If not, he's got a great situation here. That's really all there is to it. Hopefully, all that stuff will be resolved here, sometime in the near future, one way or the other.
Has he gotten any indication, when?
Swinney: That's all stuff, I'm sure, that they've discussed. We're just kind of doing what we do here. I can't imagine it won't drag on for too long. They're pretty dialed in on their guys. I think they'll make a decision pretty soon, whether it's today, this weekend, I don't know.
Have they offered him the job?
Swinney: No, I don't believe they've offered him the job, not at this point.
You've probably anticipated this.
Swinney: Yeah. When you have good coaches, first of all, you want your coaches to have opportunities to advance their careers when they present themselves. He's a quality coach. That's why I hired him. He's done a great job here. If the right opportunity presents itself, that'll be a great situation, same thing with other guys. We've got a bunch of good coaches on this staff. That's kind of the way it is.
How do you keep this from being a distraction?
Swinney: It's not a distraction at all. We're trying to get ready. We have our meetings. We have a great practice planned, as far as just focusing on the steps you have to take to get the end result that you want, which is to try to win the bowl game. That's what we all want to do. There's things that you've got to do to allow yourself a chance for that to happen.
If he gets the job, he might have to leave before the bowl game…
Swinney: Those are all things -- we don't sit around worry about what ifs. We're just focused on trying to have a good practice today. That's all we're focused on today.
How are things coming along with the search for a new defensive backs coach?
Swinney: Good. I could hire somebody today. Or I could hire somebody after the bowl game, or somewhere in between. Definitely will have that done by the time we get back together as a team after the bowl game…we'll have all that resolved by then. No shortage of great candidates. That's the blessing of being at Clemson, because the environment we've created here, a lot of good people want to come work here. That's a compliment to our program. I appreciate coach Harbison and the job he did here. He's like a brother to me, as well. He's a man that represented this program with class, did everything the right way and put everything he had into Clemson and his players. We deeply appreciate his service. This is a good opportunity for him.
Regardless of what happens with Morris, do you want the up tempo, no huddle to be the identity of this program?
Swinney: Yeah. It's a Clemson offense, not a Chad Morris offense. It's a Clemson offense. We hired Chad because it's what we wanted to do, philosophically, because of the people that you had. The one thing, hopefully, that we've demonstrated in four years is we can take players and be creative with them and have success. My first year, in '09, we had three pretty dynamic guys in [C.J.] Spiller, [Jacoby] Ford and [Michael] Palmer. I think, it's well-documented we used those guys in a lot of different ways, and set the school scoring record that year. I really knew what I wanted to go to. It was just a matter of the right timing and having the personnel. That's why I went in the direction I did. It was just a matter of who I wanted to hire. The only candidates I was considering at that point were guys that had that philosophy. It was a matter of who I felt like was the best fit for our personnel, me. And we settled on Chad. He's done a tremendous job. That's who we are. That's the personnel that we have and that's what we'll continue to do.
Hopefully, he'll still continue to be with us. But, again, he's got an opportunity to go coach in the Big 12. If that works out, that's a dream opportunity. I'm tickled to death that he's got that opportunity. Who knows? We'll see how all that plays out.
Do you have an idea of what you would do? Would you go outside?
Swinney: I think, in this position, you've always got plans for what you're going to do. You've got plan A, B, C, D, E -- how many letters are in the alphabet?
That's just the nature of this job. It'd be foolish to just sit there and not be proactive and thoughtful. I'm always keeping up with guys in the profession, always challenging our guys here to grow. We'll have no shortage of very, very quality people, if that were to happen. We're sitting here talking about something that may not happen.