Linebacker Isaiah Simmons took questions from the media after a 45-10 win on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky. The redshirt junior led the Tigers with 8 tackles, 2 sacks, and a pass breakup.
Despite another drop in the Associated Press poll, Simmons remains positive and wants Clemson fans and football audiences to know the Tigers are human and will make mistakes but are trying to improve themselves week by week.
Simmons on being his own biggest critic
“I’m really hard on myself. Sometimes, it’s not good how hard I am on myself, but the only thing I see is what I’m doing wrong and what I can do to fix it. I’m a perfectionist. I hate messing up. I know, instantly, once I mess up. I know what I did wrong, why I did it, and I’m just trying to make sure I don’t make any of those mistakes again. Maybe being one step behind from where I should be. I know there were a couple of times, if I maybe would’ve used a different technique on the tackle, I would’ve had a sack. I know there was an opportunity in the game I could’ve gotten an interception in the game. If I had just been one step quicker. It’s just a lot of little things like that where I might be doing my job correctly, but it’s just in my mind where I know what I could do to make that play that much better.”
Simmons on Trevor Lawrence and the offense
“Everybody’s really concerned about Trevor’s play. I don’t know why because we’re undefeated. Of course, he’s making mistakes but he’s human just like everybody else. He can’t play perfectly. I feel like everybody’s so focused on Trevor and only the mistakes he’s making, and I guess people think he gets lucky with his throws with our receivers, but that’s just a relationship that they’ve built to where he trusts them to make those plays. Me and Trevor have a really close relationship. Every time the offense runs off, I high-five every single one of them. I just want them to know we always have their back and we just try to play the best complementary football that we can.”
Simmons on how the players, new and veterans, feel about the season:
“Nobody’s getting complacent. Nobody’s hungry until everybody’s starving so I don’t think anybody’s really satisfied with what we’re doing at all. We’re looking for shutouts regardless of who’s in…first team…second team. We’re just working on making sure with everybody that there’s no drop-offs. Coach Swinney tells us all the time that the other team isn’t going to put in their backups just because we do, so there shouldn’t be a difference.”
Simmons on forcing turnovers
“We want to win the turnover margin every game. Every Tuesday we emphasize that it’s
‘Turnover Tuesday,’ so we do turnovers. We see all these teams getting interceptions, fumble recoveries, whatever it is, and we just want to be a top team in the turnover margin. We want to be plus ten or better.”
Simmons on the AP Poll and rankings:
“Me, personally, I have the mentality that it’s us against the world. I feel like everybody else should as well. It’s always seemed like everybody wants Clemson to go down. They’re probably getting tired of seeing us play Alabama. But those rankings and stuff, they don’t matter right now. There are still teams that could lose to anybody at any given moment. You’ve seen Wisconsin lose to a lesser team and Georgia lost to a lesser team as well. Right now, it really doesn’t mean anything. We’re only halfway through the season. When it comes to the end of the season, whatever the rankings are, I guess that’s when it’ll really matter.”
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