Ready for Monday's scrimmage

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about Friday afternoon's practice and looks ahead to Monday's intra-squad scrimmage.

How was practice Friday?
Practice was good. We were missing Dalton [Freeman]. He was off at a school function that he needed to be at. He wasn't there today. Had two or three balls that were on the ground -- that was a little disappointing, with our freshman center in there. A lot of good things. I'm encouraged. I think the team is starting to develop a little bit of chemistry. I'm really anxious for Monday. This whole spring has kind of been building towards that first scrimmage. Monday is the first opportunity where it's not a situational-type deal, just playing. You get a good gauge of where they are, and then we'll have six practices left. We'll go from there. That film is really critical for us and critical for a lot of these players, as far as where we are on depth charts and things like that. Right now, it's a moving chart. It changes daily, sometimes it changes within practice. It's good, because we've got a lot of competition. I'm anxious to see us play and see some guys separate a little bit on Monday.

Terry Don Phillips confirmed to us that the Georgia series is happening. He said that you were a big part of that…
I hope it happens. I ain't fired up about playing one of the top teams in the country. We've got plenty of tough opponents. Certainly, it's a game that could go either way. That's a game I grew up watching, Clemson and Georgia. I've heard so many stories about Clemson/Georgia. I'd love to be a part of it. I'd love to be in a chapter of that history. It's exciting for our fans. It's exciting for our staff and our players, to have an opportunity to play one of the best teams in the country. Obviously, it's close, proximity-wise. It's something people have been looking forward to for a while. Unfortunately, with the way things have shaken out, there's been a lot of talk about the schedule and having to change, because of what's happening within the conference. I'm certainly for that game. I think it's a great gauge for where we are as a program. It's something that our fans want to be a part of.

How do you feel about the nine-game league schedule?
If that's what the league thinks is best then that's the way it is. I'm interested to see how that all plays out. It's going to have some years where there are five road games. That's a little different. It's going to be a challenge for everybody. It's the same for everybody. Adding another quality opponent -- I kind of like the old model…when your big rival game is not within the conference that affects how you schedule.

How are you guys health-wise?
Pretty good. [Sam] Cooper was out today with a rolled ankle. I think he'll be back Monday. Zac Brooks was in green today with a bum shoulder. Hopefully, he'll be back after a couple of days off and ready to go on Monday as well. Otherwise, pretty good, pretty good shape.

Are there any particular position battle you're looking forward to seeing on Monday?
The trenches. Is Kalon [Davis] going to perform the whole day or will he be an every other series kind of guy? Shaq Anthony, Isaiah Battle, it's got to be a good day for them. I'm anxious to see them. The trenches are really key in my eyes -- same thing on the defensive end. Who's going to separate? Josh Watson, Tavaris [Barnes], DeShawn [Williams], Grady Jarrett, those are the four guys that have kind of emerged as the top four. Can any of those guys separate? Is Corey Crawford ready to have his motor running every play and be the dominant guy? He's been the backup to the guy. Now, he's the guy. Is he ready to be the guy? Vic Beasley, I'm anxious to see him get the kind of reps that he's going to get, live reps. I don't think he's had the kind of reps that he's going to get, not competitive reps with the first and second-team. That's just a couple of spots I'm anxious to see. Top Stories