Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney could not have been more pleased with the conditions during Tuesday’s practice. For the first time in camp, the Tigers practiced on Jervey Meadows and they did so with the afternoon sun beating down as temperatures sat in the mid-90s with sticky and humid conditions.
“It was wonderful,” Swinney said. “It was hot, just the way we wanted it and it was a little miserable. So it was great from that standpoint.”
However, what wasn’t great was the performance of his football team, especially his offense.
“I thought this was a day when the offense gave in (to the heat),” he said. “The defense really pushed them around a little bit. I did not see the mental toughness that I needed to see offensively. There really was not enough of it. There were spurts here and there, but nowhere near the mental toughness. I thought they gave into it a little bit today.”
Tuesday marked the second bad practice for the offense in camp. The offense struggled in Saturday’s scrimmage as well. When asked did he kind of expect a day like this from the offense with it being so hot, it aggravated Swinney even more about his offense.
“No I don’t expect a day like this. I expect guys to come out and compete to the standard that we talk about,” the Clemson coach said. “That is what we expect. Sometimes, if maybe you have a day that is not going so well, I expect somebody to pick it up and I did not see either one of them today.”
With so many veteran guys gone on the offensive side of the ball, Swinney understands having bad days like he had on Tuesday can be a learning experience for his young offense. However, he admitted he rather not have them if they can help it.
“I saw a few guys that took it to heart,” he said. “We will see how they respond tomorrow. We have a quick turnaround in the morning. We are going to run a lot of plays tomorrow. It’s going to be a big situational scrimmage and we are going to make sure we get enough work.”
The flip side of Tuesday’s results was the defense. Swinney thought the defense competed and pushed through the adverse conditions.
As for the offense, it did end the afternoon better than it started. Swinney reported they were in a better frame of mind and competed better when they ended the workout with two-minute situations, a touchdown-to-win-it situation and a field goal-to-win-it situation.
“I did think we finished better, but it took a while for the offense to really get its mind where it needed to be,” he said.
Clemson will practice in Jervey Meadows again on Wednesday and part of the practice will be a situational scrimmage.
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