Tigers resume spring practice

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney discusses the first day back after spring break.

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It seems like there is a sense of excitement with this offense across the board. Is that accurate?
Swinney: They are definitely excited on what we are doing offensively. Our defense is excited. Our defensive guys are probably as excited as anybody on this team because they know we are going to score some points. We will. We are going to be a good offensive football team. We aren't right now because we are a work in progress.

Today was a little disappointing because we weren't quite the tempo. I've seen a lot worse practices but it wasn't quite the tempo that we've got to have. We reviewed plus we had a lot more installation today and we worked on the red zone at the end of practice. All in all just an okay day. They've been off a week and I look forward to finishing strong.

Was today a good test considering you got to see what was retained over spring break?
Swinney: Yes. It's kind of a similar theme. The first groups get it. We've got a group of guys if you say 'who can you win with?' you say 'bam' and you reel off some names. But we are trying to develop depth. We've got another group of guys who are getting better and that's just coaching and practice and the whole point is to improve and I see us improving. But those guys who have good retention that showed up today. There was a little bit of confusion and that affected some of the new stuff today. But we'll get in as much in this week as we can and concentrate on having a good solid scrimmage next week before our spring game.

"Our defensive guys are probably as excited as anybody on this team because they know we are going to score some points. We will. We are going to be a good offensive football team." (Roy Philpott)
But I'm real pleased right now. We don't have the whole package in but hopefully we'll have 60 or 70 percent in by the end of spring and that's okay because we don't need that much to win. We just need to be good at what we do.

What's it like this spring knowing that you've got big-time talent on the way this fall that's not here yet?
Swinney: Well, you just coach the guys you got. You coach them up. You try to get as good as you possibly can with the guys that are out here putting the time in. When the circumstances change, you react to that. Kind of like the NFL, when you've got seven or eight rookies coming in you start coaching them up then.

But obviously we are going to have several freshmen than will help us. I think we'll have eight to 12 or 13 guys play significant roles. Offensively in particularly we've got some speed and explosiveness that's going to be injected into this team. But yes, they are going to be a factor for us in September.

Tajh can't stop smiling when talking about this offense. To have your quarterback buy in like that has to be important.
Swinney: That's important. Not just the quarterback but everybody. Coaches, managers, trainers and everybody. I'm excited because we are doing what is best for our personnel here. Coach Morris just gets it. It's a joy to work with him every day and the staff the way it's come together with Tony [Elliott] and Robbie [Caldwell]. It's a lot of fun. I see the same things on offense that we have on defense.

We are going to score points. We are going to score and I don't think we are going to be a bad defensive football team. We are going to be pretty good over there when it's all said and done. I think we have more parts though right now defensively, than maybe we do offensively.

How would characterize the young backs you have - D.J. Howard, Demont Buice and Rod McDowell?
Swinney: Improving. I don't think any of them we could line up and win with today but hopefully with another half of spring and a lot of summer study and summer reps and our skills and drills they will be ready to line up and play in September. It's really a blessing in disguise I think. Really wish was Andre was out here but he's getting better. Started getting some cutting today and had his cleats on so that was good to see.

But we all know what Andre Ellingto can do. We don't know anything about those other three guys so it's fun to see. They are doing some good things. They are doing some bad things. Today was protection emphasis because those guys have to learn how to protect and that's technique and doing your job - picking up the blitz and a bull rush. They are getting better. Right now I wouldn't say anybody is way out in front of the other one.

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