Dabo Swinney was not lugubrious at his Tuesday press conference in the Allen Reeves Indoor Facility. He was quite the opposite.
The Clemson coach spoke on his passion for this team and winning, and how that passion lead to his rant on the ACC Championship teleconference.
Swinney and company will take that passion to the ACC Championship this Saturday in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium where it will play Coastal Division Champion Pittsburgh. The Tigers have the chance to be the first ever ACC team to win four titles in a row.
Swinney on Clemson fans
“Our fans are amazing. Ninety-eight percent are. There’s always a small percentage of anything that’s completely out of touch with reality. The big thing with me is I don’t want…fans can have whatever mindset they want to have, but I don’t want anything to creep into the culture of our program. Our players get stuff pushed at them. I don’t want our players to ever walk off the field with a win, and it ‘feel like a loss.’ How sad is that?”
Swinney on Brent Venable’s personality
“That’s why we call him Venny because he is a little crazy on the field, even on the practice field. It’s like a switch. He’s one of the most intense and passionate person you will meet, but off the field he’s one of the sweetest spirits you’ll ever be around. He’s a sweet, gentle spirit. That may sound crazy about Brent because y’all see him eating nails all the time. He really is. It’s so much fun to see him with his daughters. He’s just very loving and gentle spirit. That’s just who he is.”
Swinney compares Hunter Renfrow to Clark Kent
“He looks like the most normal human being, then he steps in that phone booth. A lot of people don’t know what a phone booth is today, but back then you stepped in a phone booth to make a call. Renfrow put his helmet on and poof he turns into Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet, flies through the air, and everything sticks to his hands. He’s tough. He’s got this alter ego.”
Swinney measures of success
“Winning a national championship is a by product of all the things that I measure success by — Commitment, dedication, toughness, love, service, leadership, and discipline are the things I equate success with. My 2014 team was one of the funnest teams I ever coached. We didn’t win a national championship. That defense was unbelievable. Grady Jarrett and that crowd. I don’t think any less of that 2014 team than I do the 2016 team who won it all.”
Swinney on Mack Brown going back to North Carolina
“I actually texted him yesterday to see if there was anything going on or if anything had been confirmed. First of all, I hate it for Larry (Fedora). That’s how (bad) this business is. I hate it for him. That’s why I passionately got after it a little but the other night. The fun is in the winning. If you can’t have fun winning, then why do you do it. It’s hard to win, and to win consistently is almost impossible.”