Swinney on his quarterbacks: 'We'll see what happens'

Swinney on his quarterbacks: 'We'll see what happens'

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Swinney on his quarterbacks: 'We'll see what happens'

SUNSET, S.C. — Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney spoke with the media on Tuesday at his media golf outing at The Reserve at Lake Keowee and discussed several topics, including where the Tigers are in the quarterback competition, the experience of this year’s team, how the team feels going into fall camp and also the new redshirt rule.

Swinney on the quarterback competition:

“It’d be great if I was in a situation where it was just y’all aren’t even asking me the question (about the quarterbacks), but it’s great to have great competition, too, because I don’t know that I’ve really had a situation where I can honestly say that I think we can compete in our league with three guys. Kelly is coming out of spring No. 1. He went into spring No. 1 and he came out of spring No. 1. But the gap closed, so we’ll see what happens.  It’s a daily competition, a daily battle… I’m very confident in Kelly Bryant. I believe in Kelly. I think he can lead this team. He’s already proven he can do that. But he’s so much better today than he was this time last year. Same thing with Trevor and Chase. I know neither one of them have taken a snap. But based on what I’ve seen in our practices and in our meetings and who they are as people, I think those guys will have an opportunity to compete.”

Swinney on this year’s veteran leadership:

“This is the most veteran team I’ve had since I’ve been the head coach and I’m excited about that. Last year was the polar opposite and I embrace whatever challenge we have every year. I think that’s fun. I think that’s what makes college football so interesting. Last year we were a complete makeover on offense, really starting over and we spend the whole year like, ‘Oh my gosh how are we going to score a touchdown?’ Whereas this year it’s so different and I embrace that too because we have all of these guys back who’ve been there, they’ve played. So hopefully that leadership, that experience, will bode well for us and it already has from what I’ve seen in spring ball and what has taken place this summer. Then there’s a lot of things you don’t see, and as coaches we don’t see. What I know is just little things that I know our players are doing from a leadership standpoint. Whether it’s an older guy taking in a younger guy, coming back in the afternoon when they could be at the pool after their workout but yet it’s an older guy taking young guys in on his own to go work some drills and I think that’s the type of leadership we have on this team.”

Swinney on August camp:

“I think there’s going to be a ton of energy. I was just talking to Christian (Wilkins) driving up here and the guys are ready to go. They’re chomping at the bit to get started. We have a lot of veterans but we’ve had as much competition as we’ve ever had. Everybody on this team knows and accepts that they have to go and earn it. Nobody is given anything. That is just the culture that we have. So that’s the mindset. It’s very much workman like. There’s nobody that’s arrived. Everybody has to go prove it. I don’t care how many years they’ve started. Mitch Hyatt is a very proven left tackle but this is August of 2018 and you have to prove it again. So there’s that mindset and we have just so much competition at every position because we have good depth and we have good experienced depth. Everybody is working hard to earn the opportunity to play. Not everybody can start but it’s not about starting. It’s about how you play when you play. So that’s where we are and with that comes a lot of energy and enthusiasm and it will be exciting to get out there and watch them compete.”

Swinney on the new redshirt rule:

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily an advantage because everybody has the same opportunity but I do think it’s a great opportunity for us from a developmental standpoint… You may have a guy who just isn’t ready but by the end of the year he’s really developed. He’s been through power hour, he’s matured, he’s mentally in a different place. It’s really nice to say, ‘Hey you know what? We’re going to be able to get you in a game here.’ The engagement from your redshirt guys will go to a whole other level. I think we do a good job. Guys that are redshirting, it’s hard. But we have a plan and in fact, we talk about it every fall camp. How we are going to keep our redshirt kids engaged. I want to know what your plan as a position coach is weekly to keep him engaged, just so there’s a steady progression and he doesn’t feel like he’s not a part of it. So I think that part helps because now a guy knows he has a chance to get in a game.”

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