CLEMSON - Normally, this is the time of year when the hype machine is kicked back into motion…
Friday afternoon with Dabo
Swinney: No Earth shattering news or anything today, other than up wrapped up practice. I think we've had good preparation. We had a really good few weeks of work, a good combination and balance of trying to prepare for LSU and working on ourselves. A lot of good, competitive work -- the hay's in the barn, if you will, at this point. Game plans are done. Now, the next thing is for these guys to get out of here this afternoon, enjoy a couple of days with their family, celebrate Christmas. We'll get back together Christmas night. We'll have a team meeting at 8:30 and we'll start back practice on the 26th. That really sets up nice. We'll have a normal game week, from a preparation standpoint. We're excited, looking forward to it.
What was the objective? What were you looking for?
Swinney: When you've got, basically, a month before you play a game, since the last game, you have to strike that balance of working Clemson versus Clemson, meaning a lot of just competitive good on good work, just making sure. If you don't do that, you haven't tackled anybody, you haven't gone full speed against really good competition. The first part of bowl practice is always conditioning, skills and drills. Then, we start off it's a lot of work against ourselves, competitively, before we get into any game planning. You can game plan way too much for one team. All of a sudden, guys get bored. Just trying to strike a nice balance there, then, also, not practicing too long. I think we've had a good mixture, as far as the amount of time we spend on the field. We got through finals and then really spent three or four days of cracking heads and having a lot of competitive work mixed in with our game plan versus LSU. The last part of the last few days has been really taking it back, and really fully focusing on game plan. That way, when we leave here -- when you get to bowl sites, it's not a great environment to have staff meetings and game plan. That's not all what you really want to do. You really shouldn't have to do that, to be honest. You're probably doing too much, if you do that when you get to the bowl.
The game plan is in?
Swinney: The game plans are set for both sides, so now we'll spend the week, when they get there, they know what the game plan is going home. When they get there, we'll polish, work on the precision of what we're trying to do and the execution of what we're trying to do, and the knowledge. Hopefully, it'll show up on game day and we'll play our best game.
Have you guys worked on improving kickoff return coverage?
Swinney: We sure have, sure have. We've done quite a bit of live kickoff coverage in this bowl preparation. We've really put an emphasis on the coverage aspect.
What was the issue?
Swinney: A combination of things. You always want to give your opponent credit. Don't want to take anything away from them. We've just got to do a better job of coaching and teaching, and our guys have to take those things to the field. Yeah, we just got out of position a couple of times, guys broke containment, guys being blocked. Again, that's our jobs as coaches, to improve.
Would there be personnel changes there?
Swinney: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. We've changed a couple of guys around.
What can you tell us about where you are in the process of hiring a new defensive backs coach?
Swinney: Can't comment anything on any personnel decisions, right now. The only thing I can tell y'all is I'm excited about the direction we're going to go in. There's a process that you have to honor and respect, from a university standpoint, before I can make any comments or official hires, anything like that. I do think we'll have a great guy on board, hopefully, rather sooner than later. It'll be a great fit for us and a great fit for our players.