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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Swinney takes stock of Tigers' spring

By David Ubben

Clemson's spring game is set for Saturday, and with spring practice winding to a close, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney took stock of where his team stood.

The Tigers have grown more comfortable with Swinney and his system on both sides of the ball, and he hopes that means he'll see a smarter team on Saturday and through the summer into fall.

"We've hopefully got a better understanding of not just what were doing but why were doing it and how to do it properly," Swinney said. "And become more consistent."

That consistency is something Swinney hoped spreads to his second and third units.

"We competed hard last year, grew closer as a team and became tougher, but we really wanted to come out of spring and believe we could be more consistent in our execution," he said. "That’s something with our first group, that’s been apparent. First group has good grasp of what were doing."

Swinney tagged his defensive linemen as a group that's exceeded his expectations in the spring, despite being a likely strength for the Tigers next season. The reason has been the younger linemen like Rennie Moore, Kourtnei Brown and Miguel Chavis.

"We really solidified our front. We have most of our starters back inside, but we feel like we have two groups of starters," Swinney said.

Kyle Parker has spent much of his spring on the baseball diamond, giving way to some inconsistencies throughout the spring, but Swinney was thankful for the extra look given to Tajh Boyd this spring. The same has been true for his offensive line, which has lacked depth with two starters sidelined by offseason surgery, and will become even shallower when the team splits in two for the spring game.

Saturday, he'll get another chance to see who he can rely on in game situations.

"Even though the team is divided, we want to see who can fly around and make plays," Swinney said. "Hopefully, we come out of it healthy"