Wednesday practice notebook

CLEMSON - As players left the practice fields and headed towards the West End Zone locker room, there were the usual mixed looks of exhaustion and satisfaction after practice under Coach Dabo Swinney.

Two days before Clemson's third game of the season, Swinney believed another good practice was in the books.

"It was a good working-man's Wednesday today," Swinney said. "It was a good practice."

Pleased with the blitz pickup, team passing and a solid end to the day with the two-minute drill—the offense won one and the defense won another.

When asked about play calling, Swinney said offensive coordinator Billy Napier has been making most of them. There have been a few changes here and there but with very few bumps along the way.

"It's been a pretty smooth operation," Swinney said.

With a lot of time spent game planning for various situations, he's already got a pretty good idea of what's going to be called when. But there are situations when he and Napier discuss a play before it's called.

"There might be a time-out or a third-and-long coming up and we've got a couple of plays we like and we'll go with it," Swinney said. "For the most part, we're on the same page 100 percent."

Though he believes Napier might be a little more cautious in play calling, Swinney believes they both have aggressive mentalities.

"If I don't like something, I just change it…but I like what we're doing," he said.

Swinney likes that the offense is showing the ability to break a big play and he believes it will help out his team further down the road. It may be a little more gratifying, especially considering there were so many questions about how well Clemson would be able to pass with an inexperienced quarterback under center.

"One thing (Kyle Parker) has shown is he can throw the ball down the field," Swinney said.

And as Parker continues to improve with the offense, Swinney wants to see the tempo steadily increase.

"We've got three different tempos, but there a lot of times we really want to press them and get up and go," Swinney said. "I think we're better when we attack. For the most part, we've done that."

When asked about addressing third down and goal line situations, he believes there have been some critical errors that have been made. Swinney said it was coaching or something that didn't happen on the field, which was no fault of the running backs.

After 20 carries against Georgia Tech, Swinney doesn't seem primed to reduce C.J. Spiller's touches just to give Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington more.

"Both of them bring a lot to the table. They're just different type guys. But they'll both get their touches throughout the course of the year," Swinney said.

INJURY UPDATES: The Tigers continue to remain healthy with no new, serious injuries to report. Despite bruising his side while registering his first catch of the year during the Georgia Tech game, Michael Palmer continues to practice. Swinney called Palmer a blue-collar kind of player.

"He always gets dings throughout the season. He plays really hard. He always kind of works his way through it," Swinney said. "By the end of the week he's ready to go." Top Stories