In his first spring as a head coach, Swinney dropped the terms first, second and third team, and introduced new ones.
"We don't use those terms around here anymore," he said. "It's the attack
defense, the swarm defense and the pride defense. It's the orange offense,
the purple offense and the pride offense. That's how we go.
"Guys are taking reps with all the units and I'm trying to give guys
opportunities and create competition."
Whatever he did, it seemed to work. Swinney said it was apparent the tempo
was better than it was last year and that guys were bouncing around pretty
"We will be the attack defense, the swarm defense and the pride defense as
long as I'm here," he said. "You tell a guy that he is a two or three long
enough, eventually he starts to believe he is a two or three.
"We are just doing away with that and hopefully we just have a bunch of
good football players and we can just roll units out there and keep on
"We will not use those terms anymore. Which unit we start? We will see on
game day. It might be the swarm unit. It might be the attack?"
One unit that will have a designated starter, he thinks, is at
quarterback. Swinney said Willy Korn, Kyle Parker and Michael Wade all
looked good working out with all three units during the first practice.
The only real note on the quarterback situation on Day 1 was the
announcement that redshirt freshman Jon Richt has decided to transfer to a
"I tried to talk him out of it, but he is going about it for all the right
reasons," Swinney said. "He feels that a smaller school would be a better
situation for him."
Swinney says he and Richt talked about two or three options on where he
might transfer, but right now he doesn't know where the son of Georgia
head coach Mark Richt will end up.
Richt's departure will leave Clemson with just three quarterbacks this
spring, but not to worry, one is on his way for the fall and he was at
practice Monday. Tajh Boyd, who signed with Clemson last month, was
watching practice from the sideline.
He had just moved to Seneca on Sunday, where his little brother, T.J.
Boyd, will play high school football next year.
"Maybe we can figure out how to slip him in," Swinney joked. "Right now we
do not have one. Obviously, we have Tajh coming in and we have another,
walk-on kid, who is pretty good too, coming in this fall so by the fall we
will have it pretty sured up by the then."
Swinney says Boyd's presence at practice was big for his personal growth
as a quarterback.
"That's big," he said. "They sit in meetings and they come out. Any time
that they are here, it is just part of the learning curve getting
shortened. The mind is a sponge, it starts absorbing stuff and sooner or
later it starts to sort out a little bit easier for them when they do get
here for real this summer."
As for his thoughts on the three quarterbacks he currently has in camp.
"I was pleased with all three of them," Swinney said. "They all did a good
job in spots and they all did a poor job in spots, but all-in-all it was a
good first day."
It was a good first day for everybody it seemed.
"I thought it was a good start," Swinney said.
Open practice: Clemson's 7 p.m. practice Tuesday will be open to the
public as will Wednesday's 2 p.m. practice. All practices after that are
closed to the public.
All about change
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