Friday Dabo Swinney interview

CLEMSON – Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about day 10 of spring practice, Saturday morning's scrimmage in Death Valley and more.

HOW'S SPRING PRACTICE GOING?: Spring is really about building a library of film on both sides of the ball. We've got a lot in the library and that's a good thing. When we get back this summer, they've got a lot to work on when we get back in the fall. When we start game planning, you don't take everything into it, but you want to be able to go to the library. It's a lot of installation on both sides. Really, tomorrow, I'm looking for communication, who can play, execute within the situation that presents itself. I told the team I want to see a bunch of blue collared guys that played hard and don't beat themselves. We've really worked hard at that this spring and, hopefully, that'll be something we see tomorrow.

WILL BOYD BE WORKING WITH THE (SECOND TEAM) IN THE SCRIMMAGE?: Yes. We'll have Kyle (Parker) in the morning. He'll get the scrimmage work. Tajh will be with the twos.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE, MINUS WILSON NORRIS: I feel really good about the first five. I feel very, very good about the first five. Mason Cloy is back in green, doing a little bit of work as well. He did a little team work today. I'm feeling really good about him. Obviously, he's started a year and a half for us. I'm excited about him. Those six guys that we play with. Ben Ramsey is another guy that I'm confident in, as far as knowing what to do and execute, but he's hurt as well. We'll get him back. Wilson was a vital, veteran guy that could give you some snaps. It might be a blessing in disguise because it puts a little bit more pressure on Brandon Thomas, Tyler Fowler, who's a guy that we're really excited about, and Kalon Davis—same thing. Phillip Price and Matt Sanders. We put a lot of pressure on those guys. Right now, they're not there. Phillip Price and Brandon Thomas did some really good things Wednesday. We actually put those two guys up with our first group, which helped them. Sometimes, when you've got a bunch of guys and the communication is not crisp, it can affect everybody. I feel like Phillip Price is going to (play), same thing with Brandon. Brandon's still got a little ways to go to be game ready.

DWAYNE ALLEN AS A LEADER: It's something we've challenged him on. He's one of those guys, I think, has that. He's got great work ethic, first of all. Nobody works harder than Dwayne. He loves practice. He gets after it. Sometimes, you don't notice him until he makes a play. We need him to bring some guys along with him, reach down and grab some guys and bring them where he is, from a work ethic standpoint. I'm pleased with him.

BRANDON MAYE DURING SATURDAY'S SCRIMMAGE: He may play a little bit of both (middle and weak-side linebacker).

THE SECONDARY: We feel like we've got a very special first group. I'm very confident in Xavier Brewer. He's had a tremendous spring. He's really worked on his body. Our two young safeties have made progress this spring--Carlton Lewis and Jonathan Meeks. Spencer Adams had made progress at corner. He's a long guy that can really run. Coty (Sensabaugh) has done some good things. I'm really kind of challenging Coty to have a big summer in the weight room. He's got to get a little bit stronger. All of those guys are doing a good job. Rashard Hall is too smart for his own good and DeAndre McDaniel is just a special guy. If there's one guy I know I can depend on to show up, play every down and do it right, that's Marcus Gilchrist. He is a special guy that I think is doing a good job trying to lead for us.

MARQUAN JONES: He's getting a lot of reps. He's not in that backup role. He's a rep guy. He's backed up Jacoby for two years. Now, he's getting all of those first team reps. The light's on for him. It's kind of like David Smith on the offensive line. That'd be a good comparison. He really understands what he's doing. He's playing faster. Marquan can line up and run, he can fly. He hasn't always played fast. He's been a little hesitant at times. He's finishing plays. He's not busting assignments. He's taking on a leadership role, trying to assert himself.

FRIDAY'S PRACTICE: It was a good practice. We cut it back two periods. We're going to try to get started early. We've got 7:30 meetings. We want to try to have a good fresh day tomorrow. We finished up practice with a coming out situation. We hadn't worked that yet. The ball on the one-yard line and the offense trying to get a first down or create some room to have a chance to punt it. The defense is trying to pin them, trying to have a killer instinct. We worked that situation. I was a little disappointed. We had an off-side on defense. We had a turnover on a dropped snap, which the defense got a safety off of. That was the first time we worked that situation and it wasn't as near crisp as I would like to see it. We had a good inside, good skele, good team pass. It was a good day, good tempo.

KALON DAVIS: He's making progress. He's a guy that, now that he's getting that second team work, he's a smart guy, which helps. He understands football. He was well coached in high school, so he's got a pretty good foundation. That's probably been the most pleasant surprise in dealing with things. He's smart. He gets things. It's just a matter of him being able to execute those things with good technique and good effort.

A FEATURE BACK?: I think we have two special backs. Last year, we had C.J. Spiller, the best player in America and we played three guys all year. The reason we did is because those two are pretty good players. They deserved to play. C.J. will tell you that. It's the same thing this year. It'll be a one-two punch. Rod (McDowell), if he continues to emerge, I think he'll be a factor with a role too. Jamie and Andre do a lot of similar things, but they have contrasting styles. I think people are going to be really pleased with the product we put on the field, from a running game standpoint. Top Stories