Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney defended his team from negative fan perceptions but maybe didn’t sound like a future Crimson Tide head coach.
Former Crimson Tide player and Clemson head coach, Dabo Swinney called out those dissatisfied with his defense’s performance against South Carolina. He was direct, honest and correct while defending his players.
To those Clemson fans whining about Jake Bentley passing for 510 yards on the Tigers’ defense, Dabo provided a reality check. He gave Clemson fans a lesson on expectations and how achievement should be defined.
As provided by The Big Spur, Dabo said,
The senior class has won 52 games and we’ve got people complaining. Give me a break.
I’m going to say it one more time: we’ve had eight 10-plus win seasons, we’re 12-0. Third time in the history of this school we’ve won five state championships in a row. And when that’s not enough for some people, that’s sad. That’s sad.
I ain’t ever going to apologize for a 21-point win over our rival. And winning five straight games over our rival.
Our players work too hard. The goal is to win, period. I don’t want to ever be a program — ever — that doesn’t appreciate winning.
Dabo was also honest in admitting his defense played poorly against South Carolina. He just as clearly acknowledged the defensive performance was not up to Clemson’s standard. He was not making any excuses for his players. He was standing up for them.
Dabo has long been labeled as a “players’ coach” and he welcomes that description. Long past are the days when college coaches are unapproachable task-masters to their players. Nick Saban is no softie, but he understands players need to know their coaches care about them. Both coaches will fight to protect their players.
Dabo went so far as to suggest if Clemson expectations were so out-of-line, maybe he should consider other coaching opportunities. It is reasonable to believe Dabo was just using the opportunity to motivate his players. But if he truly is chafing at unrealistic expectations, becoming a future Crimson Tide head coach may be a bad fit.
No program has higher, every season, every game expectations than the Alabama Crimson Tide. So much so, the expectations of many Alabama football fans can be defined as overboard. Miss Terry has expressed such concerns in the past. The extent any non-national championship season is defined as a failure appears to not bother Nick. But as arguably the greatest college football ever, he is mostly immune to criticism.
In fairness to Dabo, he should not be measured by comparisons to Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings or Nick Saban. That is too much to ask of anyone. He can only be the best he can be – by being true to himself and his beliefs. He is unquestionably a fine man, a role model and a protector of others.
Watch the entire video below instead of just reading what is in the tweet. In it, Dabo said he doesn’t want success at Clemson to be measured by national championships. Absent context, that comment sets off alarm about Dabo someday replacing Nick Saban. At the very least, Dabo should be admired for his sincere convictions.
At some point, the Alabama Crimson Tide will have another head man. The transition will be at least as hard as when Paul Bryant retired. Would it be too much for Dabo? We don’t know but suspect it could be too much for anyone.