Dabo Swinney determined to help Tajh Boyd make the most of his NFL 'window'

Senior quarterback's return a win-win situation for Tigers, Boyd's long-term future

Clemson Football & Basketball: Dan Radokovich presents the Chick-fil-A MVP trophy to Tajh Boyd

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson Football & Basketball: Dan Radokovich presents the Chick-fil-A MVP trophy to Tajh Boyd

Sometime during the next month or so, between signing day and the beginning of spring practice, Tajh Boyd will sit down with his coaches for an in-depth evaluation of his development as a quarterback.

Boyd didn't decide to return to Clemson to tread water.

If he's to lead the Tigers to a championship in 2013, he knows he'll have to play at the highest level, combining game-to-game consistency with the ability to rise to the occasion as a playmaker in crucial situations.

He's reached the stage of his career where the greatest improvement can come from the most subtle of adjustments.

Dabo Swinney says one of the objectives of his staff's intense postseason self-analysis will be to help Boyd take another step forward as a player.

"We go through everything, and once we go through all the video and data and break it down and analyze it every way we can, and then we sit down and say 'these are the areas where we need to improve,'" said Swinney. "We'll look at the offense, defense and special teams, maybe some coaching things that we need to do a little better. We'll put our heads together, and then look individually at what guys need to do. It takes a little time to process.

"We want to go back and look closely at what he did. I will say that he's greatly, greatly improved. So it's just about continuing to be a consistent performer. That's the key thing for him."

Swinney was elated when Boyd decided to return to school for his senior season. He believes it's a win-win situation both for the Tigers and for Boyd's chances of being an impact player in the NFL.

"I felt like Tajh would be back and that he needs to be back," Swinney said. "Could he have been drafted? Sure. But nowhere near where he would want to be drafted, or where he can and will be drafted with another year of production.

"If you just look at the improvement he made from last year to this year, he's just going to continue to get better."

Swinney said that pro football's new salary structure gives player entering the league "a two to three-year window" to prove themselves.

"With the way they split the money now, the money goes to the veterans now, and so a new guy has two or three years to really establish himself," Swinney said. "You have to show them that you're a bona-fide guy. Because if you're a fringe guy, you're out. They'll take the next rookie and pay him less.

"So the more prepared you are for that two or three-year opportunity, the better. I think Tajh made a great decision because he's given himself an opportunity to be even more prepared. Hopefully, with another year, he'll be able to go in and make more of an impact right out of the gate."

And, of course, there's something it in for Clemson.

"Obviously, it's a great situation for us to have a two-year starter coming back, a guy whose won 21 games in two years," Swinney said. "I'm excited to have him back. This is going to be a fun football team to coach."

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Comments » 2

justcurious writes:

well Dabby O I told you 3 plus years ago what Tajh is capable of doing, no you had to plat your boy Parker. The results speaks for itself.

TigerNE writes:

We'll know more after the signing day, but there's every chance Boyd will have all the weapons he needs to make it happen in 2013.

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