CUTigersTV: Dabo Swinney

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney talks after Clemson's first stadium scrimmage Tuesday morning.

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CUTigersTV: Dabo Swinney



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OPENING COMMENTS: I thought it was a little bit better than a typical first scrimmage. There always certain things you expect in a first scrimmage. It was a little bit better than what I expected for the first time out here. There were some wins and losses on both sides and we mixed and matched a good bit. ... I thought they competed very well. The biggest thing to me was if we are going to be a championship team, we have to be a smarter, more disciplined team, and that starts by not beating yourselves. Whether it was a dropped ball, a missed tackle, a missed assignment on third-and-long, or a poor red zone play on each side of the ball, you know things we can control, if we can do that we'll be a good team. Several guys flashed today - I thought both quarterbacks did a good job. Pleased with the tight ends. Wide outs did some good things today- Marquan [Jones] and [Xavier] Dye and Jaron [Brown] had a really good day.

Drew Traylor had a nice big play, Dwayne Allen. Darrell Smith had a nice big play. Hot Rod [McDowell] continues to show that he might could make himself relevant. Xavier Brewer, if there's one guy that's ready to put a paw on his helmet it's No. 29. He's as competitive as a guy as we have on the field. I need to see the film to evaluate some other things. Wasn't real sloppy and didn't have a lot of procedural issues. We've got to get better. We aren't ready to play.

ON RUNNING THE BALL TUESDAY: I thought we ran the ball effectively. We had a good short-yardage situation at the end. The first-team offense against the swarm defense, they controlled the line of scrimmage. The attack defense against the purple offense- they controlled the line of scrimmage. So, it was a good competitive day. Everything we've done to this point was about getting ready for today. We didn't do goal line today, that will come Saturday, but we got some red zone, short-yardage and normal down stuff. We'll be able to study the tape and get ready for Saturday's scrimmage and hopefully improve.

ON THE KICKERS: I thought they all did okay. I know [Spencer] Benton and Richard Jackson both hit the upright from 54 yards out. They nailed it. You probably couldn't do that again in 100 tries. They both hit the dead center of the upright from 54 yards. Did some kickoff coverage today and Spencer kicked the ball well and the coverage was good. It will be more of an emphasis on the return Saturday, two minute introduction as well as goal line.

ON OFFENSIVE LINE: First group did good. Held up pretty good. Gave up a couple of sacks even though it's a quick whistle out there trying to protect our quarterback and get him to the game. I thought the first group held up pretty good. We'll watch the film and I'm sure there's several things we'll have to correct.

WHAT ABOUT THE SECOND TEAM DEFENSE: I thought the first couple of possessions, when it was the attack versus the orange, the attack did what you expected them to do. They got them off the field. Then the orange went against the swarm and had two 70 yard drives. My point there is there can't be drop off, if you are going to play, you are going to play against the best, and that's what I told the team, especially with the swarm defense because we have a lot of good players there. The flip side of that is, when the attack went against the purple, the purple went right down the field on them in the first drive. There were a couple of big plays as Tajh [Boyd] did a good job. Again, we'll improve and learn from it and get ready for Saturday.

ON THE RECEIVERS: I wouldn't say there is anybody that has separated from the pack. Marquan [Jones] has done a really good job of being consistent in the slot. The rest of those guys, [Xavier] Dye, [Brandon] Clear, Jaron [Brown] and Bryce McNeal, they are all battling. Then Ford who is trying to get into that mix. Then bringing Nuke along and Joe Craig along. They are not quite there yet but they are competing.

THE DIFFERENCE IN MCDOWELL: He's tougher. I thought he was pretty soft this spring. He's been tougher, more competitive more focused player in fall camp. He's finishing plays that aren't necessarily there. Second-effort type plays, bouncing off the first hit. He's catching the ball well. He's not very big and he has to continue to work hard and grow his body and all of that but you have to bring the toughness. I thought he was very inconsistent this spring in that area but he's done a good job.

ON ANDRE BRANCH: Very steady player. I thought he was one of our most consistent guys last year as a matter of fact. He's not on any watch lists but I tell you what, if he stays healthy he's going to have a heckuva year. And that will set himself up for a big senior season. He's matured. He's grown up. He used to be a little too playful for me and not serious about being a good football player. Guys rally to him. He's a physical tough football player that likes to mix it up. Not afraid. Had an interception today for a touchdown. The experience he got last year will prepare him to be a starter. Everybody is going to be talking about No. 93 over there but you better pay attention to 40. He's off to a good start.

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