Thursday Dabo Swinney audio

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about Saturday's ACC opener against No. 11 Florida State.


Injury report
Swinney: We're a little banged up. David Smith has practiced all week. He's gotten better each day. Obviously, he's still got some soreness. That's to be expected. He'll be ready. He'll be available Saturday. Cloy, same thing, he's a little beat up, but I think he'll be available Saturday. Brandon Thomas will start. Ellington looks like he's going to be a go. All those guys that were kind of dinged up from the other day, Darrell Smith will be a go. Mansa Joseph will be a go. The one I'm worried about right now is D.J. Howard. Tuesday night, he kind of tweaked his ham. We've been doing everything we can with him. Danny Poole has been earning his money this week, doing everything he can. Hopefully, [Howard] will be available. He'll be questionable, right now. That's probably the only one I'll say is questionable. The rest of them should be good to go. We're a banged up team. This is a pretty brutal stretch we're hitting here. That's football. You've just got to line up and play. Nothing I think is going to keep anybody out of the game.

How did Rashard Hall practice after not playing a very consistent game last week?
Swinney: He didn't play well last week. He's had a good week, just like you think he would. Rashard takes a lot of pride in his performance. He's very consciences. He just made some physical mistakes. he just put himself out of position a couple of times, but you don't have to really say much to him.

Do you get the sense that he was kind of trying too hard after sitting out a week?
Swinney: Probably, and just not trusting his eyes, his technique. He took a couple of bad angles, didn't really react with his eyes a couple of times, like he needed to. He just got out of position. He's a very smart player. The best of the best have a bad day. He's a good player. He'll bounce back. He's had a good week of practice.

How's the energy been overall this week?
Swinney: It's been good. This whole group, it's not been a hard team to get to practice. We've had very few days. We've had a guy here and there and a day here and there, but very few days where we haven't been able to get them to give us what we need in practice. They realize the urgency that we need to have. This is Florida State. This is a team that a lot of people picked to win the national championship. This is a good team. It was really easy to sober up, to be honest with you, when you turn this film on. These guys can play. We'll have our toughest challenge. We've been preaching, stay focused on the process that we have and just one day at a time. Get better this day, improve upon the mistakes and just try to keep getting better as a team. We have not played a complete game. We've yet to play four quarters of defense. We've played a good halves. We haven't put it together as a team yet. That's our goal, just go play our best game. If it's not good enough, it isn't good enough.

Following a big game with another big game...
Swinney: They're confident. That's part of the process of trying to get this program where we want it to go. You have to believe that something different is going to happen, other than what people tell you what happened 20 years ago. I wasn't here 20 years ago, neither were these guys. This is our team. It's 2011. I know that's things people talk about, but this team's not focused on that. This team's focused on the right things, trying to improve as a player, know their job so they can do their job and stay committed to the standard we set. Let's not get caught up in the moment or what they say. I talk to them a lot about what they say. These players determine what's going to happen, not they. The players. They've got to make a decision, how's it going down. That's the decision they've got. Top Stories