Two more practices in Clemson

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about Monday afternoon's practice and looks ahead to the Orange Bowl.

(16:15)

The players kind of understand that it's kind of a process in preparation…
It is. It's a long time to prepare. You have to keep it fresh for them. You have to change things up. I think you've got to really work hard to have the right combination of game plan, fundamentals, technique, live offense versus defense -- fastball-type work. I think we've done a good job. You can't just grind them everyday.

Today was a long day. We started this morning at 8:30 with those guys and did a community service project down in Anderson, which was awesome. They did everything from building fences to splitting wood, moving furniture to landscaping. Really, we've got a lot out of them. We came right back. Had a quick bite to eat, had meetings at 1:15. We've been in pads two or three days in a row now. We came out today in vests, a little bit lighter practice. We've got our Christmas party tonight, which is always a lot of fun to see what they come up with. We'll get after it really good tomorrow and Wednesday. We'll just meet on Thursday and grade the film so we don't have any loose ends. Then let them go have a little four-day break and get back after it down there in Miami. It's a process of building it up.

We really want to have everything done, from a coaching standpoint, by Thursday, so when we do get down there, we cane just polish plan. We'll really work on the fundamentals and techniques, just the details. Hopefully, then go play with high energy and high emotion, a great attitude. That's what we're trying to build to.

Permanent captains…
The team voted on captains today. It was [Andre] Branch, Coty [Sensabaugh], Brandon Thompson, [Chad] Diehl, [Landon] Walker and Marquan Jones.

That's a great example. I've talked about the leadership on this team all year. Everybody got at least one-vote, which was really good, the guys that were on the list to be voted on. It was a split vote. You had a lot of guys get votes. To see three guys on each side to be elected captains by their teammates, that's a great sign of leadership.

Marquan Jones, he got a ton of votes to be the captain. He hasn't played as much as he wanted to this year, but he still found a way to impact this football team. That's a great compliment to him and a real great compliment from his teammates to him, for them to elect him one of our permanent captains this year.

I'm really happy for all of those guys.

The growth of Brandon Ford…
He's just continuing to progress. Obviously, he's had a great player in front of him in Dwayne Allen. He's found a way to impact this season. He's had an excellent year for us. He's continued to progress physically. That's been the biggest challenge, playing with a level of intensity that it takes with every play at that position. It's a physical position. That's where he's had to grow and mature the most. He's got great ball skills and can run routes -- he gets all that. It's the technique and the physical part, the execution of that where he's improved the most.

I'm excited about Brandon. He'll have another great offseason and really commit, to take it to another level, from a daily intensity standpoint. He'll have a career in front of him. He's got great talent, great ability.


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