Guest columnist drops in for a visit
There are only 26 days left until the Clemson Tigers face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Death Valley. Fall camp officially began on Friday night and before that, Dabo Swinney spoke to the media about his team.
Here is our recap of Dabo’s Interview:
With less than a month to go before Clemson plays their first game of the 2019 season, everyone is excited to get back to watching, playing, and coaching football. Dabo Swinney has been playing and coaching tackle football for 38 years total this year. It’s his 30th year in college football, 17th year at Clemson, and 11th year as the Head Coach of the Clemson Tigers. Even with so many years in the game, it never gets old for him. He is ready to get back to football.
I think we all can agree that we are ready for the football season to begin. It’s amazing how far our show has come since starting back in December. Alan and I are also ready to go through our first football season as hosts of the show. This business is very new and exciting for us in our first year. We can wait for the season and we are excited to have you along with us for the ride!
Dabo still has that same excitement 38 years later. It takes a lot of discipline, energy, and faith to keep doing a job at a high level for almost 4 decades. It all centers around understanding your God-given talents, believing in yourself, and having faith in the process both good and bad. How many things in life can we say we have consistently done for 38 years?
I am very thankful that Clemson has been blessed with a consistent and dedicated coach. He may be young as far as coaching goes but he has been in the game for a long time. Dabo mentioned the 2 years he was out of football. When you know you love something, you can’t stay away for too long.
Welcome back for year number 11 Dabo!
-The last 3 weeks, the staff has been going through a detailed pre-season checklist.
You never want your pilot to jump in a plane and fly without doing their required pre-flight checks. Dabo feels the same way about coaching. He and his staff went through their pre-season checks in July.
-They spent 5 days dedicated to “reinstalling the program.” Think of it like reinstalling an app or a program on your computer that has been wiped clean.
Dabo feels it is very important to have a fresh start each year.
The last 2 days before fall camp was spent conducting a player reset. Similar to what the staff went through but specifically for the players.
The important goal from the reset is to make sure that everyone is on the same page again after the offseason. He wants to make sure that the new guys and the veterans know: who Clemson is, what Clemson does, and why Clemson does it.
He also uses this reset to make it clear that this team has not achieved anything. This team has not won anything. This team has not played a single game. Nothing that was done last year will carry over to this year. The media will be talking about the winning streak but this team does not have a winning streak.
-It’s time to “be about it and not talk about it.”
Dabo also reminded us that, while this is the start of the season, this is not the start for this team. They start a new season every January and that makes the start of the season the halfway point for this team. Each player has been working hard since January, working out, eating right, studying the playbook, and practicing individually and as a team when allowed.
Dabo further explained the importance of preparation by quoting Abraham Lincoln in saying, “If you give me 6 hours to cut down a tree, I’m going to spend the first 4 hours sharpening the blade.”
-It’s August, the blade should be sharp and it’s time to put the work in.
This team is going to be a lot of fun. There is a ton of talent all over the field. Admittedly, there is not a ton of household names out there on defense but we have a feeling that we will learn their names sooner rather than later. There are 120 scholarship players on the team, 80 of those players are freshmen and sophomores. Dabo is excited because the young guys bring a lot of energy and hunger to the locker room. They have a bright future. He also mentioned the importance of the 40 juniors and seniors to take the lead.
-It’s a different roster. There is not as much experience as last year, but they are ready.
DT – Logan Cash has a back injury and will need surgery. No timetable on return.
WR – Amari Rodgers is recovering from ACL reconstruction. September/October return possible.
LB – Bryton Constantin is recovering from ACL reconstruction. No specific return date as of now.
TE – Davis Allen has an ankle injury, nothing serious at this time.
Travis Blanks has joined the football team from the IPTAY office and will head up former player engagement efforts. Dabo and his staff feel that they can do a better job continuing the relationships with former players after they leave Clemson.
Morgan T. 🐯🕶