HOW WAS PRACTICE?: It was good, good practice. It's been good all three days. Their attitude has been good. It's been a good enthusiasm. This bunch practices the right way. They really do. We've just got to carry it over to the game field on Saturday and make those three or four plays that have been costing us right now. I like what I'm seeing out of the leadership of this team. They've really asserted themselves. That started at 6:30 Monday morning, and it's carried over, through all week. It's a good day.
HEALTH OF THE TEAM: David [Smith] is back. He's practiced with the ones every rep all week. He's looked good. Other than that, we're in pretty good shape. Kalon Davis had his surgery today. Had a little issue with [DeAndre Hopkins]. He went up and caught a pass in skele. I don't know what the deal is. They had to take him off and go check him out. I'm not sure of the extent of his injury right now. Hopefully, it's not anything serious. I won't know more until I get the results back. He was having hard-time breathing. Not sure if it's a muscle spasm, or a rib, not sure. He caught a ball and sort of came down funny. It wasn't anything to do with his legs. They just took him to check him out and see what it might be.
BRANDON THOMAS' ROLE: He's cross-trained all camp. Just like David cross-trained in camp, he worked a little bit at tackle and guard. Brandon works at tackle and guard. Now that we've kind of been flipping [Phillip] Price a good bit, we've really developed some flexibility there. Brandon will continue to cross-train. [Mason] Cloy has been working at three different positions. He's back in his role. Just trying to develop as many versatile guys as we can. Right now, with Brandon, Phillip and David Smith, we've got a little bit of flexibility.
DIFFERENCE IN 2-3 STARTS: It's different in I don't think we were favored to win any [of this year's losses]. It's not like we've lost to a bad team. It's not like somebody has lined up and taken us to the woodshed. We lost at Auburn in overtime. We lost to a good Miami team that's probably going to win eight, nine—10 games. At North Carolina, they're going to win eight, nine—10 games. They're going to compete for the division. They're a good football team. We're in position to win all of those games. There's no doubt about that. It's disappointing, because we expect to win. We don't care if somebody else doesn't expect us to win. We expect to win. We've made a lot of progress as a program, in that we physically can matchup. It's getting a break here and there. A couple of flukey things. That's the next step for us. To win those games we're not supposed to win, and win the ones we are. Last year, we were 2-3. We lost to a team that won only two games all year. A little different, little different situation than what we have this year. Our guys last year were really kind of learning how to do the right things, how to prepare on a weekly basis. This team has come to play. They've shown up. They've prepared the right way. They've got a great determined spirit about them. There's a lot of differences. We're still developing a few guys. We've had the opportunity to make a few plays that we haven't made. It's been four or five plays. When you have two good teams playing each other, that's what it comes down to. Four or five plays that make the difference. We've got to develop the mentality of, this play right here makes the difference in the ball game. Eleven guys to buy into that mentality that this play right here is going to make the difference between winning and losing. Once we get everybody buying into that, we're going to make those four or five. The bad part about it is, you'll have 10 guys doing it exactly right and one guy is not. It's cost us. The team has got a good sense of urgency to them. There's no panic, or anything like that. We'll just keep hammering.
Wednesday Dabo Swinney Comments
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