There will be times during preseason camp when quarterbacks are subject to tackling, just like they were in the first two scrimmages of the spring.
"This fall, we'll have to go live at least two scrimmages, and we'll probably have to take a couple of practices and pick out two or three periods, five-minute periods where we'll let them go live," Swinney said on Wednesday, before practice. "I think that's important. There's no way we'll let them go into Athens and we'll let them be hit, not with what we do. That's crazy."
While might suggest that Swinney is the one with a screw loose, he points to the NFL as a reason why his quarterbacks will be tackled again during preseason practice.
"They make their quarterbacks live three or four times in preseason games," Swinney said. "We don't get preseason games. All we have is practice and we have to create that…in the situation we're in right now, it's a critical part in us making the best decision for this team and for our program."
Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly will be the beneficiaries of Watson's absence during Saturday's spring game. Both will get more opportunities to make their case for the No. 1 spot, even though Swinney said the competition is still far from over.
"We probably would have rolled Deshaun. He probably would have gotten to work on both sides, so that's a benefit to [Stoudt and Kelly]," Swinney said. "That's part of competition. That's all part of it."
Long-term, Watson won't miss out on much.
"The next two weeks are what we call discretionary time. There's not much going on. They've got finals and then they go home for a week, then they come back May 15," Swinney said. [Watson will] be rocking and rolling, so he won't miss anything.
"It's not like he's out of the competition or something. He'll pick right back up where he was, go through summer skills and drills. We'll come back this fall -- this thing is far from over. It's going to continue to be competitive. There are a lot of things that have to be done all throughout the summer, because everything counts.
"I'm looking forward to sitting down and meeting with all those guys and saying here's where we see you right now, here's where you are. Here's what you've got to do this summer and we'll let it go. We'll do the same thing."
Swinney hopes Saturday's Orange and White game provides a game-like atmosphere that will aid in the coaches' evaluation of not just the quarterbacks, but every position.
"Looking forward to it, hope we have a huge crowd," he said. "That's something I would love to see, to see this whole lower bowl filled up. We've got a lot of recruits coming in here. It's going to be a beautiful day. And, again, it creates the environment and atmosphere. It's another one of those evaluation pieces that helps us."
Firm in his stance
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