Is this season one of Swinney's best coaching jobs? Analysts weigh in

Is this season one of Swinney's best coaching jobs? Analysts weigh in

Football

Is this season one of Swinney's best coaching jobs? Analysts weigh in

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Even in a “down” season for Clemson — relatively speaking for a program that has won six straight ACC Championships and made six consecutive appearances in the College Football Playoff — Dabo Swinney has still managed to lead his team to eight wins thus far in 2021 and keep the Tigers’ hopes of reaching a seventh straight ACC Championship Game alive.

On The Huddle on the ACC Network following Clemson’s 48-27 victory over No. 10 Wake Forest on Saturday, ACCN analysts Mark Richt, Eric Mac Lain and E.J. Manuel weighed in on whether this season represents one of the best coaching jobs of Swinney’s career, considering the offensive struggles, the injuries that the Tigers have endured and the fact they still have the chance to get 10 wins in spite of all that.

Richt: “He’s definitely had to coach harder. Every time you coach a game that’s a close, tight game, there’s a lot of tight decisions that they have to make. He’s had to spend time defending his coaches, he’s had to spend time defending his players. He’s stayed true to everybody on the staff, everybody on his team, stayed positive. It just takes a lot more energy to play those types of games that they’ve been playing. So, I would have to agree with that statement (that it’s one of the best coaching jobs of Swinney’s career).”

Mac Lain: “Coach, you brought that up early in the year. You said listen – this staff, these players, they’re going to be in really uncomfortable situations that they quite frankly have never been in before. So, I don’t think (the statement), when you really dive into it, I don’t think it’s too far off.”

Manuel: “I don’t think it is either. Look, sometimes you can’t be perfect, and I actually think this might be the best thing for this program to understand hey, look, we can be down but we can still fight and get wins and maybe even still squeak a way into the ACC Championship. Imagine that, guys. We talk about the start of the season, the first four or five games for this team, would they be in the ACC Championship? I don’t think anybody thought that. But there’s still a chance.”

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