Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips shared his thoughts on the recent staff changes at Clemson with the Post and Courier.
On Sunday, Dabo Swinney announced that offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Billy Napier and running backs / special teams coordinator Billy Napier would not return to the staff.
Phillips indicates Swinney and Napier were not on the same page, philosophically. He also took a shot at some coaches by adding that Clemson’s 9-win team of 2009 (ACC Coastal Champs) had some great players that camouflaged the coaching deficiencies.
Regarding the relationship Swinney had with Napier, Phillips said, "It's hard for me to say. I'm not over there sitting in the meetings. I know off the field they had a very good working relationship. It wouldn't surprise me if there were some differences philosophically; you have that in the best of circumstances. In 2008, when Dabo took over at midseason they had reasonable success, they had some good wins. I think they felt comfortable that they just needed to try to improve upon where they were when they meshed together in that interim period. Of course the next year we had some players that were maybe able to gloss over some deficiencies.”
So what happened to this year’s team that finished 6-7?
Phillips said, "We did lose some key players, C.J. (Spiller) and Jacoby (Ford), two players Dabo recruited. I think the game at Auburn put a little dent in us. That's a game we all recognize that's one of those 'shouldas' against a team that might win the national championship. We lost a very good running back (Andre Ellington)that could have helped us down the stretch. We didn't quite have the receivers we have had. ... and we all know the kicking game."
No mention of Napier or Powell being a problem in THAT answer.
At FootballScoop, we always back coaches. We don't like to see coaches being let go and we dread reporting the news when good football coaches lose their jobs.
We also leave our opinions off the table. We just report the information and let you form your own opinion. In this case, however, we believe Dabo and Terry Don should talk less in 2011. You don't have to explain every single thing you do inside your program.
Sure, as leader of the organization, there are times when you do have to talk. With that being said, the more you talk, the more you open yourself up to criticism.