Sept. 6, 2010
CLEMSON, SC – Video of Head Coach ClemsonTigers.com via TigerCast on Tuesday, September 7. The press conference will begin at 11:00 a.m.
Coach Swinney’s weekly press conference will be broadcast live on TigerCast each week throughout the 2010 season.
Click on the link below to watch the press conference on TigerCast:
Swinney Press Conference – September 7, 11:00 AM
Tickets are still available for the 2010 season and can be purchased online at ClemsonTigers.com or by phone by calling 1-800-CLEMSON. Youth tickets are also now available for the Clemson vs. Presbyterian College on September 11 for $10 each.
Click here to purchase tickets.
Swinney Press Conference Transcript
Opening statement: “The focus this week is simple. We need to improve. We did some good things last week that I’m proud of, but we’ve got some areas I hope our guys will learn from.
” Presbyterian is a team that’s transitioning to Division I and that’s always a difficult process. When you watch them, they are improved. They put up 362 yards of offense against Wake Forest and scored some points. Offensively, they have seven guys back, including a running back that is a thick, tough runner. They’ve got a receiver who can run, and a center that has started a lot of games.
“Defensively, we’re very familiar with these guys. Their defensive coordinator (Tom Evangelista) was here with us as a graduate assistant and he does a great job of coordinating the defense. Former Clemson player Andrew Ford is the secondary coach.
“Defensively, they’re very young and they’re playing a lot of freshmen. They’re not going just sit there. We’ve got to be prepared for a lot of different movements; we’ve got to be able to pick that stuff up. It’s all about getting better this week and trying to see if we can go 2-0.
“We’re in pretty good shape as far as injuries go. Brandon Maye is progressing very well, and right now I would say he is questionable. Miguel Chavis is probable (sprained ankle). Jarvis Jenkins has a slight MCL sprain and is questionable.”
On passing attack: “We need to get the ball a little more before we can really do anything on offense (Clemson ran just 46 plays against North Texas). If we can run the ball, that’s what’s going to set everything up for us. Everything’s going to start with us being able to run the ball effectively.
“There may be some games where we might be able to take advantage of the passing game if we establish the fact that we can be a running football team. We were able to set up some good things off the play action. We didn’t really get a good rhythm going, but we did what we had to do to win the game.
On play of offensive line: “I’m very proud of the offensive line. You don’t have two 100-yard rushers by accident. Guys have to be blocking. There were several plays where our guys went untouched and that’s guys covering their guy up and staying engaged. You have to give the backs a tremendous amount of credit. They executed properly and they ran with purpose. When you watch them play, they looked like two guys on a mission. That’s how you want all the guys to look.”
On play of Jamie Harper: “He’s growing up. He didn’t just take a superstar pill and become a good player; he’s been working hard. He’s had some success here and there and some failures and that’s how you get better.
“Jamie (Harper) and Andre (Ellington) have really put in a lot of work. They’re having more success and becoming more confident. Jamie’s learned how to take care of his body. He’s muscled up and gotten in great shape during the off-season. And with growing up comes better production.
On fast pace on offense: “We weren’t able to establish the rhythm we wanted, but in that two-minute drive (before the half) we really got them on their heels. We would like to mix some of that in to our normal play. We just were physically better. We were just trying to line up and win the football game.
On play of Kyle Parker: “He did OK. The interception was just a poor decision; he knows it. He just got greedy and their defense did a good job of baiting it in there. We’ve got to come away with points on a play like that.
“For what we did and the opportunities the offense had, I thought they were pretty effective and we were pretty dominant. We scored 35 points on 46 offensive plays.
On defense: “It’s the first game and we just didn’t play very well in some spots. We’ll get better. We did have six sacks and 13 tackles for loss; that’s top 5 in the country. That means guys were active. But, results are what count. I was disappointed because we just didn’t play smart.
“I know guys know better than they showed on the field. It’s the first game, crazy things happen. We just didn’t finish plays like we should have. They had 22 third down attempts. We didn’t get off the field like we needed to. I’m just glad we won.
” I’ve been a part of games where we played great and lost. That’s not worth anything. We didn’t play as great as we can or will, but we won. There are some good things there to build upon.
On Byron Maxwell: “He’s another one of those guys who’s just grown up. He’s never been “the” guy. He’s been Robin. He’s always had a Batman (Crezdon Butler and Chris Chancellor), but now he’s “the” guy. Scouts love him. You don’t find corners like him who can really play corner with a body like he has.
“He’s improved physically in the off-season. The interception was just perfection. It was a clinic on how to intercept the ball. He just did a great job and it was a big play.
On Dawson Zimmerman: “What you saw Saturday, I see in practice all the time. I call him a practice All-American. It was never transferred onto the field…until this week. He had a great spring and a great camp. He’s the National Punter of the Week – not bad for a practice All-American.
“Last year was his first year to be “the” guy. I’m very encouraged by Saturday but that was one game. He’s got to keep on getting better. Field position is huge. The further the field is, the more the percentages of scoring go down. The punt is one of the best offensive plays in football.
“If you’ve got a guy who can consistently hit it 40-50 yards, that’s field position. The punt is not a bad thing. We need to make sure we’re taking advantage of a weapon and helping our defense. Our objective is to score, kick for a score, or move it out far enough that they have to go 80 yards for a score.
On Marcus Gilchrist returns: “You have to have ball skills. You have to have the guts of a burglar. You have to have great confidence and courage to be a return man. You have to have little eyes when that ball’s in the air. All the great ones, they’ve got that. They’ve got that type of swagger.
“Gilchrist is a vet. He did a great job. He could have scored on one, we had the Berlin Wall built up, but he just missed it. You’ve got to have good hands and the ability to make people miss and he’s able to do that.
On DeAndre Hopkins: “I don’t know what he runs as far as a 40-yard dash time goes, I just know he makes plays. Speed isn’t a problem for him. He’s just a football player. He’s one of those rare freshmen that doesn’t get overwhelmed. He just gets it. He acts like he’s been doing it for three years, like there’s nothing to it. He’s going to be an exciting player at Clemson. It was good to see him have a little success early on and hopefully he’ll continue to get some opportunities.”
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