Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had a rather pointed exchange with a local television reporter during his news conference today. Swinney took offense when Rob Brennan of ABC Columbia asked him about the toughness, or lack thereof, on his team
Here is the transcript of the exchange along with a link to the audio below.
Brennan: In those four losses, it was almost like you hit Clemson in the mouth and you got them where you want them. You know, how do you change that attitude?
Swinney: Did you watch the games?
Brennan: I was at all those games…
Swinney: You watched the games? You might have been there, but you obviously didn’t watch them.
Brennan: The way you played N.C. State, the way you played Georgia Tech, Carolina in the second half and especially the Orange Bowl. How do you change that mentality with your guys?
Swinney: It starts first of all with taking care of the football. We were 8-0 with six turnovers. We lost four games with a gajillion. And that affects everything. It affects your momentum, your psyche. You know, just come turn the film on and tell Brandon Thompson he’s physical, or not tough or whatever you’re talking about over there. We got beat. I wanted to be 14-0. Did you predict us to be 14-0?
Brennan: Did I? No.
Swinney: Did you predict us to be 10-4?
Brennan: I’m asking you a question based on…
Swinney: I’m asking you a question! Did you predict us to be 10-4?
Brennan: No, I did not.
Swinney: Did you predict us to be the ACC Champion?
Brennan: I thought maybe, possibly.
Swinney: Ok. Well, you have to have a tough bunch of guys to get that done. This is a hard game. It’s a tough game and it’s played by tough people. You don’t win ten football games at this level if you aint tough. You don’t go into Blacksburg, Virginia…
Brennan: It’s seems like when your down you have a hard time coming back. That’s the whole point.
Swinney: Well, we had the second largest comeback in the history of this school. We’ve been playing here one hundred something years. At Maryland, 18 down. Came back from 14 down, I think three times. Never been done. You need to get your facts right.
It is strange Swinney took such offense to Brennan’s question. Not 10 minutes earlier he alluded to the fact his team needs improve its toughness.
“We got some guys that are really, really talented that aint very tough right now, aint very physical. And that’s just a part of the process.”
After making a comment like this it is strange Swinney took such umbrage with Brennan asking him how he was going to change things.
Oh well, it was entertaining anyway.