Dabo Swinney on Nick Saban's view of no huddle offenses: 'That's not reality'

'If you really want the same old thing and everybody to be conformed, then you've got that in the NFL. That's what Sundays are for'

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney congratulates Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd after Boyd scored a touchdown in the first quarter.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney congratulates Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd after Boyd scored a touchdown in the first quarter.

A week ago, Alabama coach Nick Saban caused a stir when he suggested that no-huddle, tempo-pushing offenses create an increased injury risk for tired defensive players, and went on to pose the question "is this what we want football to be?"

On Wednesday during the ACC coaches' teleconference, Clemson's Dabo Swinney weighed in sharply in opposition to Saban's contention.

"I don't agree with that at all," Swinney said. "I think that's not reality."

Saban said that the no-huddle offense has "obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense" and added, "at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety...

"The (offensive) team gets in the same formation group, you (the defense) can't substitute defensive players - you go on a 14-, 16-, 18-play drive and they're snapping the ball as fast as you can go and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can't even get lined up," Saban said. "That's when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt when they're not ready to play."

"I don't agree with that," said Swinney. "I think that we have a play clock, and if you look at us, we substitute all the time. We play fast, but we're constantly changing personnel, constantly multiple formations and shifts and personnel groupings.

"When you do that, the defense has to be allowed to change personnel, and that's the refs' job, to manage that part. But we don't just put the same 11 guys out there and play them for 80 plays. You know, I don't know if there's a lot of teams that do that."

Swinney offered the counterpoint that offensive variety is one of the things that makes college football unique and attractive to fans.

"To me, if you look around, what makes college football fun is you have a lot of variety," Swinney said. "You see different things from week to week, whether it's the spread or the "I" or the triple option or whatever, and I think that's one of the things that makes it an incredibly popular game is that you just really never know from week to week.

"If you really want the same old thing and everybody to be conformed, then you've got that in the NFL. That's what Sundays are for, in my opinion....

"I just think that we've got a great game, and the variety makes it even better," he added. "Everybody has to have their own philosophy and be committed to it. But I don't agree with (Saban's) assessment or comments."

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Comments » 12

MoncksTater writes:

Saban doesn't see multiple , spread and no-huddle offenses very often in the plodding SEC , but his defenses are among the nations best year in and yer out , so what is he whining about. This seems to be a particularly nonsensical week for the SEC coaches...what with Ball Sack's comments and all.

TrevorT writes:

Translation of Sabanese: "Any offensive game plan that might be a challenge to my defense should be against the rules"

Bleedsorange writes:

Alternate translation: my guys aren't conditioned well enough to stand up to a spread.

Way to show your hand.

wdrcu75 writes:

Call a time out.

TigerMarine writes:

in response to Bleedsorange:

Alternate translation: my guys aren't conditioned well enough to stand up to a spread.

Way to show your hand.

That's exactly what I was thinking while reading this !

iptaytiger writes:

"increased injury risk" Seriously? Maybe they should just make it touch/tag football to avoid furthermore injuries. Come on Sabin, you've got the best program going right now, and you're whining about injuries from a no huddle offense?

larrygiles000#285015 writes:

In response to Bleedsorange: If Bama is not well conditioned wonder why they have won 2 of last 3 national championships? Clemson's spread and no-huddle offense is fun to watch and I can't wait to see how successful it is against the South Carolina Gamecock defense. (Remember what happened last year!)

pmoulton121 writes:

So Carolina is finally relevant and now there fans wanna start with the sec talk. Its funny how its the same teams every year that does good in the sec.

Lynx26 writes:

in response to larrygiles000#285015:

In response to Bleedsorange: If Bama is not well conditioned wonder why they have won 2 of last 3 national championships? Clemson's spread and no-huddle offense is fun to watch and I can't wait to see how successful it is against the South Carolina Gamecock defense. (Remember what happened last year!)

Lol nothin like good ol facts.... I def see where you're coming from. Nov.24 will tell it all.

As for the no huddle stuff- I don't see anything wrong with it and no Saban isn't afraid of it one bit. To my knowledge, he just feels it's an advantage over defenses. In the end, he'll continue to be the best HC in college fball.

Let's go Clemson! (don't get caught up in side convos- we have to get over the hump)

kellytown writes:

Every one knows that bama is at the top. people were saying before the Fla.St game that their D was going to stop the Tigers offense that didn't happen the only thing that stopped Clemson was our ability to play Defense. We can score against any Defense in the country including against the best the SEC has to offer I am not saying that we will win. Our defense is young and has to get alot better and we will its coming along not as fast as some would like but you can't make everyone happy as long as we keep getting better we will be alright. GO TIGERS.

Lynx26 writes:

in response to kellytown:

Every one knows that bama is at the top. people were saying before the Fla.St game that their D was going to stop the Tigers offense that didn't happen the only thing that stopped Clemson was our ability to play Defense. We can score against any Defense in the country including against the best the SEC has to offer I am not saying that we will win. Our defense is young and has to get alot better and we will its coming along not as fast as some would like but you can't make everyone happy as long as we keep getting better we will be alright. GO TIGERS.

As a Tiger fan I agree... But as a football guru and past player my thoughts and eyes slightly beg to differ.

Florida State showed very little scheme(base defense-little press and no movement) in the 1st half, while not showing their hand too early. 2nd half.... They did what they wanted. We couldn't do anything bc of the physicality and athleticism up Front and in secondary. We couldn't do anyhing besides trick plays... Not talkin our defense at all. They shut us down.

To compare to the Alabama LSU's etc.... Pump your breaks. We do not have enough strength and toughness up Front for 4qtrs. Which leads to not enough time for WR's to get open/nor running game. Just being real.

We're getting better.... Defense is really slowing us down. We'll have to score 40/game vs any decent team to win- and that will not happen vs top SEC teams.

Last but not least, next year is our year for a national championship (12-1). This year i predicted 10-3.... We have a chance to do better than that with a FLa st loss.

Leggo Clemson!

putter2 writes:

I agree with Dabo. Is Bama starting to cry? Maybe the Dallas Cowboys should go to a non-huddle.

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