Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney will never be a coach that tells one of his players to turn his emotions off, but he is a coach that will ask a player to channel those emotions instead of starting altercations that could prove hurtful to the team.
That's the message Swinney sent to Clemson middle linebacker Brandon Maye after the Clemson coach had to dismiss the 230-pound backer from last Saturday's scrimmage.
"It was one of those things where a guy is in the heat of the moment and he lets his emotion take over," Maye said Monday following practice. "That's one of the things that I have been struggling with and I let my emotions take over me, but I'm just going to get ahead and start working on making myself a better player.
"I'm going to put that behind me and Coach Swinney and them already (talked) to me about it so I will put it behind me."
What Maye did was get into a scuffle with one of his teammates before he got into with a couple of coaches on the sideline before finally leaving the field for about 10 minutes.
He later returned, but never saw action again in the scrimmage.
"I got tied up with an (offensive) lineman and I felt he cheap shotted me and I turned around and he punched me and we went at it," Maye said. "I took it to another level, but I'm going to put that behind me."
Swinney and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele sat Maye down and talked to him about it and got things straight.
"The biggest thing for me is channeling my emotions in the right direction, and basically taking over the defense without having to do things like that," Maye said. "I take full blame for it and I'm sorry for my actions."
DEFENSE FIGHTS BACK: After a disappointing scrimmage Saturday in which they allowed 200 yards rushing, Steele challenged his defense to really get after things in Monday's practice. And that's exactly what they did.
In fact, they did so well at it, Swinney declared Monday's practice the worst his offense has had this spring.
"The defense kind of came back today and took it back over and had a good day," Swinney said. "I'm kind of disappointed offensively today. We have to mature where we can put two days in a row together and we didn't.
"That was probably the worst practice we had offensively. I was just disappointed with the overall effort and tempo out there today."
Maye said Steele made sure the effort was the exact opposite on the defensive side.
"I was actually talking with Coach Swinney when Coach Steele was talking to them, but I get the feeling he kind if lit the fire under them and told them they have to play and get better with our tackling and everything," the Clemson linebacker said.
STATEMENT FOR THE O-LINE? Swinney said he liked what he saw after going back and watching Saturday's scrimmage on film. The Clemson coach said he saw a lot of improvement up front and was really impressed with Antoine McClain at right guard.
"Antoine McClain is really, really, really the MVP up front right now," Swinney said. "He is doing a great job. It is a great sign to see him maturing like he is."
Swinney also liked the way the running backs ran and he thought overall the quarterbacks played well though there were a few assignment issues.
Defensively, Swinney said the fact Da'Quan Bowers, Kourtnei Brown and Ricky Sapp were not in the lineup caused some problems.
"It showed with some of those guys who played up against the ones," he said. "We had some guys in the wrong places, which created some miss alignments and mental errors basically. But it is all correctable stuff.
"The effort was good so I was pleased with that."
Maye learning to control his emotions
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