Wednesday Dabo Swinney Comments

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about Wednesday's practice and this weekend's game at Boston College.

(11:17)

OPENING STATEMENT: It was a rainy day. We were able to get most of it all in before the rain hit us. Good finish. Good tempo today. I appreciate the work our scout teams are doing. Those guys have really picked it up for us. They take a lot of pride in getting the team ready. We all worked on field one today, because it was wet. We have a couple of injuries to tell you about. Of course you know about Daniel Andrews, he tore his ACL. He'll probably have surgery in about a week or so. Carlton Lewis broke his jaw yesterday in our inside period. He had surgery today to put a plate in there. He's going to spend the night in the hospital. He'll be out tomorrow. They're anticipating, based on what they see, how it looks—he'll just miss a couple of games. We're really disappointed with that. Carlton was coming on, making some big-time strides for us. Coach [Kevin] Steele has been really complimenting Carlton Lewis. He's just really turned into a good football player for us. It's just really disappointing to lose him for a couple of weeks, same thing for Daniel Andrews. He's out for the year. He's an important guy for us, special teams-wise. He's the one guy that knows every position at linebacker. Those two guys are out, for sure. [Miguel] Chavis has got a foot sprain. He was a little limited today. We'll see where he is. He is probable for Saturday. He's still pretty limited today, as far as doing everything he needs to do, explosiveness-wise. Other than that, that's it.

MAXWELL'S TURF TOE: He's been trying to rest it a little bit. He'll be able to play. We'll have him ready by game time. We've got pretty good experience with turf toe. We ought to be able to write a dissertation on that. It's just one of those deals, he's a veteran guy, knows what he's doing. He was still able to play special teams on Saturday. We didn't feel like he could do what we needed him to do in the secondary. He'll be ready to go. We've been kind of resting him these first few days.

BRANDON MAYE: He could have played Saturday. Again, he hadn't practiced all week. He practiced a little bit on Thursday. It's not like we're running out system. He's back. He's taking all reps this week. Looks good.

BC RUN ‘D' CHANGE OFFENSIVE STYLE?: We're not going to not try to run the ball. We've got to be able to block them. You have to be smart in how you try to run it. You have to be creative, make sure you have certain answers to some things they do. We'll have some packages. If it's this, this, if it's that, that—those type of scenarios. You have to be schooled up on their tendencies, as far as their pressures, and where they're coming. We've got a good plan going in, as far as running the ball. You've got to always try to establish the run, at least try to run it. If we're not having much success, we're much more confident throwing the ball now. For us, that's where it all starts.

WHAT MAKES THAT SCHEME SO GOOD?: They're huge, first of all. They don't do a whole lot, so they really understand what they're doing. They've always had good players. They've always had big linebackers. How they play structurally, the way they defend, a lot of times those backers get a running start at you, because it's a hard time getting up on them, the way they gobble up guys. They move. They don't just sit there. They don't really penetrate up the field a whole lot. It's a lot of movement. A lot of flat movement, which creates issues. They do a great job with their hands, getting off the blocks. Most of the time, it's regular personnel in the game. They play zone behind it, so No. 94 gets walked out there with a wide out in space, he's a tough guy to block. They just kind of keep everything inside. You have to be patient. Play-action is good if you can get it dialed up at the right time. You get them stepping up in there and you might get some opportunities to throw behind those linebackers. It's just their system and the way they structurally play it. A lot of zone and a heavy cover two, in the boundary, sometimes, with a really heavy corner. They take a lot of your boundary runs away. Ninety-four [Mark Herzlich] has walked out. He's there for the field runs, and they're huge inside. They've always had that big MIKE linebacker that makes a bunch of tackles. They really understand and know what they're doing out there.

AVOIDING THE HANGOVER: It's always a factor. You look around, study sports. You sort of see that. It just depends on the team. The personality of their leadership. Preparation, coaches—all that stuff. We just go back to work. I'd be highly disappointed if there's a letdown. We're 4-3. We can't overlook anybody. We haven't done anything. All we are is a team with opportunity. Our opportunity is Saturday. We either take advantage of it, or we don't. I'd be highly disappointed if they're let down, or feel like they've arrived. If we were 7-0 and just blowing people out, maybe you'd have to think about that a little more. I expect us to play well. [Georgia Tech] was a great win for us, but we expected to win the game. We've expected to win every game.

JONATHAN MEEKS AT EITHER SAFETY: He could play either spot. [Marcus Gilchrist] plays everywhere…we've started to really develop some depth in the secondary…Carlton, we'll get him back. That hurts us, losing him, because he's really become a factor for us.

TAJH BOYD DURING GAMES: He's listening to the play and thinking about execution of the play. We want him to be just like he's playing the game. He should be mentally playing the game on the sideline. He knows the play. If it's a pass play, for example, he ought to have his eyes on the same thing Kyle [Parker] has his eyes on. He ought to know immediately if he did it right or wrong. He shouldn't be over there watching. That's what he should be doing. Be into the game, preparing for every snap to go in there and play. He's been really focused on the sideline. He's been good.

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