Tuesday brought another thought-provoking day of interviews, and it all started with Dabo Swinney’s weekly press conference at the WestZone in Memorial Stadium. While he previewed No. 3 Clemson’s matchup with S. C. State on Saturday very briefly, Swinney spent the majority of his time with the media addressing some pressing social issues.
Here is what we heard:
When Swinney was asked his opinion on players protesting the national anthem, the Clemson coach did not shy away from sharing what he believed in.
“The Bible says, the two greatest commandments, if we all lived by those a lot of the problems would go away. It says love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind and all of your soul. And the second one is love your neighbor as you love yourself,” Swinney said. “It does not say love your neighbor for the same religion. It does not say love your neighbor if they are the same color as you. It does not say love your neighbor if they pull for the same team as you. It doesn’t say love your neighbor if they are the same gender as you or whatever. It does not say love your neighbor if they have the same sexuality as you. It just says love your neighbor as you love yourself. If we all live by that in this country, we would not have the problems that we have. That is just my opinion. I never felt like two wrongs make a right. All though (Kaepernick’s) intentions are good, I just think the method isn’t right. That’s my opinion and I’m entitled to that just like everyone else.”
On the field, Swinney addressed the issues that the offense has had in finding a rhythm, and that starts with the receivers dropping passes.
“We have good depth at wide receiver, but we have to play better at that position. That is definitely the most underperforming, underachieving position on our team right now. It is not just the obvious things,” Swinney said. “We see a guy drop the ball, but it’s a lot more than that. The good news is, we will get better, because this is a very competitive group, guys that have done it. It is just a matter of being focused.”
Offensive lineman Jay Guillermo said there was a noticeable difference in the team’s focus in Monday’s practice.
“I felt like the focus was different, it was more of an intentional focus. I think things went smoother. We didn’t hear as many coaches fussing or having to fuss. I felt like guys took more pride in what they were doing on Monday. I don’t think there were as many mistakes yesterday as there normally are. That was really encouraging coming back from this weekend,” the senior said.
Swinney stated he aims not to play linebacker Ben Boulware against S.C. State due to an ankle injury, but he said Boulware would be dressed and ready to go if they truly needed him.
“I went to the state house one time, and I didn’t know that lobbyists were like real people. I didn’t really understand the concept of that. They really do hang out in the lobby, and that’s what Ben Boulware is right now. He’s a lobbyist,” Swinney said. “He’s lobbying hard. He’s trying to show his great backpedal, how good he feels.”
It was announced on Monday evening that wide receiver Hunter Renfrow will have to get surgery on his right hand and miss a few weeks.
“Well first, Hunter and I have a bond and when I first heard the news, I was obviously sad because he is a great player,” freshman receiver Cornell Powell said. “He just makes plays, so I knew he was going to impact the team, but after that, I realized that this could be my moment to show what I can do and go out there and help my team the best way I can.”