|NOTE: A high-speed internet connection is recommended to view this video. Alternatively, you may download this video by right-clicking on this link, and clicking "Save Target As..."|
Please allow 10 seconds for the video to begin as it will start automatically.
Swinney: I thought that was probably our best day and that's encouraging because it should be. We are on our 10th or 11th day (of spring practice). Hopefully Monday will be better than today. From a scrimmage standpoint, I told the team, 'I'm seeing iron sharpening iron.' That's very encouraging. There were some really really good things offensively and really really good things defensively. It was a very competitive day.
We did some coming out today and the offense did a great job there. Had a couple of two minute drives. Offense won one and defense won one. We mixed it up and did a lot of good on good. We rushed the ball well today and had some receivers made some plays.
Tajh is really really coming on. The next step for him is some little things. Discipline things- not taking a sack. Throwing it away to your mama's lap. Ball security with the snap. We did have some issues there.
Defensively we had some turnovers. Corey Crawford was all over the place. Tig Willard had a big interception. Good day but still have some good work days next week.
"The game has slowed down for him. He really understands what he is doing. Sometimes he gets a false sense of security with that purple jersey on and I have to constantly remind him of that." - Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney on Tajh Boyd.(Roy Philpott)
Swinney: The game has slowed down for him. He really understands what he is doing. Sometimes he gets a false sense of security with that purple jersey on and I have to constantly remind him of that. Sometimes he will get a little casual. But the little things - the timing of his motions. There are a lot of moving parts in this offense. There are a lot of moving parts and then there is his reads. The quarterback in this system- there are a lot of things that happen on the move and he has to make the right decision. And if it does, we have a high probability of making a big play.
He made some really good decisions today. Whether it was to hand the ball off or handling it himself. His ball handling in general - he's really cleaned that up. And he's throwing the ball really really well. I think the game has slowed down for him. The next step is the few discipline things that he needs to get a grip on.
Has this team fully grasped the tempo of this offense yet?
Swinney: Oh yes. The tempo is excellent. Yesterday's practice was probably the best tempo we've had on spring. It's really good in this setting today because you have the officials and it's game-like. I think we had only one substitution issue today. The guys are doing a good job in picking everything up. Tempo-wise they understand what we have to do. Same thing with our defense. They are doing a really good job playing at that tempo and that's the hardest thing for a defense to do. I'm pleased where we are from that standpoint.
Your rushing yardage today looked pretty good. Your thoughts on the running backs that are out there right now?
Swinney: Yes they are getting better. Rod McDowell has had two or three good days in a row. Buice had some big runs. D.J. Howard is really really improving. I think he's going to be one of those guys we look up a few years from now and say 'man this guy is a really good player.' He's got all the tools you like to see and he's really fast. We are doing a good job but they are all rookies basically. They play with all the groups and they have a good competition. They did a good job handling the ball. Rod turned one over today but D.J. and Demont did a good job handling it.
What are the key areas of competition you are looking at right now with one more week of spring practice left?
Swinney: Shoot yes. There's a lot of competition going on. I don't know who our backup right tackle is. Competition at left tackle. [Mason] Cloy is competing with those centers and guards. He wants to be a starter. You've got backs competing. Wide outs competing. Competition at linebacker. You've got some of those guys trying to compete to be the backup defensive tackles. Competition in the secondary. We've got more than four guys. There are a bunch of guys that are going to play and that's a good thing. And then at kicker- Catman had a good day out there today. He's had one really poor day and that was our last scrimmage before the break but he came back and had a really good day today. The backup kicker - who is that going to be? Competition at long snapper. We don't guys feeling a lot of comfort out here that's for sure.