I usually try to stay away from my personal feelings in my writings, but with the college football season now over and having watch all season keeping my mouth shut I have decided to make an exception and speak up. I just finished writing this week's NFL Rage about who didn't survive "Black Monday" and should have and who did but shouldn't have and instead of feeling good after getting that off my chest I'm still pissed! And while I may have something to say here that just upsets me that many of you could care less about, they gave me the keys to the office, the computer works and I'm going to speak my mind, dam it. (I’m starting to feel better already).
I grew up in Florence, SC and I've loved Clemson football since I was a toddler. Most of you that follow my writings know that I don't ride the current of what the mass media is saying, instead I watch and develop my own opinion and I stick with it. As far as Clemson goes, I was never a Kyle Parker fan and thought Clemson could do a lot better than Dabo Swinney as Head Coach.
You can go back in the Xtra Point Football archives and read where I thought Dabo begging to bring Parker back was a bad idea. I stated this over the summer when I was the first to break the news Kyle Parker was putting his baseball career on hold to play one final season with the Tigers. The Clemson fans were ecstatic to have him back. Dabo basically got on hands and knees to beg him back and I couldn't understand it. Clemson had a prize recruit in Willy Korn that Dabo benched in favor of Parker. Korn was a more accurate passer and more importantly a football player. Kyle was always just a strong armed baseball player, throwing a football and accuracy certainly wasn't his strongest attribute. Willy Korn decided to transfer last season to Marshall and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him as an undrafted free agent in the NFL at some point.
Parker was able to hide his inaccurate arm last season because he had Jacoby Ford and CJ Spiller. He threw screens and check downs to Ford and Spiller all year and with their elusiveness and speed, it worked like a finely tuned machine. Ford and Spiller are rare athletes and Clemson wasn’t able to run that same vanilla offense with success this year with the players they had. As a head coach, you have to be able to see that it wasn’t going to work.
Everyone knew that Clemson wasn't going to be a top 25 team this year. Dabo should have turned the team over to the highly talented redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd and gave him this year to perfect his craft and build chemistry with his teammates for 2011. Dabo knew that Parker was going to play with the Colorado Rockies next season, so why even bring him back for a meaningless season and delay Boyd's growth? Even given the fact he was a redshirt freshman, Boyd is a better football player then Parker and Clemson would have likely fared better in the win/loss column.
Even after starting Kyle Parker all year, when the season was over and Clemson was going to a meaningless bowl game against South Florida, Dabo chose to start Kyle Parker and not Tajh Boyd. Why? How could you not take this time to prepare Boyd for next season? The game means nothing. Parker isn't coming back. It makes no sense. In Dabo Swinney, they hired a good ole' southern boy that was more of the rah rah type, instead of a X's and O's specialist. Clemson deserves a much more talented coach then Swinney.
For those of you that don't follow Clemson and think it's just some small town team. Go look at all of the NFL talent they put out and the top recruiting classes they bring in. Even with a 6-7 season, they have a top 10 recruiting class right now. Chances are that your NFL team has Clemson alum on it. Brian Dawkins, Trevor Pryce, Charlie Whitehurst, CJ Spiller, James Davis, Jacoby Ford, Michael Palmer, Ricky Sapp, Dorrell Scott, Kevin Alexander, Kavell Conner, Chris Clemons, Tye Hill, Justin Miller, Rendrick Taylor, Anthony Waters, Barry Richardson, Nick Eason, Chansi Stuckey, Leroy Hill, Michael Hamlin, Crezdon Butler, Tyler Gresham, Philip Merling, etc.
There are a lot of coaches that would love to have those caliber of players on their squads and face the weak ACC conference schedule that Clemson did, and most of them would fare pretty well with this talent. Dabo threw his coaches under the bus at the conclusion of this season and fired the Offensive Coordinator and the Running backs coach. It's fine if they want to let all of the coaches on the offensive side of the ball go but I think it starts at the top.
I want Dabo Swinney out! Either, former Clemson Offensive Coordinator from 1999-2000 and recently fired Michigan coach, Rich Rodriguez, or University of Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin would both be great fits in Clemson and fine with me. - Jayson Braddock
Jayson appears on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX, every Thursday morning at 11:19 am CST as the football insider on the Dylan Gwinn show. He's a graduate of the Sports Management World Wide Football GM & Scouting Course and has been mentored by former NFL player / executive John Wooten and Sporting News.com NFL Draft Expert Russ Lande. His work is mostly appreciated by die-hard fans interested in every little detail about their team and not just watered down mainstream talk. - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports7910.com.
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