SWINNEY: Korn Improving

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney met with the media Wednesday and commented on several aspects of his team, including backup quarterback Willy Korn.


Did the War-chant play the entire practice?
Swinney: Not all of practice. We picked our spots. It's one of those things we try to get ready for. It's a loud stadium down there. Just trying to make sure we got the right operation with our timing and emotions and cadence. I get tired of the static noise and the whistle. So we piped in a little Seminole music. It was good.

How did Korn look today?
Swinney: I tell you he looked good today. He probably had his best day today he's had since before he got hurt. He threw the ball with some pretty good zip. Did not throw the deep ball as well. His short and intermediate were nice and crisp. So that was good to see.

When Korn is healthy, how would you compare his downfield throwing with Cullen?
Swinney: Cullen just has a stronger arm right now. Cullen has a big big arm. Willy doesn't have quite that type of arm but he's got a good enough arm to do what he needs to do. But he's just a redshirt freshman too. Cullen is a redshirt senior. There's a difference.

Might you start Willy just to change things up?
Swinney: No. No. Cullen is the starter. But we are going to continue to create competition You've got to perform. Hopefully he'll perform like he's capable of the rest of the way. If not, we'll throw the next guy in there.

Will he get a set series or set plays?
Swinney: We could do either or. Or none of the above. No real set plan going into it. Like third series or first 10 plays. Nothing is set right now. We'll see how it goes the rest of the week. And then we'll get our plan from there.

Is that your call or Napier's?
Swinney: Well I'm the head coach so it's my call. I listen to his input. In fact that was part of it up there Saturday. Billy just wasn't comfortable with him making the throws he needed to was going to need to make based on what he had seen. That was the discussion last week. But, absolutely, I'll always value a position coach's opinion for sure. I've been one my whole life but if I feel like we need to make a change I'll make one. No. 10 has got to go play well for us. He's going to give us the best chance to win right now.

Is Jimmy still your starting punter?
Swinney: Same thing. He remained the starter coming out of the game. Didn't really do anything spectacular. Punted okay. One pooch-punt opportunity- he didn't kick it very well at all. That's one that's back and forth everyday. We evaluate them everyday, it's that close, and make a decision on Thursday.

Is your punt protection solidified now?
Swinney: That was just a missed assignment. Punt protection has been very good. Just a missed assignment. Two guys blocking one. Left guard went the wrong way. Turned the guy loose right up the A-gap. Good operation time. Pretty easy to block. We have to make sure everybody does their job.

Why do you think the light has come on for DeAndre McDaniel?
Swinney: He's a sophomore. He's played a lot more this year. He's a contact player and he's in a position where he can kind of fly around and cut loose. He's playing a lot more. I would expect him to see more plays. He's getting more comfortable. He's a safety by nature but has a linebacker's mentality. It's a new position for him. He's done a good job- but the biggest thing is just playing more because we moved Scotty over to the WILL. I would expect a great game from him going back home.

Billy Napier doesn't have a lot of experience calling plays but he was a quarterback. Did you have any experience doing it before this year?
Swinney: Well yeah I've called plays throughout my career as the receivers coach. I've always had input and suggestions. I would be asked, 'well what do you think?' We've gone with lots of my play calls over the year. But as far as calling them all in a row, no. Other than spring games and things like that.

It requires a rhythm doesn't it?
Swinney: Yeah. that's what it was important for me to move Billy over there. We are a lot alike. We have similar mentalities. He knows exactly what I want. He listens. If I'm not in that room I know he's going to do exactly what I want done and how I want it done. It's really been a nice flow. I've called a lot of the plays and he's called a lot of them. Everything goes through me. But we've been in situations where we both call it - and we are like ha! It's really been good for me- one of the things I've learned is - because you want to have your hands on everything - you can't just keep your hands on one thing. It's allowed me to have a guy I have a ton of faith and trust in so I can go in and spend time with the defense. I kind of move around and that's been really good for me in this role to make sure I have a good feel for the big picture. I don't want to be out there and not know what's going on.

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