5 Issues We Would Love Clemson's Dabo Swinney to Address at ACC Media Days
Fans can't wait for media days every year because of the optimism they bring or the issues they address. When Dabo Swinney takes the stand at the ACC media days, there are certain issues we would like for him to discuss.
The coach has a first-year starter at quarterback, some talented true freshmen and position battles at important positions. There won't be a shortage of conversation at the media days, that's for sure.
Progression of True Freshmen
Even with a lot of talent in this year's senior class, it seems more excitement has been built around this year's class of freshmen. Deshaun Watson headlined the group, so of course we would like to know how well he is progressing during workouts and practices.
There are also some big-name freshmen at wide receiver who enrolled early and practiced in spring ball, including Artavis Scott, Kyrin Priester and Demarre Kitt. We would love to know if any of those guys have spaced themselves from the pack. It's also worth asking how Trevion Thompson, who didn't enroll early, will fit into the mix at wide receiver.
There's also the inevitable question that coaches get asked at some point every year: Which freshmen will likely redshirt, and which of them appear ready to see the field now?
There are a few positions that will remain a battle heading into late summer. Running back is among the most important of them all. D.J. Howard was listed as the starter concluding spring ball, but it's safe to say he shouldn't get too comfortable with Zac Brooks and Wayne Gallman on his heels. C.J. Davidson is another guy to watch as a potential surprise.
When Tyshon Dye recovers from his injury, he will likely be in the competition as well. Tiger fans would remind me at this point to also mention Kurt Fleming, the walk-on who has a shot at seeing some carries this year.
Adam Humphries, Charone Peake and Mike Williams are pretty much set at receiver, but the backup spots are still up for grabs at this point. Which players will win the backup jobs, and are there any that could give competition for a starting job?
Will Mackensie Alexander and Cordrea Tankersley be the starting corners? We would love to hear coach talk about the potential of these two young players.
The offensive line is unsettled at this point, so there's a little bit of competition in that unit as well, but the other big battle is at linebacker. Korrin Wiggins, Travis Blanks, Dorian O'Daniel and T.J. Burrell are all competing for the nickelback spot.
Swinney should address if any of these guys have started to separate themselves from the pack.
Potential of 2014 Defense
Every year in recent memory, Clemson's offense has been the topic of conversation. This year, the defense could be among the biggest issues talked about at the media days.
The Tigers have a lot of potential on the defensive side of the ball this season, so we would love to hear Swinney's thoughts on the matter.
How strong does he think this defense really is, and how big of a factor will it be in the team's success?
With seniors Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett and Stephone Anthony, this defense could be the best it has been in years.
Cole Stoudt Entering First Season as Starter
Some analysts have jumped off the Clemson bandwagon because of the departure of Tajh Boyd. Most people, outside of Clemson followers, don't have high expectations for Cole Stoudt, but this guy could be really good in 2014.
We would love for Coach Swinney to address the differences we will see in the offense this year with Stoudt running things and how well he thinks Stoudt can lead the team.
Stoudt is the wild card right now, because how he performs will play a huge role in the outcome of Clemson's season.
How Will Clemson Fare in the Big Games?
If every Clemson fan got one question to ask Coach Swinney, it would be this: Coach, how are you going to beat South Carolina this year?
It's something Swinney will likely have to address, along with how to win the other big games against Georgia and Florida State.
Florida State is the biggest game of the year in terms of trying to win the ACC, but every Clemson fan knows how important a win against the in-state rival would be too.
It will be interesting to hear how Swinney addresses the issue of playing on the road at Georgia and Florida State early on and what he thinks the Tigers have to do in order to win those contests.
With Steve Spurrier bringing up beating Clemson at his media day, it's likely that Swinney could have a return jab waiting on the Ol' Ball Coach.