Talkin' jerseys

CLEMSON - Don't ask head coach Dabo Swinney about the new jerseys expected to be worn this year.

He's much more interested in the player within the jersey and how he plays, than how he looks.

Of course, that's to be expected because he's the head coach. You know, the head man in charge.

The guy who makes all the big decisions on game day.

Still, it's a popular topic amongst fans this time of year, especially when there are changes in store like what is expected this season.

Talking with CUTigers Thursday evening after practice, Swinney confirmed what had been talked and written about shortly after his first signed his contract on Dec. 1, 2008- there are changes coming and they've been in the works for quite some time.

"We did all the changes shortly after I got the job," he said. "You saw the pants last year but we incorporated the changes in the jersey at the same time. It was just too late in the process to have them ready for last season. So we had the new pants, just not the jersey."

Think of the "new" jersey as a return to the glory days.

A return to simpler times even. A time of less stripes, patterns and high-tech gizmos.

"It's definitely more traditional. We wanted to incorporate that into the new jersey," he said. "We were really trying to go for a more traditional style with the whole uniform. That was the overall goal of what we were trying to do - to be more traditional."

In short, expect the Tiger paws to remain around shoulder area, while the thin white stripes that have been in place since the last major jersey change in 2005 to disappear.

Think more along the lines of Alabama or Penn State (in orange of course) as opposed to Oregon or Miami.

Swinney, who single-handily made the decision to go to the less sophisticated style, said the new jersey will be unveiled for the first time on fan day and that he's yet to actually see them himself.

"You know I haven't seen them yet but I remember what they look like based on the design when we first did it," he said. "But I'll tell you, it's not about the jersey. People can talk about jerseys all they want - it's the player inside the jersey that matters."

Spoken like a true coach indeed. Top Stories