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Swinney explains how helmet rule changes strategy

After the first week under the new helmet rule, we hear that many coaches are tweaking their game plans and sideline procedures to make sure that when a player has to come off the field, they aren't necessarily losing a down because the backup isn't ready to go.

Dabo Swinney is one of those coaches.

“I understand the rule, but for us it’s a little bit of a challenge when you run your quarterback, he gets hit and sometimes he gets in some piles, and sometimes helmets find their way from getting of their head.” 

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd lost his helmet three times last week, which has Dabo making adjustments to keep their backup quarterback fresh on the sidelines throughout games in the future.

“The big thing for us is you better have your backup ready to go. One of the things we’re going to do moving forward is to make sure our backup is getting some snaps, throwing the ball, staying loose and being ready."

“I don’t know how we can get the helmet on any tighter. We’re basically about to cut his circulation off trying to keep it on." Swinney explained.

Positions other than quarterback are obviously a little easier to substitute for. Rotating a receiver or bringing in an offensive lineman in on third and long, in a crunch time situation, is much different from having to substitute your star signal caller.

"It’s definitely an issue, especially at that position. It’s not like at wideout or something else, that is such a critical position. ... It’s definitely something everyone is going to have to continue to adjust to.” 

 

Leach weighs in on Sark having a Tiger at practice

After practice yesterday, a reporter asked Mike Leach what he described as an "off the wall question."

Ask Leach an off the wall question...get an off the wall answer.

Thursday TV - Big East action

Big East action starts tonight with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

All times eastern.

NFL:

No games

College:

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati - 8 - ESPN

High School:

No games

Charlie Weis explains how he breaks down film

As coaches, we all have own system of breaking down film. Some of us grade players and give them overall grades, while others grade efficiency or count correct assignments, knockdowns and loafs. We all have our own preference.

Charlie Weis uses a system of pluses and minuses.

It’s basically a plus or minuses that average up to a percentage. You get one in the run game, one in the pass game and you get one collectively to see what your efficiency in the game was individually.”

After a win, the grades have a tendency to put everyone back in their place, reminding them of how much they can still improve after a win.

"They’re feeling really good, they got to eat with their parents and all their friends and everyone’s saying ‘Good game,’ and then you tell ’em how bad they stink. Trust me, you knock ’em back off their pedestal really quick.”

On Sundays Weis compiles ten good and ten bad plays into cut-ups to share with the team.

“I take the offense and I make a good-play / bad-play tape. Every game I’ll watch about 20 plays, 10 good ones and 10 bad ones. After a win, I always show the bad ones first. I say, ‘Yeah, you think you’re good, well let’s watch this pile of crap.’”

“Everyone’s telling you how bad you were, so let’s look at these 10 plays from the game. ‘Remember this one? Remember this one?" After a loss, you show ’em the good plays to bring ’em back to ‘OK, it’s not as bad as it all seems.’”

Weis explains the process for his quarterbacks as well.

“The first thing he gets is every play in the game. Then he gets it broken down into good plays in the run, good plays in the pass, bad plays in the run, bad plays in the pass, and, yes, (he) can get a minus (grade) on a running play, even though you’re just handing it off. Because if you don’t carry out your fake, it’s a minus.”

“When you have the clicker in your hand, it’s easy to nitpick because you can see every little thing,” Weis noted of the power that comes with holding the remote.

Cincinnati's red helmets

New matte red helmets for the Bearcats (photo was tweeted by David Pollack of ESPN who is in town to cover tomorrow night's game vs. Pitt).

These look pretty sharp.

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