Dabo's pleased with the progress

CLEMSON - Dabo Swinney was his usual positive self when giving his assessment of the first preseason camp stadium scrimmage.


After digesting the film over the weekend, Swinney said he was pleased with what he saw.

"I was really encouraged, way more encouraged than discouraged, a lot of good things, a lot of very correctable things," he said. "That's always a good thing with that first scrimmage, with some of these getting their first opportunity."

The first several days of camp were heavy on installation, but that will slow down, starting this week.

"We'll be putting some things in, but it won't be quite as heavy as it was those first six or seven days," Swinney said. "Wednesday, we'll have another scrimmage. Hopefully, we'll see some improvement, and then get them geared up for another big day on Saturday.

"I thought this morning they came to work. Tonight, we'll come back and have another physical practice. Just keep going."

ENCOURAGED WITH THE O-LINE: Although the offensive line continues to have plenty of question marks, Swinney liked what he saw from the group on Saturday.

"I really think we're going to have nine or 10 guys that we can count on in some form or fashion," he said.

Brandon Thomas continues to be challenged to be a "dominant, everyday player."

Kalon Davis has "a ton of ability, a ton of potential." The coaching staff has to "keep a fire lit under him" every practice.

Ryan Norton continues to show signs of tremendous progress. Swinney is "very encouraged" with his development.

Joe Gore is progressing, too.

"I think Joe is on his way. He, obviously, has not played, but continues to learn. He's got a good sense of urgency to him," Swinney said.

Shaq Anthony and Isaiah Battle "are coming on" with each practice.

This is a big week for Reid Webster, Swinney said, because he's "a guy that needs to step it up" over the next few days.

And Dalton Freeman -- enough said.

"Overall, I'm excited about the group," Swinney said.

AT TIGHT END: There is no doubt as to who the first tight end is this season. Brandon Ford locked that job up a long time ago.

It sounds like Stanton Seckinger has firmly entrenched himself as the No. 2.

"Seckinger is a guy who's really jumped up there," Swinney said. "He's going to really help us. We ask him to do different things. They all have a different skill set.

"Sam [Cooper] is doing fine. He's competing. I think this is a year that his role is going to grow from last year. I think you'll see that from him.

"Darrell Smith is a guy that the staff loves. He's our thumper, a very physical guy. We may ask him to run the ball a little bit, from time to time. And [Eric] MacLain, we're encouraged with what we're seeing from him, physically."

BATTLE TO PUNT: Spencer Benton and Bradley Pinion continue their battle for the starting punter job. Swinney wouldn't say if one has gained separation over the other.

"I think, neither one of them, right now, are as consistent as they need to be," he said. "Both of them have done some good things. We can win with either one of them. We're just challenging them. Hopefully, one of them will separate, from a consistency standpoint."

He added, "Right now, it's too close to call."

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