Tuesday Dabo Swinney comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talks about the second day of bowl practice, the impact of postseason play on recruiting and more.


OPENING STATEMENT: I thought the guys were into it. Yesterday, they tried physically, very hard, the footing wasn't great. Mentally, they were sharp. Today, I thought they put the physical part with it. That's good to see. That's what it's going to take to win this ball game. It's going to take a lot of focus, a lot of intensity and a bunch of guys playing with a great effort.

HELPING THE ACC IN BOWLS: Obviously, we pull for all of our conference teams this time of year. We compete against those guys during the season. Postseason, you always pull for your conference. It's just getting going. For us, it's just about trying to enhance our season and having a positive finish. Certainly we're not happy with the year we had. To win your bowl game, back-to-back bowl games would be accomplishment for us and our seniors, to finish up with a winning season. That's really what our focus is on. It's about trying to play the best game we can play, and really nothing else.

PARKER'S LAST GAME: He's excited to play. He's had good bowl preparation. I would expect him to play very well. He's a very competitive young man. He didn't have a very good outing last time out. History says, usually with him, he'll come back ready to go. He's meant a lot to Clemson, he really has. He's a really fun guy to be around for a couple of years, and to watch him grow, mature and develop. He's still got a ways to go. That's what we forget. He's just a sophomore in football. He's still in his second year. He's still a maturing guy. I'm awful proud of him. He didn't have the year he wanted to have. Nobody did, coaches or players, none of us did. He's leaving here with a good legacy, having done something very few people could dream about, that's being a very good player and contributor in two different sports at Clemson University. I'm proud of him and look forward to finishing this next game with a win, for him and all the rest of the seniors, to send those guys off the right way.

WINNING RECORD VS. LOSING RECORD: You don't have to [drill it into the players]. They know. It's not something you've got to fly a banner over the practice fields. They understand we're 6-6. The season didn't go the way we wanted it to go. Everybody is upset and disappointed about it. That's my responsibility, to make sure it doesn't happen again. It's about the here and now. It's about winning this bowl game. We're going to line up. We've got one more chance to play. It's going to be a long time before we play again. We're going to do everything we can to win this ball game. One of the real good streaks that we've had here at Clemson that we're proud of, we're one of 12 teams in the country to 11-straight, or more, winning seasons. We want to keep that going. To win back-to-back bowls, I think that would be a step in the right direction, because that's something that hasn't been done here in a long time. It's about playing the best game and trying to be the team we know we're capable of being.

BOWLS HELPING WITH RECRUITING: It doesn't hurt, because anytime you can get your program out there, your name out there. It's good recognition. People are talking. The bowl season, people see all the games. That's a good thing. Not only is it a good thing for that, people come out to your practices, write about your team, they wouldn't be doing any of that if you were at home right now. They'd be writing about the teams that are in the bowls. That definitely helps. More importantly, it gives you an opportunity to further develop your team, because you have more practice time. We're going to have 12 or 13 practices before it's all said and done, so that's a great benefit.

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